This is my fifth entry in my list of my 100 greatest baseball players. A few notes. I am not going to include players who primarily played before 1903, since the rules were so different back then. I also will not include Negro League players who did not play in the Majors. I know this seems unfair, but it is hard to rank someone who does not have credible statistics. I'm also leaving out some good players who just have begun their careers, like Pujols and Ichiro, but I'm sure they will rank here eventually, its just too early to determine where. I also deduct a few points for accused steroid users, but hopefully I can know for certain about the drug use in baseball, so my rankings can be more justified. So I hope you enjoy my list
41. Roberto Clemente- Easily the most overrated player of alltime, as most people put him in their top ten. But let's get realistic, he had a horrible BB/K ratio, and having a great outfield arm isn't all that important. But Clemente was still a great player, winning 4 batting titles, and 12 Gold Gloves. He was also a clutch postseason batter, hitting .414 in the 1971 WS.
42. Carl Yastrzemski- Many people think of Yaz as a guy who only had one good year, and who played forever to boost his stats. That's rubbish. Yaz led the league in OBP 5 times, in runs created 4 times, in times on base 4 times, and in OPS+ 4 times. Not to mention he was a stellar fielder, playing the Monster better than anyone. Yaz rankes 6th alltime in walks, 6th alltime in hits, and 9th alltime in extra base hits. In 1967, Yaz really put together an MVP season, basically carrying the Sox on his back to the playoffs. He batted .619 in the Sox last 6 games, and they had to win all of them
43. Bob Feller- Feller was the first high school phenom. He set the league record for strikeouts, with 348 in 1946. Feller was a workhorse, leading the league in innings 5 times, and in Ks 7 times. He won 266 games in his career, but remember, he missed 3 years to war, so his wins should have been over 300 and his Ks would have been over 3000.
44. Johnny Mize- Mize is the least remembered star to miss playing time while serving in WW2. He was a fantastic fielding first baseman, earning the nickname "Big Cat" for his slick fielding. He missed 3 years to war, and had 359 homers in his career. His 158 OPS+ is testament to his skills. For a power hitter, he hardly struck out, with a career high of 57 in 1937. Mize led the league in homers 4 times, but many people put Hank Greenberg ahead of him, even though Hank was a worse fielder, and played in a hitter's park.
45. Charlie Gehringer- The Mechanical Man never really had an off year, and he didn't have any noticeable weakness. He hit for power, hitting 574 doubles and 146 triples, fielded great, deserving 6 GGs, and got on base over forty percent of the time. His 162 game average for Ks is 26.
46. Pedro Martinez- Pedro had 2 of the top 5 best pitching seasons. In 2000, he had the highest single season ERA+ of any pitcher since 1880. His 1999 saw him win the pitching triple crown, and post the 9th best single season ERA+. He won 23 games, lost 4, and struck out 313 batters in 1999. Overall, Pedro has the best career ERA+, and the best winning percentage of any pitcher since 1900, tied with Whitey Ford.
47. Mike Piazza- The best hitting catcher is also the worst fielding, allowing almost as many steals as Rickey Henderson had. His 142 OPS+ is great, as is his record 427 home runs, most as a catcher. He should have won the 1997 MVP, with his 201 hits, 40 homers, and 185 OPS+.
48. Cal Ripken Jr.- Yes he played way too long, and should have took some days off, but his streak is ridiculous. This 2 time MVP winner amassed 3184 hits, and 431 homers. He had a rocket of an arm at short, and was actually a good fielder, even with his size. Cal may have hit into the most double plays, but he certainly hit Americans in the heart, when he played in 2632 conscutive games.
49. Hank Greenberg- Another great player who lost time to serving his country, Hank won 2 MVPs, and posted a 158 OPS+. Hank had some amazing seasons, hitting 58 homers in 1938, hitting 63 doubles in 1934, and driving in 183 runs in 1937. Hank knocked 331 balls past the fences, and probably would have over 400 homers without missing war time. Hank led the league in RBIs 4 times, and in extra base hits 4 times.
50. Jackie Robinson- If Jackie would have gotten an earlier start, he would have been among the top 25 players. He was a 5 tool player, posting a .411 OBP, only missing double digits in homers once, leading the league in steals twice, and he was an amazing second baseman in the field, deserving of 4 GGs in his short career. Jackie won the first ROY, and an MVP , in only a smidge of a career. With a fair shot, he would have been as highly regarded as Joe Morgan.