Five best Right Fielders in baseball

Don’t ask me why, but the corner outfield slots do not hold my interest
nearly as much as the other positions that I have ranked.  As I made
clear yesterday, these types of rankings, these types of lists are my
favorite ways to blog my ideas/opinions.  It is more fun for me. 

But for some reason the corners aren’t quite as fulfilling…

The much anticipated rankings (even though my comments aren’t filling up as much as I would like :)…

  • Ichiro
    Suzuki:  I remember when Ichiro first hit the scene here in America. 
    And for some reason, I didn’t really like him all that much, on a
    personal level.  I guess maybe it was me rebelling in my own way
    against Ichiro’s greatness, but I never doubted that he was a good
    player.  Anyway, I was working at a local restaurant at the time, and
    after I said “I don’t really like him.”  A cook, Henry was his name,
    responded with, “What’s not to like?”  And there wasn’t much to
    dislike.  Ichiro is a very complete player.  What he fails to do in the
    power department, he makes up for by being the best defensive RF in
    baseball, hitting for high averages, and getting on base enough (mostly
    through hits and not walks).  Ichiro has batted .350 or higher on three
    different occasions, .372 one season.  And when I say Ichiro “lacks
    power” it isn’t lacking power in a sense that he hurts his team. 
    Ichiro’s career slugging percentage is still better than the league
    average over the time he has spent here in America.  Ichiro can also
    steal close to 40 bases a year without getting caught much at all.  So
    speaking of Ichiro as a player, what’s not to like?
  • Nick
    Markakis:  Markakis was tops amongst RF’s in WARP1 if my research is
    correct, in 2008.  He is only 24 and the Orioles have locked him up
    long-term.  OPS+’s of 106, 121, and 134 in his first three seasons in
    the Majors, and is only 24, so the improvement should continue. 
    Markakis may have been number one, but I felt that it was unfair to
    Ichiro, after all he has done, and is still capable of.  I do foresee
    the Baltimore RF overtaking Ichiro this season for the number one spot,
    if not this year then probably next.  But Justin Upton might interfere
    with that if he is what they say he is.
  • Alex Rios: 
    Rios is the real deal.  Alex struggled some early last season, but
    finished 11% better than the average hitter.  However, his OPS+’s of
    120 and 122 during the two seasons before that indicate that he is
    probably a better player hitter than that.  I firmly believe that he
    will bounce back.  And his defense has been great in his young career,
    and add in pretty good offense, too.
  • Magglio Ordonez:  Magglio had an incredible, and somewhat underrated year, at this point,
    during the 2007 season.  Magglio batted .363 and was the second best
    player in the league behind only Alex Rodriguez.  I know that Magglio
    is not that good.  That season is clearly an outlier and the
    surrounding years were not even close to that.  Rios is a much better
    fielder and makes the comparison between the third and fourth spots
    quite close.  And it may also prove my inconsistencies in my rankings. 
    But these aren’t exactly easy to do.  I could just run down a list of
    players in order of WARP1, but that would not really be fun, now would
    it?  So my apologies to Carl Crawford…
  • Vlad
    Guerrero:  Guerrero isn’t what he used to be.  But he isn’t worthy of
    being benched either.  Guerrero is still a very good hitter, but his
    days of being a great player are no longer.  Vlad still swings as hard
    as anyone, and as much as anyone.  Vlad still avoids taking walks.  But
    he still hits for power, average, and gets on base enough.  He would be
    better served as being the Angels DH, but so wouldn’t Abreu.  So the
    Angels will probably rotate a few players in and out of that spot.  But
    Abreu doesn’t have any question marks with his health, Vlad does and
    has.  So having Abreu’s defense, which is worse, may be better if Vlad
    is banged up again in 2008.  Of course, Vlad is a better defender, but
    it isn’t like we are talking about Ichiro-esque defense here. 


  1. joefromnewhampshire

    Well, it was just an opinion. Formulate your own from gathering research and opinions of others πŸ™‚

  2. mikeeff

    sentimental the other day–now unfair to ichiro–you’re getting soft man.

    i’d take markakis over anyone . now i’m just curious, but today you take defense into account when discussing your RF guys…but when LF came up it was all manny and offense. lets have a little consistency please.

  3. raysrenegade

    Perfect list there.

    you got the guys who can hit, crush the ball, and mow down runners at the plate……….triple crown of right fielders. I wonder if Ichiro will get a shot at the Baseball Hall of Fame after his career. You have to think that the baseball writers might have a doubt in their minds since he played so many years in Japan.

    Alex Rio just has to finally take that last step to want to be a top guy. He is that good, but seems to shy away from it just as he pokes his head out of the hole. Markakis and Ordonez can both be 4-tool guys without a doubt. Markakis will be in Charm City for a while, but Magglio might be in pinstripes in 2010.

    And Vlad………..the name says it all. impales the ball and send a dagger through base runners hearts.

    Awesome list…………great blog information.

    Rays Renegade

  4. joefromnewhampshire

    Well if someone said you can have Markakis or Ichiro in 2009, then I too would choose Markakis. I am trying to find a line between offense and defense. Magglio and Vlad aren’t exactly great with the glove…Plus I just wrote my defense, defense, defense thing, nad have found that WARP1 is a lot better than “OPS+ + defensive guestimation” πŸ™‚

  5. joefromnewhampshire

    Thanks, raysrenegade. RF was a little easier to at least choose the top 5 in my opinion. I was leery as to whether or not I picked the RIGHT top 5 in LF. Maybe the order could be different on this list, but I like to think I have the right guys.

  6. kozmo

    Not only do I think Ichiro is the best RF in the game, I think he’s a Hall of Famer. I saw Ichiro throw out Magglio Ordonez (tagging from third) at the plate in 2007 from fairly deep right–a throw on the fly that had Maggio so dead to rights, he didn’t even slide. Now I know Magglio isn’t the swiftest runner, but Ichiro was deep, and he made it look easy; Magglio was out by 8 feet. I also saw him peg out Vlad going from first to third from fairly deep right years ago. There’s no one in the game like Ichiro–speed, great hitting, defensive prowess. The guy has Cooperstown written all over him.

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