There's currently a poll on the Diamondbacks site inviting fans to choose the best offensive performances at each position in franchise history. Which is an interesting idea, except, it's woefully Neanderthal in its approach. The only information provided on the ballot is BA, HR, RBI and stolen-bases - as I'm pretty sure everyone should agree, that's a embarrassingly-simplistic selection of offensive numbers, which fails to provide anything like a true measure of worth. It would have been a nice chance to educate people on which are actually the more important numbers, like OBP and OPS+, but the opportunity is wasted. Oh, well.
Still, after the jump, we'll provide the full stats, allowing you to use somewhat less crude analysis when it comes time to work out who are the real best performers for the D-backs at each position, and cast your ballot.
Overall qualifying numbers: 400 PAs (except for pitchers, where it's 20), and must have played at least 50% of their games at the position specified.
[MLB.com = Tony Clark (2005), Grace, Tracy] Clark was eliminated from consideration due to not reaching the 400 PAs required. His overall 154 OPS+ was excellent, but he only started seventy games in the field that season, all at first-base, though still scored an impressive 3.8 WAR. That same year, Tracy saw more (albeit only just) time at 1B, and also made 47 starts in right-field and four in left-field. Snakepit endorsement: Tracy
[MLB.com = Bell, Hudson (2006), Spivey] Not much argument on this one - only four second-basemen in history have hit more homers in a season than Bell - Davey Johnson, Rogers Hornsby, Ryne Sandberg and Alfonso Soriano. Spiveys MVP-vote gathering season is all the more remarkable, since he was out of the majors after three more years. And Hudson's 2008 was actually better than his 2006. Snakepit endorsement: Bell
[MLB.com = Glaus, Reynolds, Williams] Pretty close, and I could hardly argue against a vote for any of 'em. Glaus has the edge in OPS+, but Reynolds has a better Batting Runs Above Replacement (24.6 to 23.6), and his stolen bases also should factor in. Williams production in the traditional stats - particularly BA and RBI - was monstrous. However, I have too many qualms about he and Glaus in the PED department. Snakepit endorsement: Reynolds
[MLB.com = Bell, Drew, Tony Womack (2000)] Alex Cintron is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Diamondbacks, it would appear - just can't get no respect. It can't be his PAs, as that's almost a hundred more than Clark, who was listed on the ballot. Yet, Cintron is ignored in favor of Tony Womack, whose only offensive value was in his SBs: his OPS+ that year was 70, ranking him #94 of 102 players in the NL with 400 PAs. Snakepit endorsement: Cintron (write-in)
[MLB.com = Estrada, Damian Miller (2001), Montero] Snyder is the one unfairly dissed here, his .237 BA deemed inferior to Miller's .271, even though Snyder was superior in just about every other category. Estrada has the gaudy .302 but if you were here in 2006, you'll recall how Johnny couldn't take a free pass to save himself: from June 4-August 13, he had one walk in 183 PAs. Snakepit endorsement: Montero
[MLB.com (alphabetical order) = Byrnes, Finley, Gonzalez, Green, Jackson, Sanders, Upton, White, Chris Young (2007)] Seems they have limited it to one season by each player: probably wise, or we'd have the Gonzalez triplets playing outfield, since Luis has six of the top eight years by OPS+, including the top four. It's amazing to see Upton crack the top five at age 21 - at the same age, Gonzo was playing A-ball for Houston, hitting six homers in 86 games. J-Up could end up dominating the list, the same way Gonzalez does now.
The list here is very close to the one online: the only difference is Chris Young's 2007 replacing McCracken's 2002, despite an OPS+ nineteen points lower. Again, the gaudy numbers of 32 homers and 27 stolen-bases are seen as more important than McCracken's 72-point edge in on-base percentage. Sanders and Green rank surprisingly high, and are worth consideration, but we'll just go straight OPS+. Gonzalez, Upton, Finley
[MLB.com = Owing (2007), Owings (2008), Brandon Webb (2008)] Well, we've all made more difficult decisions that this, haven't we? Micah's' 2007 was the best by any pitcher in baseball with 50+ PAs since Don Larsen in 1958. If only his ERA+ with Arizona has been better than 95. And what's with listing Webb? His OPS+ that season was -6, 29th in franchise history. He wasn't even top-three that year: Owings, Dan Haren and Randy Johnson all had a better OPS+. Snakepit endorsement: Web... Oh, alright: Owings (2007).