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The Splash 11: Baseball’s GOAT at Each Position (Hub)

Welcome. Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be analyzing the cases of dozens of baseball players, trying to determine who would be the best starter at each position. 11 players will be selected, the nine usual positions plus a relief pitcher and a designated hitter, creating the Splash 11. 

What is the Splash 11?

The Splash 11 is my attempt to put the 11 best players onto a team. For generations, baseball fans have argued between players. For the Yankees, who was better DiMaggio or Mantle? Red Sox fans, would you take Clemens or Martinez? I aim to answer the age-old questions by using stats. Baseball is the rare sport that stats can paint in a clear light. As opposed to football or basketball, stats can reliably used to determine the better player. In terms of stats I will be using, rate stats will be the driving force. Traditionalists may prefer counting stats, but counting stats can often be accumulated because a player plays for 20 seasons.

OPS+ and ERA+ will be integral stats to the process. While normal OPS and ERA can fluctuate with era, OPS+ and ERA+ are adjusted based on the league at the time. Above 100 means the player is above average. Below 100 means the player is above average.

For accolades, they will not be the deciding factor in the selection process. In some cases, awards were not around for players to win. While it is impressive that Barry Bonds and Rogers Clemens won seven MVPs and Cy Youngs respectively, neither award has been around since the beginning of baseball. In lieu of using MVPs and Cy Youngs (among other awards), the aforementioned era-adjusted stats along with the help of rWAR and fWAR will help.

The Splash 11 will be determined by a handful of factors. Statistically speaking, each player must be dominant. While pure hitting will help, base-running and fielding will help some potential inclusions.

Positional Notes:

There will be no “shoe-horning” of players into the list. Legitimacy at a position will be determined based on the primary position a player played. For example, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams are ineligible for the designated hitter role. Outfielders will be split into three positions because defensive responsibilities are different. 

Preliminary cases will be made for six players at each position. In the future, other players will be added. In particular, it was difficult to choose just six starting pitchers, so the case will be made for more of them in the future.


Johnny Bench

Yogi Berra

Gary Carter

Carlton Fisk

Mike Piazza

Ivan Rodriguez

First Basemen:

Cap Anson

Jeff Bagwell

Miguel Cabrera

Jimmie FoxxArticle

Lou Gehrig

Albert Pujols

Second Basemen:

Rod Carew

Eddie Collins

Charlie Gehringer

Rogers Hornsby

Nap Lajoie

Joe Morgan

Third Basemen:

Adrian Beltre

Wade Boggs

George Brett

Chipper Jones

Eddie Mathews

Mike Schmidt


Ernie Banks

Derek Jeter

Cal Ripken Jr.

Alex Rodriguez

Honus WagnerArticle

Robin Yount

Left Fielders:

Barry Bonds

Rickey Henderson

Manny Ramirez

Pete Rose

Ted Williams

Carl Yastrzemski

Center Fielders:

Ty Cobb

Ken Griffey Jr.

Mickey Mantle

Willie Mays

Tris Speaker

Mike Trout

Right Fielders: 

Hank Aaron

Roberto Clemente

Stan Musial

Mel Ott

Frank Robinson

Babe Ruth

Designated Hitters:

Harold Baines

Jose Canseco

Travis Hafner

Edgar Martinez

David Ortiz

Frank Thomas

Starting Pitchers:

Roger Clemens

Walter Johnson

Clayton Kershaw

Greg MadduxArticle

Pedro MartinezArticle

Christy Mathewson

Relief Pitchers:

Dennis Eckersley

Trevor Hoffman

Craig Kimbrel

Mariano Rivera

Francisco Rodriguez

Lee Smith

As players are written about, links to the accompanying articles will be added.

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