From Bath Ruth to Mike Trout, the MLB has seen players tear the cover of the ball for over a century. This article will pick the best at each position and put them into a batting order that would make pitchers wish they chose a different position.
1. CF Willie Mays
Willie Mays may be the greatest all-around player to ever play the game. The definition of a five-tool player Mays would terrorize pitchers as a lead-off hitter. He has the speed to scare any pitcher away from pitching around him and putting him on first.
Mays also has 660 career home runs, meaning he can start the game off with a bang if he needs to. A career .384 on-base percentage also isn’t too shabby for a lead-off hitter.
2. LF Barry Bonds
If you hate that Bonds is here you can make your own starting batting order. But the fact is, even without his steroid-era numbers, Bonds would still make this team.
Bonds would be protected in this spot, meaning he would see more pitches and most likely would dent outfield bleachers. If he doesn’t want to swing, he would be walking to first with the best eye at the plate of any player ever. Something I’m pretty sure steroids don’t help with.
3. DH Ted Williams
The greatest hitter of all time must be included in this lineup. Ted Williams is still the last person to hit for .400 in a season and has the highest on-base percentage ever with .482.
Williams also has the power to hit in the three-hole with 521 career home runs, which could have been way more if he didn’t serve three years in World War II. Overall, Williams would be able to protect Bonds and adds a nice lefty-to-lefty pair at the top of the order.
4. RF Babe Ruth
The only argument you can make for not having Babe Ruth in this lineup is if you blame the era he played in, which is something I’m not willing to do. Babe Ruth revolutionized the game of baseball and is still third all-time in home runs with 714.
Ruth also has the highest slugging percentage, OPS, an OPS+ in MLB history. So if you want to argue this selection please go somewhere else because his numbers are simply ridiculous.
5. 1B Lou Gehrig
Keeping the string of lefties going, Lou Gehrig slides in at the first base spot even though the video is hard to find, Gehrig had one of the prettiest swings of all time and had over a 1.000 OPS.
A career .447 OBP also adds to his value in the lineup and is a threat to pick up for the top four hitters, even though that won’t be necessary. Overall, Gehrig is the greatest first baseman of all time and needs to be in this spot.
6. 3B Mike Schmidt
In the history of the game, there may not be a more underrated player of all time than Mike Schmidt. He has the most home runs as a third baseman of all time and was a top 10 defensive player in his era.
Schmidt has the Power and aggression to punish pitchers overlooking the 6 spot if they can somehow make it past the top of the lineup.
7. SS Alex Rodriguez
Again there is no reason to leave A-Rod off this list. His numbers at the shortstop position, even before moving to third, are untouchable in the history of the MLB. Rodriguez is fifth all-time in home runs and has three career MVP trophies.
The young Rodriguez would also add speed on the bases making it dangerous for pitchers to pitch around him and try to get to the 8 and 9 guys.
8. C Johnny Bench
Piazza might be considered here for most, but Bench’s ability to come up clutch when needed breaks the tie for me. Bench was the first catcher to hit multiple 40 home run seasons, winning MVP in both years.
Bench also adds tremendous defensive value over Piazza, something that can be overlooked at other positions but not at catcher.
9. 2B Rogers Hornsby
The power numbers Hornsby had in an era before the home run was really even a thing is remarkable. For six straight years, he led the league in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, and OPS+.
Read that again and tell me someone else should be here that’s all I have to say on why Rogers Hornsby needs to be in this lineup.
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