Top ten switch-hitters of all-time

Title is self explanatory. This idea popped into my head the other day when I was thinking of Chipper Jones. So lets cut the bs and get to the list.

+Stat line is ( BA/OBP/SLG/wOBA/wRC+/Park adjusted RAA based on wOBA)

10. Carlos Beltran (6877 PA, .283/.360/.496/.372/126/23.0):

Carlos Beltran is arguably the most unappreciated player of our generation. He is enjoying a HOF career thus far thanks to plus offense, plus defense, and plus base running. He could be entering the the end of his career with lots of injuries the past couple seasons, but what he’s done so far with his bat is enough for him to crack the top ten.

9. Jorge Posada (6505 PA, .277/.379/.481/.371/128/24.9):

Trying to place Posada and Beltran was tough and could have gone either way. Posada does have better numbers, but less of a sample size. However, that sample size is just a 300 PA difference. Posada has better offensive numbers in regards to OBP, wOBA, wRC+, and RAA. Not only that, but he put those numbers up as a catcher. That is what puts him ahead of Beltran for me. Sure, Posada is old and may run out of gas soon (but he is showing no signs of slowing down) while Beltran still might have something left in the tank once he gets healthy, but I’m not here to project the future.

8. Mark Teixeira (4988 PA, .286/.376/.535/.387/136/31.6):

Yes, he has under 5000 career PA, so it may be unfair to compare him to guys with 9000 PA and switch-hitters who have suffered a decline phase. But few switch hitters have started their careers the way Tex has. In his eighth season, he already has four seasons of .400+ wOBA and 148+ wRC. Carlos Beltran and Jorge Posada combined have just four seasons of .400+ wOBA. Mark has a legitimate case to be #8 on this list.

7. Bernie Williams (9053 PA, .297/.381/.477/.371/128/25.9):

Bernie and Posada have eerily similar numbers. Both have the same exact wOBA and wRC+ (.371 wOBA; 128 wRC+). The difference here though is the sample size. Bernie has about 2500 more PA than Posada, which means his numbers have his decline phase factored in, whereas Posada does not. Williams had a much better peak than Posada, which shows me he was a better switch-hitter. From 1996-2002 Bernie’s wRC+ never dipped below 141 and his career high was 162 in the magical 1998 season. Both were teammates from 1995-2006, and Bernie produced more offensively, if only slightly. It’s a shame his defense was horrifically bad, because he has the offensive numbers of a HOF’er.

6. Eddie Murray (12817 PA, .287/.359/.476/131/25.7):

In his prime, Murray was a fantastic hitter. He hung on just a bit too long, which hurt his overall numbers. Despite that, he still ranks in the middle of the pack on the list. From his rookie season in 1977 to his final season in LA in 1990, Murray was a stud with the bat. He posted a wRC+ six times, including five straight seasons from 1981-1985. Talk about raking.

5. Pete Rose (15861 PA, .303/.375/.409/.353/125/19.4):

This list wouldn’t be complete without baseballs all-time hits leader. If Murray suffered from a decline phase, than Rose was killed by it. He played about five seasons too many, when he was a fringe replacement level player. Despite a massive decline phase, he still has great career numbers that include a .375 OBP and 125 wRC+. But his prime was amazing. From 1965-1979 he truly was a hit king. He posted an excellent wOBA and wRC+ in fifteen consecutive seasons while playing a bevvy of positions. It’s easy to discount Rose for his overall numbers, but lets not forget that for the bulk of his playing days, he was truly a special player.

4. Tim Raines (10359 PA, .294/.385/.425/.374/137/30.3):

This is the point in the list where hitters have distinguished themselves. From Raines forward, the hitters are clearly superior to other names on the list. Looking at Raines though, it truly is a shame that only stat-heads recognize his greatness. He was an on-base god and one of the best players of his generation. Oh yeah, did I mention he is arguably the best base stealer of all-time with 808 stolen bases at an 85% success rate? No. Well, now I did. I love me some Tim Raines.

3. Lance Berkman (6619 PA, .297/.410/.549/.405/149/44.2):

I know he is having a bad season and it seems like his decline is swiftly approaching, which is to be expected with his body type, but look at those numbers. A .410 OBP! A .405 wOBA! A 149 wRC+! Holy cow! He has four seasons of 160+ wRC+. That is special. Lance Berkman surely was one of the best hitters of the past decade and quite frankly, of all-time. Yes, I know Minute Maid is a big hitters park, but he has nearly the same numbers on the road as he does at home. The dood is legit.

2. Chipper Jones (9535 PA, .306/.406/.536/.402/147/42.5):

Ah, Chipper Jones. He is the fifth active player on the list- and the best hitter of them all. While Berkman has similar numbers (and some better), Jones gets the edge. He has been killing the ball for a lot longer than Berkman has. Jones has never had a poor or even average offensive season, and has been an OBP monster/machine/etc.

1. Mickey Mantle (9909 PA, .298/.421/.557/.431/177/64.2):

Do I even need to explain this one? 177 wRC+…insane. It’s 30 higher than Chipper Jones, who ranks #2 on this list. Need I say more?

Well, there you go. Hope you enjoyed. Here’s a rough order of 11-15, or those who missed the cut.

11. Roberto Alomar

12. George Davis

13. Frankie Frisch

14. Max Carey

15. Victor Martinez


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2 Comments on “Top ten switch-hitters of all-time”

  1. Orlando A. Mon Says:

    Where can I find a complete list of all switch hitters to have played in the major leagues?

  2. Chris Says:

    Where’s Pete Rose?


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