Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Berkman Ranks Among Alltime Great Switch Hitters

Lance Berkman revived his career this past season in St. Louis and played a big role in helping the Cardinals win their 11th championship. Its also safe to say that Berkman has been one of the best switch hitters to ever play the game. I'm not sure if he'll make the Hall of Fame, but with another good year or two he might.

As of right now Berkman has the 2nd best Slugging Pct. and On Base Pct. of all switch hitters behind Mickey Mantle. He also has the 4th most HRs for switch hitters with 358 behind Mantle, Eddie Murray, and Chipper Jones. He's also had some of the best individual seasons of any switch hitter besides Mantle or Chipper Jones. I would say Berkman is close to being in the top five best switch hitters of alltime, if he isn't there already.

Here's my rankings, considering only hitting(not defense or baserunning)

  Player                      Years            Key Stat(s)
1) Mickey Mantle       1951-68    Most HR by a switch hitter career(536) and single season(56)
2) Chipper Jones        1993-        2nd in BA(.304), 3rd in HR(454), and 2nd in RBI(1561) for switch hitters
3) Eddie Murray         1977-97    2nd in HR(504), 1st in RBI(1917), 2nd in hits(3255) for switch hitters
4) Pete Rose               1963-86    Most hits by any hitter with 4256, 5752 Total Bases, 2165 Runs Scored
5) Lance Berkman      1999-         One of three switch hitters to post an OPS over 1.000 in a season
6) Roberto Alomar      1988-04    5th most hits(2724) and 5th most total bases(4018) among switch hitters
7) Frank Frisch           1919-37     Best career BA among switch hitters with .316, former Cardinal
8) Tim Raines              1979-02    Won a batting title in Montreal, 4th most runs(1571) for switch hitters
9) Bernie Williams       1991-06    Big player in the Yankees dynasty, hit over .300 eight seasons in a row
10) Carlos Beltran       1998-        Has 9 100 RBI seasons, 5th best career SLG pct among switch hitters

Other Notable Switch Hitters
Chili Davis              
Ozzie Smith
Reggie Smith
Ted Simmons
Bobby Bonilla
Ruben Sierra
Mark Teixeira
Victor Martinez
Omar Vizquel
Willie McGee
George Davis
Jimmy Rollins
Max Carey
Tony Fernandez
Terry Pendleton
Red Schoendienst
Jose Reyes
Willie Wilson
Devon White

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