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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Yankee Hall of Fame CF

Should Bernie Williams become the fourth?

OPS+:
Williams 125 (229) tied with Rick Monday (1,491 games in CF) and Earl Combs.

Williams OPS:
regular season: .858
playoffs: .850

Same is good.

Monday OPS:
regular season: .804
playoffs: .628

Combs OPS:
regular season: .859
World Series: .894

Earl Combs, the first Yankee Hall of Fame CF who is sometimes disparaged relative to Bernie Williams, was on four WS winners, same as Williams.  Combs batted better in WS.  Williams about the same, which is good.

How about the other two Yankee Hall of Fame CF?

Joe DiMaggio: OPS+ 155, tied at 21 with Willie Mays.  Nine WS winners.
OPS:
regular season: .977
World Series: .760

Mickey Mantle: OPS+ 172, 6th.  Next CF: Ty Cobb 168, #10.  Seven WS winners.
OPS:
regular season: .977
World Series: .908

Mantle batted slightly less in his 12 WS but DiMaggio batted much worse in his 10 WS.

Williams batted worst in WS, MLB finals.
OPS:
ALDS: .865
ALCS: .962
WS: .677

Combs, DiMaggio and Mantle played only in the WS, the true World Series, against the best team in the other league.  Williams batted much worse in the WS, though not as bad as DiMaggio.

Williams: (858 - 677) / 677 = .267 (27% better in regular season)
DiMaggio: (977 - 760) / 760 = .2855 (29% better in regular season)

Williams supposed good performance in the playoffs is over-rated.
Photo of Bernie Williams
When Bernie Williams was playing did I think I was watching a Hall of Fame player?  No.  I would not vote for Williams.  As I have written previously, had Williams played left field he would not be considered a Hall of Fame player.  If the Yankees had a true CF who could hit a little, Williams would have been moved to LF and the Yanks would have won those same four WS and maybe one or two more.  Bernie Williams was in the right place at the right time.  He certainly was not Mantle or DiMaggio and may exceed Combs mainly because Combs had a short career and is a marginal HoFer himself.

PA:
Combs 6,507
DiMaggio 7,671
Mantle 9,909
Williams 9,053.

Among the CF in the last 20 years I would vote for Ken Griffey, Jr. (OPS+ 135 #108) and Jim Edmonds (OPS+ 131 #154), both of whom were true CF and much better fielders than Williams who often needed to stop for directions on the bases.

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