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savafan
03-21-2010, 06:40 PM
Who would you say is the greatest hitter still alive today? Mays, Aaron, Bonds, Griffey... someone else? Who would you give the title of Greatest Living Hitter to?

Ron Madden
03-21-2010, 06:45 PM
I'd say Willie Mays off the top of my head.

But I could go along with Aaron too.

MWM
03-21-2010, 06:47 PM
Mays, Pujols.

oneupper
03-21-2010, 06:57 PM
Stan Musial is still alive.

Tom Servo
03-21-2010, 06:57 PM
Mays, Pujols.
My choices as well.

Ron Madden
03-21-2010, 06:58 PM
Mays, Pujols.

Pujols has a great chance to be one of the best (if not The Best) hitters of all time;

Good call MWM.

redsmetz
03-21-2010, 07:35 PM
Stan Musial is still alive.

I looked at Musial on baseball-reference and was not surprised to see his comparables listing many still living great hitters:

1. Carl Yastrzemski (764) *
2. Willie Mays (745) *
3. Mel Ott (743) *
4. Dave Winfield (731) *
5. Eddie Murray (722) *
6. Lou Gehrig (720) *
7. Frank Robinson (711) *
8. Jimmie Foxx (693) *
9. Rafael Palmeiro (691)
10. Hank Aaron (663) *

I would have to say Mays or Musial, but there are a lot of really good hitters in that list.

REDblooded
03-21-2010, 07:49 PM
Not a fan of leaving ARod off the list... Compare his and Pujols career 162 game averages... HR's: 44-42 Arod, Avg: .334-.305 Pujols, RBI: 129-128 Pujols, R: 126-124 ARod, SB: 22-7 ARod. Yep, that's right. ARod has 297 career sb's! Pretty impressive for such a prolific masher. Also played tougher defensive positions than Pujols...

Jpup
03-21-2010, 07:49 PM
Bonds, Mays, Musial, Aaron, Gwynn. It all depends on how you look at it.

TheNext44
03-21-2010, 08:11 PM
Stan the Man and Pujols is the only one close. Best pure hitter still alive, and it's between him and Williams as best pure hitter of all time.

For some perspective, here are Stan's carer numbers when he was the same age that Pujols is now:

.347 .431 .584 1.015 172 OPS+

That is very similar to where Pujols is now:

.334 .427 .628 1.055 172 OPS+

In order for Pujols to equal Musial at the end of his career, he needs to put up these numbers over the next 11 years:

.316 .404 .536 .940

Stan finished with these numbers over 22 seasons:

.331 .417 .559 .976 159 OPS+

He had a career .417 On Base Percentage over 22 seasons. He reached base close to 42% of the time for 22 seasons.

Pujols is at .427 right now, but I really don't see him keeping that up for another 11 years, especially when the effects of the cause of his acne, bloated face and thick neck catch up with him. Not that I am insinuating something. ;)

Redsfan320
03-21-2010, 08:15 PM
Peter... Edward... Rose

4...2...5...6

320

dougdirt
03-21-2010, 08:39 PM
I will take Pujols over Musial. I think the talent level in the majors is greater now than it was during when Musial was playing. We are drawing from a much larger scale now, one that is world wide. It pains me that both are Cardinals though.

TheNext44
03-21-2010, 08:56 PM
I will take Pujols over Musial. I think the talent level in the majors is greater now than it was during when Musial was playing. We are drawing from a much larger scale now, one that is world wide. It pains me that both are Cardinals though.

I think when you add in that there were half as many teams when Musial started playing than there are now in the NL, that averages out the talent pool. With 12 man staffs, there are about 100 more pitchers a season that Pujols faces than Musial faced. I can't believe that the talent pool has provided 100 more good pitchers a year to the NL.

There are more, better pitchers now, for sure, but there are a lot more meh pitchers too.

BearcatShane
03-21-2010, 08:57 PM
Not a fan of leaving ARod off the list... Compare his and Pujols career 162 game averages... HR's: 44-42 Arod, Avg: .334-.305 Pujols, RBI: 129-128 Pujols, R: 126-124 ARod, SB: 22-7 ARod. Yep, that's right. ARod has 297 career sb's! Pretty impressive for such a prolific masher. Also played tougher defensive positions than Pujols...



Talking about hitting ability, not playing ability.

mth123
03-21-2010, 09:11 PM
Roids or no. Barry Bonds with a 181 career OPS+. Even several seasons over 180 (with a couple over 200) before the big head days.

I'm loathe to put him over Musial or Mays, but if its just pure hitting, then he just may be the guy.

oneupper
03-21-2010, 09:17 PM
I will take Pujols over Musial. I think the talent level in the majors is greater now than it was during when Musial was playing. We are drawing from a much larger scale now, one that is world wide. It pains me that both are Cardinals though.

Real hard to compare. Baseball was THE game back then, now it competes with Football, Basketball and Ice Skating for athletes. The US population was half of what it is now, but there were half as many teams.

Diet, preparation, etc. All better now.

If Ted Williams' head were still alive it would be easier. The torso does deserve some consideration, notwithstanding.

redsmetz
03-21-2010, 09:20 PM
I think when you add in that there were half as many teams when Musial started playing than there are now in the NL, that averages out the talent pool. With 12 man staffs, there are about 100 more pitchers a season that Pujols faces than Musial faced. I can't believe that the talent pool has provided 100 more good pitchers a year to the NL.

There are more, better pitchers now, for sure, but there are a lot more meh pitchers too.

I would suggest that Musial, through no fault of his own, missed facing a fairly good number of pitchers who were unable to play in MLB at that time, players in the Negro Leagues. I understand your point, but we need to remember that players back in those days weren't facing all of the best players. It doesn't take any anything from Musial who was an enormously talented hitter.

TheNext44
03-21-2010, 09:22 PM
Roids or no. Barry Bonds with a 181 career OPS+. Even several seasons over 180 (with a couple over 200) before the big head days.

I'm loathe to put him over Musial or Mays, but if its just pure hitting, then he just may be the guy.

I think you have a good point.

Here are his numbers pre-PEDS:

.288 .409 .559 .968 OPS+ 163

So just ignore everything he did while juiced, and he still is the best hitter. And if you give the standard decline in numbers in his last 8 seasons that most hitters his age have had, he still is better than anyone else.

Really emphasis's what a shame it was that he made the decisions that he made.

REDblooded
03-21-2010, 09:50 PM
Ok... The case for ARod purely speaking hitting...

Career slugging % of .5755 places him 13th all time (Pujols, Manny, Bonds, Howard, McGwire only living hitters ranked higher)

R's scored 1683 for 27th all-time. Henderson, Bonds, Aaron, Rose, Mays, Musial, Biggio, Robinson, Molitor, Hamilton only living hitters with more. Would need just under 600 more to pass Bonds for 3rd and first among living.

Total Bases 4779 for 26th all time. Aaron, Mays, Musial, Bonds, Rose, Yastrzemski, Murray, Palmeiro, Jr, Winfield, Ripken, Brett, Molitor, Reggie J, Dawson have more..

HR's 583 places him 8th all time and only behind Bonds, Aaron, Mays, Griffey, Sosa, Robinson and McGwire all time. Will pass Sosa, Robinson, McGwire with a 27 HR season.

RBI 1706 for 21st all time behind Manny, Robinson, Griffey, Winfield, Palmeiro, Yaz, Mays, Murray, Musial, Bonds, and Aaron.

OPS+ 147 for 39th all time

Runs Created 1910 for 24th all time

Extra Base Hits 1055 for 22nd all time

AB/HR 14.24 good for 10th all time (7 living players higher)


Not sure if I would label him "greatest" but he would belong in the discussion...

Caveat Emperor
03-21-2010, 09:53 PM
Albert Pujols' numbers are otherworldly -- I think he gets overlooked a bit just because we expect him to be so good and it's tough for him to surprise us. He's also the youngest of the contenders, so his counting stats might lack some of the sexy "milestone" numbers (i.e. 500 HRs) that a lot of the other people have.

B-R has his top-3 "comparable through age 29" as Jimmy Fox, Hank Aaron, and Lou Gehrig.

Sick.

REDblooded
03-21-2010, 09:55 PM
Also, not sure where we got into the habit of using OPS+ as the hardline stat to indicate the greatness of a hitter... Taking into account OBP which can have overall team strength as a heavy factor isn't an end-all/be-all measuring stick imo... For years the best option on the Giants was to walk Bonds because the guys hitting behind him were typically pretty average. Ever since Edmonds declined, the same could be said for Pujols.

REDblooded
03-21-2010, 09:56 PM
Albert Pujols' numbers are otherworldly -- I think he gets overlooked a bit just because we expect him to be so good and it's tough for him to surprise us. He's also the youngest of the contenders, so his counting stats might lack some of the sexy "milestone" numbers (i.e. 500 HRs) that a lot of the other people have.

B-R has his top-3 "comparable through age 29" as Jimmy Fox, Hank Aaron, and Lou Gehrig.

Sick.

He also gets overlooked a bit because there are questions regarding whether his age is legit... If he's a true 29, then yes, the numbers are very impressive... If he's actually 31/32/33, then still good, but not as amazing.

Caveat Emperor
03-21-2010, 09:57 PM
Not a fan of leaving ARod off the list... Compare his and Pujols career 162 game averages... HR's: 44-42 Arod, Avg: .334-.305 Pujols, RBI: 129-128 Pujols, R: 126-124 ARod, SB: 22-7 ARod. Yep, that's right. ARod has 297 career sb's! Pretty impressive for such a prolific masher. Also played tougher defensive positions than Pujols...

If we were talking about "greatest player," you might have a very good feather in your cap with the A-Rod argument and defensive position. No one disputes that a SS/3B that can hit is infinitely more valuable than a 1B that can hit.

But, in terms of a pure hitter, Pujols is clearly superior to A-Rod, IMO.

REDblooded
03-21-2010, 09:59 PM
I would suggest that Musial, through no fault of his own, missed facing a fairly good number of pitchers who were unable to play in MLB at that time, players in the Negro Leagues. I understand your point, but we need to remember that players back in those days weren't facing all of the best players. It doesn't take any anything from Musial who was an enormously talented hitter.

Not to mention the fact that pitchers in that era didn't pitch all-out all-game like pitchers do today... The majority of your pitchers were more like Arroyo. Guys that would hold back and mix things up, and only really dial it up when needed... Since radar guns became standard mlb fare, pitchers have fallen in love with the MPH readings and probably throw much harder, more consistently today then they did in the older days. Not to mention that managers now use their bullpen to bring in specialty/situational arms as the game progresses, and though overall the talent may now be more watered down, I'm not sure it means that hitting today is easier than it was in the era of Musial...

marcshoe
03-21-2010, 10:01 PM
Mays came to mind immediately. Based strictly on performance, though, I have to admit it would be Bonds.

RedsManRick
03-21-2010, 10:02 PM
Excepting Bonds for obvious reasons, I'll go with Pujols. His AVERAGE season looks like this: .334/.427/.628. He put up a .955 OPS in his worst season. The man just has no weaknesses.

After Pujols, I'd go Mays (consider his era, just amazing), Frank Thomas, Musial, and Manny Ramirez. If you extended this to the top 10, I think one name that would come up somewhat unexpectedly is Todd Helton.

reds1869
03-21-2010, 10:10 PM
Pujols is on another planet. If he stays there, we won't even debate this question a decade from now.

redsmetz
03-21-2010, 10:22 PM
Pujols is on another planet. If he stays there, we won't even debate this question a decade from now.

Well there's no question that if he does, he will enter that pantheon. I don't think anyone can ever say definitively who the best hitter of ever is, but you will know the cast of those who are great.

TheNext44
03-21-2010, 10:31 PM
I would throw Edgar Martinez in there as well, if we are talking pure hitter.

Edgar Martinez Career Stats (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/martied01.shtml)

Dan
03-22-2010, 12:57 AM
Most people would agree that someone who, in his career, had 3016 hits was a pretty good hitter, correct? Well, that's the number of hits Hank Aaron has IF you take away all his home runs. How can anyone say he's not the greatest living hitter today?

REDblooded
03-22-2010, 01:57 AM
Just posed the question to a friend of mine who's a huge baseball fan, and Cardinals season ticket holder... His answer, "Stan... And I can't put somebody in the conversation who, if he retired today, wouldn't be eligible for the Hall of Fame"

dougdirt
03-22-2010, 02:20 AM
I think when you add in that there were half as many teams when Musial started playing than there are now in the NL, that averages out the talent pool. With 12 man staffs, there are about 100 more pitchers a season that Pujols faces than Musial faced. I can't believe that the talent pool has provided 100 more good pitchers a year to the NL.

There are more, better pitchers now, for sure, but there are a lot more meh pitchers too.
How many relievers did Musial have to face? Much different game we are talking about, but I think its tougher today to be great than it was back then.

dougdirt
03-22-2010, 02:25 AM
Most people would agree that someone who, in his career, had 3016 hits was a pretty good hitter, correct? Well, that's the number of hits Hank Aaron has IF you take away all his home runs. How can anyone say he's not the greatest living hitter today?

Because despite being absolutely one of the greatest ever, flat out hits doesn't mean much when asking who was the best hitter. Hank is in the discussion, but he is probably not in the top 3.

Mario-Rijo
03-22-2010, 03:27 AM
Excepting Bonds for obvious reasons, I'll go with Pujols. His AVERAGE season looks like this: .334/.427/.628. He put up a .955 OPS in his worst season. The man just has no weaknesses.

After Pujols, I'd go Mays (consider his era, just amazing), Frank Thomas, Musial, and Manny Ramirez. If you extended this to the top 10, I think one name that would come up somewhat unexpectedly is Todd Helton.

Pujols and Bonds are absolutely incredible and I wouldn't argue with either. That said Pujols does have a small weakness, the splitfinger fastball and probably why I would love to see more Homer vs. Pujols to see this continue. Of course knowing Pujols he probably has already addressed this issue in the offseason.

One guy who is awfully premature to mention but there is no doubt he is as complete a hitter (nearly) is Joey Votto, he may not have their power but everything else is right there (with a little work on that backdoor fastball).

westofyou
03-22-2010, 09:35 AM
I think when you add in that there were half as many teams when Musial started playing than there are now in the NL, that averages out the talent pool. With 12 man staffs, there are about 100 more pitchers a season that Pujols faces than Musial faced. I can't believe that the talent pool has provided 100 more good pitchers a year to the NL.

There are more, better pitchers now, for sure, but there are a lot more meh pitchers too.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1072400/index.htm

Good By To The .300 Hitter




I doubt that there will ever be a lot of .300 hitters again in the majors." The speaker was Stan Musial, a man eminently qualified to discuss the problems of the .300 hitter.

Musial was sitting on a red equipment trunk in the St. Louis Cardinal dressing room in St. Petersburg. At 40, he still looks very much the major leaguer, although there are signs of the restaurateur in the thickening waist and thinning hair. As owner of Stan Musial and Biggie's restaurant in St. Louis, he will not have to worry when his playing career ends.

"Lot of things make it tougher for a batter today than it was 20 years ago," he said. "The shape of the bat has changed because everyone swings for the fences now. Why shouldn't they? The home run hitters draw the big money. Used to be bats had thick handles and a big barrel. Then they found out it's not the size of the bat that gets home runs—it's the speed with which you can swing it. So now everyone uses a bat like this. See? A thin handle and a long taper, so that most of the wood's in the end of the bat. You can whip this one around and get power in your swing.

"But that's only part of it," he said. "When I came up to the majors in 1941, very few pitchers had the slider. You practically never saw it, and it wasn't very effective. Now every pitcher you face has the slider and uses it pretty well. It fits the shape of this bat. They used to call a slider a nickel curve. It's not that. It comes in like a fast ball and breaks a few inches in toward the hands of the batter in the last few feet of its flight. That means it breaks in where there's no wood in the bat. Just the thin handle. It breaks so late you can't adjust your swing for it. And it's a fourth pitch, remember. Used to be all you had to worry about was the fast ball, the curve and the change-up. Add the slider, and right there the batter's problem is 25% harder."

Howie Pollet, the Cardinal pitching coach, broke in.

"First pitcher I remember really working on the slider was Murry Dickson," he said. "That was in 1948. Murry worked on it all year long, but he led the league in throwing home run balls. Every time he'd throw a home run pitch Eddie Dyer, the manager, would ask him, 'What did you give him?' Murry would say 'the slider,' and finally Dyer told him to take the slider and lose it somewhere."

"He didn't say anything about the sliders Murry threw that got the batter out," Musial said dryly.

"Pitching is different now," Musial went on. "When I came up, the idea was for a pitcher to go a complete game. So the pitchers paced themselves. They'd ease up now and then if there was no one on base, and you might get a fat pitch. In the late innings, too, they would get tired, and you could get hits off them. Another thing—you could get organized against a pitcher who stayed around for the whole game. You look at a pitcher twice, then the third time up you know pretty much what to expect.

"It's not like that now," he said, regretfully. "Now the managers send a pitcher in to throw as hard as he can as long as he can. If he gets tired they send in a relief pitcher who throws as hard for as long as he can. Now, in the late innings the pitchers are fresh and the batters are tired. Just about the time you get used to a pitcher's delivery, he's gone and you're looking at a new one. You never hit against a tired pitcher, and every pitcher is bearing down on you with each pitch.

"Night baseball cuts a lot of points off the average, too," he went on. "There's no substitute for good old sunlight—I don't care how bright they make the lights. They can't light up the skies or the trees or buildings in the background. You're hitting against blackness at night, and you lose your sense of depth perception. Lots of pitchers can win at night who would never win a game in daylight.


"The scheduling doesn't help, either. Play a night game, then come back the next afternoon for another game. The batters play in both, but the pitchers are fresh."

He picked up a glove.

"Everything's working against the hitter now," he said. "Even the gloves. They're bigger and better made. If a fielder can just touch the ball with one of these mitts, he's got it. They make plays every day that you wouldn't see once in a season a few years back."

He put the glove down, picked up a bat. "One thing," he said as he walked toward the batting cage. "There's no difference in ballplayers. In the '40s, when I came up, I played against the great players of the '30s, and I heard them talk about the great ones of the '20s. Now it's the '60s, and some of these kids I'm playing with and against will be the superstars of the '70s. You get a long perspective, and the players are just as good now as they were then. The difference is in the game."

jojo
03-22-2010, 10:00 AM
Bonds and Pujols.

dfs
03-22-2010, 10:10 AM
One guy who is awfully premature to mention but there is no doubt he is as complete a hitter (nearly) is Joey Votto..

Isn't spring great? He sure is fun to watch.

I don't see how you can take anybody but Bonds. I don't much like it, but he dwarfs the field. I'll take A-rod on the field and Pujols in the clubhouse, but standing at the plate with a bat in his hand, nobody inspired as much fear in the other team as Bobby's kid.

thatcoolguy_22
03-22-2010, 10:40 AM
How can I be post #38 and the first to mention the ever speedy W. Taveras?

Greatest hitter would have to be someone within the last 20 years. The game has changed dramatically. My vote Pujols or Bonds, with a slight edge to Bonds.

George Anderson
03-22-2010, 06:48 PM
I'd say Musial.

Whats interesting about Musial is in 1940 he was a pitcher in D ball pretty much going no where to the very next year in 1941 he was playing outfield for the Cardinals. He hurt his arm playing the outfield which basically ended his pitching career but his ascend to the Majors in that short of a time from the very bottom rungs of minor league baseball is pretty interesting.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=musial001sta

Raisor
03-22-2010, 08:42 PM
I want to make a Ted Williams' frozen head joke here, but I won't.

TheNext44
03-22-2010, 09:04 PM
How many relievers did Musial have to face? Much different game we are talking about, but I think its tougher today to be great than it was back then.

Musial faced pitchers who stood on a mound that was 50% higher than it is currently is, and played in much less hitter friendly parks.

There are lots of differences between the game now and when Musial played. Maybe it's harder now than it was back then. Even so, I am confident that Musial, Mays, Aaron and the other elite hitters would have adapted.

Put Pujols in the 50's and 60's and he would probably put up better numbers than he has so far in the 2000's. How much better, we'll never know. But it mostly will be because he is better trained and has faced better competition during his life.

Have Pujols born in the 30's and play in the 50's and 60's and he probably puts up the same numbers that he has so far in the 2000's.

More importantly, put Musial, even if he was born in 30's, but put him in a time machine and have him play in today's MLB, and maybe a month of adjustments, he puts up the same numbers he put up in the 50's and 60's.

Musial was the best and smartest hitter of his day (along with Ted Williams) and he (and Ted) would have risen to whatever they faced, and been the best in the game.

blumj
03-22-2010, 09:11 PM
I want to make a Ted Williams' frozen head joke here, but I won't.

Somebody did. It's obligatory.

westofyou
03-22-2010, 09:46 PM
Musial faced pitchers who stood on a mound that was 50% higher than it is currently is, and played in much less hitter friendly parks.


Actually that's not a given most parks had different height mounds and there was no standard or checking back then too. Some were flat, some too high, it all depended on what your team wanted the groundskeeper to do.

Ron Madden
03-23-2010, 03:03 AM
Musial faced pitchers who stood on a mound that was 50% higher than it is currently is

And during the years of WWII he faced pitchers who weren't so tough, like a fifteen year old Joe Nuxhall.

I'm not bashing Musial here, I believe he was a great hitter. I'm just say'n.

GADawg
03-23-2010, 10:23 AM
Most people would agree that someone who, in his career, had 3016 hits was a pretty good hitter, correct? Well, that's the number of hits Hank Aaron has IF you take away all his home runs. How can anyone say he's not the greatest living hitter today?


I'm on board with this. Also Pete has more hits than anyone....not the greatest hitter but shouldn't be overlooked....alot ot the guys mentioned would trade their career's(playing career)for Pete's all things and rings considered.

Yachtzee
03-23-2010, 10:42 PM
Musial faced pitchers who stood on a mound that was 50% higher than it is currently is, and played in much less hitter friendly parks.

There are lots of differences between the game now and when Musial played. Maybe it's harder now than it was back then. Even so, I am confident that Musial, Mays, Aaron and the other elite hitters would have adapted.

Put Pujols in the 50's and 60's and he would probably put up better numbers than he has so far in the 2000's. How much better, we'll never know. But it mostly will be because he is better trained and has faced better competition during his life.

Have Pujols born in the 30's and play in the 50's and 60's and he probably puts up the same numbers that he has so far in the 2000's.

More importantly, put Musial, even if he was born in 30's, but put him in a time machine and have him play in today's MLB, and maybe a month of adjustments, he puts up the same numbers he put up in the 50's and 60's.

Musial was the best and smartest hitter of his day (along with Ted Williams) and he (and Ted) would have risen to whatever they faced, and been the best in the game.

Great players would probably be great in any era. Chances are, if Musial played today, he'd probably hit more home runs.

cincinnati chili
03-23-2010, 11:10 PM
Roids or no. Barry Bonds with a 181 career OPS+. Even several seasons over 180 (with a couple over 200) before the big head days.

I'm loathe to put him over Musial or Mays, but if its just pure hitting, then he just may be the guy.

I agree. If we're talking pure results in the batters box, his only clear superiors are Ruth and Ted Williams. Both dead.

Razor Shines
03-24-2010, 02:30 AM
Gotta be Bruno Ganz, Downfall.

RFS62
03-29-2010, 07:18 AM
Barry Bonds, without question.

Dan
03-29-2010, 07:54 AM
Barry Bonds, without question.

While I don't think it's adequate support for his being at the top of the list we're talking about, this is one of my favorite anecdotes:

In a game once, over the course of his 4 at bats, he took a grand total of 5 swings. One ball he fouled off, one he hit for a double, and three he hit for home runs.

Yachtzee
03-29-2010, 05:55 PM
While I don't think it's adequate support for his being at the top of the list we're talking about, this is one of my favorite anecdotes:

In a game once, over the course of his 4 at bats, he took a grand total of 5 swings. One ball he fouled off, one he hit for a double, and three he hit for home runs.

The problem with Bonds, however, is that it is impossible to truly compare him to anyone else because of his great success in the use of products from BALCO labs. He was always a great hitter, but to say he's the best living hitter without qualifying can't be done. He got to the point where he could hit like that by using performance enhancers to a degree where even his mistakes went for home runs. When he hit the PEDs, he went from a guy who hit normal home runs like everyone else to a guy hitting bombs into the San Francisco Bay. How many other players have regularly been able to hit balls into the bay with the same consistency? Add his body armor into the equation and he could essentially sit on top of the plate and wait for the pitcher to make mistake or take his walk.

No doubt Bonds was a great hitter, and every era has its conditions that work for or against hitters. However, Bonds' numbers after he started using PEDs are so bizarrely skewed that I just can't take them seriously. Maybe players from other eras didn't have to face relievers throwing 100 mph, but they also had to stand in against guys who could still throw inside without risking a warning, and some of these guys had to do it without even so much as a batting helmet.

Put Bonds in another era and he would have probably been a great hitter anyway. But take away his PEDs and his body armor and let every pitcher bust him with fastballs high and inside and see how he does. I think he would adjust, but he wouldn't put up the ridiculous numbers he put up in the 2000s.

wolfboy
03-29-2010, 06:10 PM
I think he would adjust, but he wouldn't put up the ridiculous numbers he put up in the 2000s.

He could have been using before the 2000s. We really don't know when the Bonds steroid era began. Jose Canseco was using as early as 1985. McGwire and Palmeiro were probably using by 1992 at the latest. It's not out of the question.

RFS62
03-29-2010, 07:12 PM
Well, I can't argue with any of the qualifiers you mention, Yachtzee.

But if the question is simply "who is the greatest living hitter?", it's Bonds, without question.

I'd have to say he's the greatest hitter in the history of the game. His swing was the most perfectly evolved killing stroke ever developed, and coupled with the advantages of body armor you mentioned and his other-worldly plate discipline, there's never been anything even close.

Screwball
03-31-2010, 03:59 PM
While I don't think it's adequate support for his being at the top of the list we're talking about, this is one of my favorite anecdotes:

In a game once, over the course of his 4 at bats, he took a grand total of 5 swings. One ball he fouled off, one he hit for a double, and three he hit for home runs.

He got lucky.