Reverend Redbird

Preaching the Gospel of St. Louis Cardinal Baseball

One 1000, Two 1000

Posted by The Right Reverend on April 22, 2006

The last two games have had some exciting milestones, first Carpenter's 1000th K, then tonight Albert's 1000th hit came via the long ball. If you haven't already heard this a thousand times already, Albert has tied Todd Helton for the 2nd fastest to reach 1000 hits, needing only 3,003 at bats to get there. (Whew! That was a lot of thousands!)

What's also amazing is the recent home run tear Albert is on. Albert has already topped Mark McGwire for the most home runs hit by a Cardinal in the month of April, and there are still nine games left in the month, all in Albert's new favorite playground.  Albert thus far has homered once in every 5.27 at bats. To put it in prospective, Barry Bonds went yard in every 6.52 at bats in 2001. There is no way am I saying Albert will keep up this insane pace and break the record, but I did have a hunch that this is the year Pujols hits 50, and it looks like he's well on his way.

Jimmy is looking like he's back to his old self, going deep two games in a row now. Joe Sheehan had an article at Baseball Prospectus about Edmonds and his potential to make the Hall of Fame. It's a free article, so be sure to check it out. The gist of the article is that Jimmy has a pretty impressive resume-

  • Edmonds has been the best center fielder in the game since 2000.
  • He's had some impressive postseasons, including one of the most memorable home runs in the postseason in Cardinal history.
  • He's played very well way past his prime. Sheehan says we've yet to see his decline, but I think we've begun to see it last year, though it wasn't steep.
  • 8 Gold Gloves certainly help.
  • Though he's never won the MVP, he's had 5 or 6 MVP caliber seasons, including one heck of a 2004.

Whether or not Edmonds belongs in the Hall is certainly debatable, but he's still got time to create more of a compelling argument for himself. He is in my opinion the best Cardinal center fielder ever. Going on his seventh season in St. Louis, Edmonds' OPS+ has been 148,150,163,161,173 and 136. Edmonds has won the Gold Glove every one of those seasons. (Though some of the GG's are debatable.) He's created 8.5 runs per 27 outs over that span, providing superior offense compared to any Cardinal center fielder overall. (Though Lankford certainly had some very nice and often overlooked seasons, most notably '98-'99. And of course Willie had '85) 

In my opinion, the top 5 Cardinal center fielders of all time are:

  1. Jim Edmonds
  2. Ray Lankford
  3. Willie McGee
  4. Curt Flood
  5. Pepper Martin

15 Responses to “One 1000, Two 1000”

  1. Murrel said

    If I remember correctly, you’re an old timer too, so I think you must have seen Flood play – and I just can’t imagine picking Lankford or McGee over him. Flood was a great center fielder and could hit and run also. Pepper Martin was before my time but I thought he spent most his playing time at 3B.

  2. Nah, I'm no old timer, I'm only 26. But I wish I could go back and see Flood play, because I heard his glove was simply outstanding. My rankings are largely based on offensive output. People talk about how Flood was underrated from the older generation, and I guess my generation talks about how under appreciated Lankford was. If you like Flood, noted blogger/sportswriter Alex Belth just wrote a bio on him. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of it as soon as I can.

    BTW, Pepper played 429 games at 3rd, and 613 in the outfield. Out of those 613 games, 314 were in CF and 273 were in RF. So he's number 5. Plus, with a nickname like "The Wild Horse of Osage", how could you go wrong? Had I emphasized defense more, Terry Moore would've certainly made the list, and Flood might've made the 2 spot.

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