I'm not considering seasons beyond. I'm not thinking about who is best to build my team around in 2014. Everything is built around 2011. ...There are four Red Sox on his list: Nos. 26, 22, 19, and 3.
Now, "best year" is subjective, of course. Even non-regular readers by now know that I put almost no weight on wins or RBIs or batting average. I try my best to judge players by how much they help their teams win, and that includes offense, defense, pitching, base running, context and whatever else comes to mind.
About that #3 guy. Here are his stats*:
AVG OBP SLG OPS 2006 .311/.378/.527 .905 44 doubles 28 HR 108 RS 88 RBI 2007 .295/.358/.570 .928 64 doubles 40 HR 114 RS 128 RBI 2008 .308/.368/.578 .946 40 doubles 44 HR 126 RS 140 RBI 2009 .306/.402/.643 1.045 30 doubles 56 HR 118 RS 126 RBI 2010 .315/.402/.578 .980 42 doubles 40 HR 92 RS 118 RBI* Actually, those are his stats if you doubled his road numbers for each season.
There should be no surprise about who tops the list. Pos:
Albert Pujols has a chance to be known as the greatest player in the history of baseball. ... [T]hrough age 30 he has more homers than Babe Ruth, more hits than Pete Rose, more RBIs than Hank Aaron, more runs than Rickey Henderson did at the same age. ...
Pujols' consistent brilliance is so staggering and mind-numbing ... that if you took his worst season* and multiplied it by 10, you'd have a first ballot, 90% elected, Hall of Famer.
* Would that be 2002? That year he only hit .314 with 34 homers, 127 RBIs and 118 runs scored.
Andy at the Baseball Reference Blog asks:
How often does neither starting pitcher get a decision?This is an interesting question since far too many people -- including members of the media who should (and sometimes clearly do) know better -- look at a pitcher's won-loss record as a barometer of success. Of the 2,430 regular season games played in 2010:
Both starters get decisions 1,629 67.0% Both starters get no-decision 570 23.5% Only one starter gets a decision 231 9.5%
Flip Flop Fly Ball:
Be warned: you can't un-see the horror.