• The Greatest Fielding CF Of All-Time Is…

    Posted by on November 30th, 2012 · Comments (13)

    First, start with this list -

    Rk Player Rfield From To Age G
    1 Willie Mays 183 1951 1973 20-42 2992
    2 Paul Blair 174 1964 1980 20-36 1947
    3 Devon White 135 1985 2001 22-38 1941
    4 Kenny Lofton 104 1991 2007 24-40 2103
    5 Willie Davis 104 1960 1979 20-39 2429
    6 Garry Maddox 101 1972 1986 22-36 1749
    7 Curt Flood 99 1956 1971 18-33 1759
    8 Tris Speaker 92 1907 1928 19-40 2790
    9 Lance Johnson 82 1987 2000 23-36 1447
    10 Gary Pettis 79 1982 1992 24-34 1183
    11 Richie Ashburn 76 1948 1962 21-35 2189
    12 Mike Cameron 72 1995 2011 22-38 1955
    13 Fielder Jones 70 1901 1915 29-43 1165
    14 Carlos Beltran 69 1998 2012 21-35 1919
    15 Michael Bourn 69 2006 2012 23-29 871
    16 Jim Busby 66 1950 1962 23-35 1352
    17 Tommie Agee 64 1962 1973 19-30 1130
    18 Bill Virdon 52 1955 1968 24-37 1583
    19 Dwayne Murphy 51 1978 1989 23-34 1360
    20 Joe DiMaggio 49 1936 1951 21-36 1736
    21 Carlos Gomez 47 2007 2012 21-26 676
    22 Austin Jackson 47 2010 2012 23-25 441
    23 Lenny Dykstra 45 1985 1996 22-33 1278
    24 Johnny Mostil 44 1918 1929 22-33 972
    25 Mike Kreevich 43 1931 1945 23-37 1241
    26 Jim Landis 41 1957 1967 23-33 1346
    27 Chris Young 38 2006 2012 22-28 885
    28 Jim Edmonds 37 1993 2010 23-40 2011
    29 Bill Bruton 37 1953 1964 27-38 1610
    30 Dom DiMaggio 37 1940 1953 23-36 1399
    31 Sam West 37 1927 1942 22-37 1753
    32 Peter Bourjos 34 2010 2012 23-25 299
    33 Willy Taveras 34 2004 2010 22-28 670
    34 Taylor Douthit 34 1923 1933 22-32 1074
    35 Bill North 32 1971 1981 23-33 1169
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 11/30/2012.

    .
    And, then, sort it by Fielding Runs/Game and you get this leader board:

    Rk Player Rfield From To Age G Rfield/G
    1 Peter Bourjos 34 2010 2012 23-25 299 0.1137
    2 Austin Jackson 47 2010 2012 23-25 441 0.1066
    3 Paul Blair 174 1964 1980 20-36 1947 0.0894
    4 Michael Bourn 69 2006 2012 23-29 871 0.0792
    5 Devon White 135 1985 2001 22-38 1941 0.0696
    6 Carlos Gomez 47 2007 2012 21-26 676 0.0695
    7 Gary Pettis 79 1982 1992 24-34 1183 0.0668
    8 Willie Mays 183 1951 1973 20-42 2992 0.0612
    9 Fielder Jones 70 1901 1915 29-43 1165 0.0601
    10 Garry Maddox 101 1972 1986 22-36 1749 0.0577
    11 Lance Johnson 82 1987 2000 23-36 1447 0.0567
    12 Tommie Agee 64 1962 1973 19-30 1130 0.0566
    13 Curt Flood 99 1956 1971 18-33 1759 0.0563
    14 Willy Taveras 34 2004 2010 22-28 670 0.0507
    15 Kenny Lofton 104 1991 2007 24-40 2103 0.0495
    16 Jim Busby 66 1950 1962 23-35 1352 0.0488
    17 Johnny Mostil 44 1918 1929 22-33 972 0.0453
    18 Chris Young 38 2006 2012 22-28 885 0.0429
    19 Willie Davis 104 1960 1979 20-39 2429 0.0428
    20 Dwayne Murphy 51 1978 1989 23-34 1360 0.0375
    21 Mike Cameron 72 1995 2011 22-38 1955 0.0368
    22 Carlos Beltran 69 1998 2012 21-35 1919 0.0360
    23 Lenny Dykstra 45 1985 1996 22-33 1278 0.0352
    24 Richie Ashburn 76 1948 1962 21-35 2189 0.0347
    25 Mike Kreevich 43 1931 1945 23-37 1241 0.0346
    26 Tris Speaker 92 1907 1928 19-40 2790 0.0330
    27 Bill Virdon 52 1955 1968 24-37 1583 0.0328
    28 Taylor Douthit 34 1923 1933 22-32 1074 0.0317
    29 Jim Landis 41 1957 1967 23-33 1346 0.0305
    30 Joe DiMaggio 49 1936 1951 21-36 1736 0.0282
    31 Bill North 32 1971 1981 23-33 1169 0.0274
    32 Dom DiMaggio 37 1940 1953 23-36 1399 0.0264
    33 Bill Bruton 37 1953 1964 27-38 1610 0.0230
    34 Sam West 37 1927 1942 22-37 1753 0.0211
    35 Jim Edmonds 37 1993 2010 23-40 2011 0.0184

    Hmmm…

    Are we looking at two of the best fielding CF, ever, today, in Peter Bourjos and Austin Jackson?

    Well, they’re on pace for that distinction, for sure. And, yes, Paul Blair could go get ‘em with anybody…

    Comments on The Greatest Fielding CF Of All-Time Is…

    1. Evan3457
      November 30th, 2012 | 10:07 pm

      Both very young at the start of their careers, and have not gone through their declining speed phase, as Blair and Willie have.

    2. Ben M.
      December 1st, 2012 | 9:37 am

      Just wondering… Is the “declining speed phase” the reason why Andruw Jones and Torii Hunter don’t appear on this list?

    3. December 1st, 2012 | 9:58 am

      @ Ben M.:
      Maybe because they were over-rated?

    4. BOHAN
      December 1st, 2012 | 11:30 am

      How is Griffey Jr. not on these lists????

    5. December 1st, 2012 | 11:34 am

      @ BOHAN:
      Either he was not that good or he didn’t play 80% of his games in CF.

    6. JeremyM
      December 1st, 2012 | 3:38 pm

      Griffey had a lot of years out in center field where he was dealing with knee problems and such (basically his entire run in Cincy). I can’t imagine there were many better in their prime but I don’t know. He seemed to rob homers all day long out there!

    7. December 1st, 2012 | 3:46 pm

      I think it’s the ESPN effect.
      Look at Edmonds. He’s good here. But, not near the top. Yet, the ESPN clips make him to be one of the best ever. Same thing could be going on with Griffey.

    8. Raf
      December 1st, 2012 | 4:37 pm

      I’m surprised not to see Steve Finley on this list either.

      Steve L. wrote:

      I think it’s the ESPN effect.
      Look at Edmonds. He’s good here. But, not near the top. Yet, the ESPN clips make him to be one of the best ever. Same thing could be going on with Griffey.

      To be fair, Griffey was also known more for his offense than his defense. Not saying he couldn’t play CF, just saying that his offense may have overshadowed his defense. With that said, I don’t remember seeing him featured much on ESPN (certainly not as much as Edmonds), other than maybe that catch he made on Barfield as well as the catch that broke his wrist in ’95, but that was a loooong time ago.

    9. #15
      December 2nd, 2012 | 7:10 am

      Here’s a story from Blair (firsthand)… His first day at minor league ball (drafted by the Mets), the manager tells the palyers to go to their positions. Blair (a SS at the time) looks over and there are 5 guys trotting out to short. He sees one guy kind of loafing his way out to right field and thinks to himself… “I can beat that guy.” That’s how Motormouth became an outfielder. He won eight Gold Gloves in CF, at a time when there was a lot less politics involved in the selections.

      Paul is a great guy. Really knows the whole game. His glory years were as an Oriole, but he’ll tell you…. the best thing that ever happened to him was getting a chance to play two years in NY… Because of that.. “I didn’t have to work for a living”. There were so many post-career opportunities to make some money at card shows, signings, functions, etc… The O’s on the other hand (until very recently), never called him to do anything… And he’s in their Hall of Fame.

    10. December 2nd, 2012 | 9:24 am

      @ #15:
      Nice – and, thanks for sharing that one!

    11. KPOcala
      December 10th, 2012 | 12:08 am

      @ Steve L.: Steve, too many players and managers say Jones was the best outfielder that they’d ever seen, so I think that he’s not there because of his decline phase, which probably happened so quickly because of his carrying twins for the last 6-7 years. Hunter may have been anointed because of the “espn effect”, although I’m sure he was great in his twenties.

    12. KPOcala
      December 10th, 2012 | 12:10 am

      Steve, I know you’ll get right on it. But, if you get bored, please consider running these numbers, with the limiting factor being the oldest player’s year is 29. I think the real talent would rise, before injuries, weight, and age take their tolls…….

    13. December 27th, 2013 | 9:03 am

      […] Blair was the greatest fielding center fielder of all-time. Sixty-nine is too young. This is very sad. He was, without question, a great baseball man. And, he […]

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