ALL-TIME PLAYER RANKINGS

The Top 100 Shortstops of All-Time

Rankings

#1.  Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez

Years: 1994-2016        Primary Team: Seattle Mariners

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
323.9 117.7 64.3 29.2 91.0 642.1 55.7 24.8 140

After adjustments for era, competitive balance, and contributions to pennant-winning teams, ARod, Ripken, and Wagner are very close. One could argue that my adjustment for era penalizes Wagner too much. But then again, it's difficult to believe that the greatest shortstop in baseball history ended his career before World War I concluded. ARod's hitting exploits (natural and unnatural) were so great that they obscure his ability as a defender. He was quick and had excellent feet for a bigger man. The Yankees insisted on moving him to third base, which was silly, but necessary to mollify Derek Jeter's ego. You could rank Ripken ahead of ARod and it wouldn't look ridiculous. But Wagner, having not faced all the best players, having spent half his career playing the outfield and elsewhere, and having played in an era when the difference between the best players and the average players was so large, his stats are inflated. After our adjustments, ARod comes out slightly ahead among this trio.

#2.  Cal Ripken Jr.

Cal Ripken Jr.

Years: 1981-2001        Primary Team: Baltimore Orioles

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
322.7 95.5 56.0 29.6 75.8 196.8 -4.8 180.7 112

#3.  Honus Wagner

Honus Wagner

Years: 1897-1917        Primary Team: Pittsburgh Pirates

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
301.7 130.6 65.2 30.9 97.9 639.2 33.5 85.0 151

#4.  Pee Wee Reese

Pee Wee Reese

Years: 1940-1958        Primary Team: Brooklyn Dodgers

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
272.8 66.4 40.7 19.0 53.6 31.3 42.9 117.0 99

#5.  Arky Vaughan

Arky Vaughan

Years: 1932-1948        Primary Team: Pittsburgh Pirates

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
268.2 72.9 50.7 25.5 61.8 362.8 -7.4 21.0 136

#6.  Robin Yount

Robin Yount

Years: 1974-1993        Primary Team: Milwaukee Brewers

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
262.4 77.0 47.2 24.8 62.1 232.9 56.7 -47.5 115

#7.  Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter

Years: 1995-2014        Primary Team: New York Yankees

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
259.0 71.8 42.3 22.1 57.1 353.1 56.0 -246. 115

#8.  Ozzie Smith

Ozzie Smith

Years: 1978-1996        Primary Team: St. Louis Cardinals

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
256.9 76.5 42.3 20.3 59.4 -116. 79.3 238.7 87

#9.  Ernie Banks

Ernie Banks

Years: 1953-1971        Primary Team: Chicago Cubs

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
253.2 67.4 51.8 27.7 59.6 255.5 -6.9 55.0 122

#10.  Luke Appling

Luke Appling

Years: 1930-1950        Primary Team: Chicago White Sox

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
247.9 74.5 43.9 21.3 59.2 234.0 -0.1 41.0 113

#11.  Alan Trammell

Alan Trammell

Years: 1977-1996        Primary Team: Detroit Tigers

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
244.7 70.4 44.6 21.5 57.5 132.4 24.9 76.8 110

#12.  Barry Larkin

Barry Larkin

Years: 1986-2004        Primary Team: Cincinnati Reds

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
239.9 70.2 43.1 20.3 56.7 200.2 80.2 17.7 116

#13.  Lou Boudreau

Lou Boudreau

Years: 1938-1952        Primary Team: Cleveland Indians

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
236.0 63.0 48.9 26.4 56.0 193.0 -6.8 118.0 120

#14.  Joe Cronin

Joe Cronin

Years: 1926-1945        Primary Team: Boston Red Sox

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
219.3 66.4 44.0 22.5 55.2 241.9 -4.1 28.0 119

#15.  Phil Rizzuto

Phil Rizzuto

Years: 1941-1956        Primary Team: New York Yankees

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
215.6 40.8 33.8 17.7 37.3 -29.9 15.7 115.5 93

#16.  Bert Campaneris

Bert Campaneris

Years: 1964-1983        Primary Team: Mustache Gang

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
195.8 53.0 36.7 17.9 44.9 -71.0 57.5 62.7 89

#17.  Jim Fregosi

Jim Fregosi

Years: 1961-1978        Primary Team: California Angels

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
190.1 48.7 40.9 21.1 44.8 138.8 9.4 3.0 113

#18.  Luis Aparicio

Luis Aparicio

Years: 1956-1973        Primary Team: Chicago White Sox

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
187.7 55.7 32.6 15.5 44.2 -197. 91.4 148.6 82

#19.  Nomar Garciaparra

Nomar Garciaparra

Years: 1996-2009        Primary Team: Boston Red Sox

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
187.1 44.2 43.1 21.3 43.7 188.9 0.4 15.2 124

#20.  Troy Tulowitzki

Troy Tulowitzki

Years: 2006-2017        Primary Team: The Rox

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
181.4 43.8 40.2 20.0 42.0 114.3 -1.5 96.0 118

#21.  Joe Sewell

Joe Sewell

Years: 1920-1933        Primary Team: Cleveland Indians

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
176.6 53.7 37.5 18.9 45.6 149.7 -1.8 -4.0 108

#22.  Johnny Pesky

Johnny Pesky

Years: 1942-1954        Primary Team: Boston Red Sox

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
176.1 31.8 31.1 16.3 31.5 78.8 8.5 16.6 107

#23.  Dave Bancroft

Dave Bancroft

Years: 1915-1930        Primary Team: Philadelphia Phillies

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
175.4 48.5 37.2 20.1 42.9 14.7 -7.5 93.0 98

#24.  Cecil Travis

Cecil Travis

Years: 1933-1947        Primary Team: Washington Senators

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
174.5 29.5 28.2 16.2 28.9 79.7 -4.7 5.0 108

#25.  Al Dark

Al Dark

Years: 1946-1960        Primary Team: New York Giants

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
170.5 43.0 33.0 16.9 38.0 -10.7 11.9 33.4 98

#26.  Jimmy Rollins

Jimmy Rollins

Years: 2000-2016        Primary Team: Philadelphia Phillies

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
168.7 46.0 32.4 16.4 39.2 -40.9 67.5 30.5 95

#27.  Maury Wills

Maury Wills

Years: 1959-1972        Primary Team: Los Angeles Dodgers

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
168.3 39.6 29.7 15.5 34.7 -90.1 54.7 0.4 88

#28.  Art Fletcher

Art Fletcher

Years: 1909-1922        Primary Team: New York Giants

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
166.6 47.0 36.8 18.9 41.9 0.8 -3.9 144.0 100

The best "old" shortstops were Wagner, Ozzie Smith, George Davis, Pee Wee Reese, Bobby Wallace, Barry Larkin, and Art Fletcher. That's based on WAR from the age of 31 to 37. Fletcher didn't get a starting job until he was 27 because he was stuck behind Al Bridwell, another very good defensive shortstop. John McGraw had the prescience to realize that Fletcher was a star and for several years he was the best all-around shortstop in the National League, in the stretch between the Giants two dynasties. Fletcher's range factors are nearly off the charts, he was slightly better with the glove than Dave Bancroft, the Hall of Fame shortstop who came along about that same time, and for whom an aging Fletcher was traded during the 1920 season.

#29.  Joe Tinker

Joe Tinker

Years: 1902-1916        Primary Team: Chicago Cubs

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
164.6 53.2 33.1 17.0 43.2 -37.4 9.5 180.0 96

Only five players in baseball history have accumulated 30 WAR on both offense and defense. There's the three great Orioles' infielders: Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken Jr., and Luis Aparicio, then there's Ozzie Smith. Finally, there's Joe Tinker, the only one of the five who earned more defensive WAR than offensive WAR. Tinker was the best of the three players in the famed Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance double play combo that led the Cubs to four pennants from 1906-1910. All three rank well at their positions: Tinker at #29, Evers at #30, and Chance at #32 among first basemen. That's excellent considering they played over 100 years ago.

#30.  Tony Fernandez

Tony Fernandez

Years: 1983-2001        Primary Team: Toronto Blue Jays

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
160.6 45.1 30.4 14.5 37.8 22.9 -2.5 31.5 101

#31.  Mark Belanger

Mark Belanger

Years: 1965-1982        Primary Team: The O's

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
159.2 41.0 31.9 16.1 36.5 -219. 16.0 241.0 68

#32.  Vern Stephens

Vern Stephens

Years: 1941-1955        Primary Team: St. Louis Browns

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
158.3 45.5 33.6 17.6 39.6 151.5 5.2 -0.6 119

#33.  Travis Jackson

Travis Jackson

Years: 1922-1936        Primary Team: New York Giants

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
155.9 44.0 35.2 16.6 39.6 6.8 -0.9 139.0 102

#34.  Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez

Years: 2005-2017        Primary Team: Florida Marlins

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
155.7 37.6 34.9 19.4 36.3 224.5 20.7 -113. 125

#35.  Rico Petrocelli

Rico Petrocelli

Years: 1963-1976        Primary Team: Boston Red Sox

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
155.2 39.1 33.1 19.7 36.1 55.2 -10. 66.7 108

#36.  Omar Vizquel

Omar Vizquel

Years: 1989-2012        Primary Team: Cleveland Indians

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
153.8 45.3 26.7 13.5 36.0 -244. -1.0 128.0 82

#37.  Dave Concepcion

Dave Concepcion

Years: 1970-1988        Primary Team: Cincinnati Reds

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
151.2 39.8 29.8 14.8 34.8 -120. 20.1 51.8 88

#38.  Julio Franco

Julio Franco

Years: 1982-2007        Primary Team: Cleveland Indians

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
148.3 43.4 30.7 18.3 37.1 155.8 16.9 -42.3 111

#39.  Dick Groat

Dick Groat

Years: 1952-1967        Primary Team: Pittsburgh Pirates

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
147.7 36.7 29.8 17.7 33.3 -98.4 3.3 47.5 89

#40.  Dick Bartell

Dick Bartell

Years: 1927-1946        Primary Team: Phillies

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
147.6 40.2 29.7 17.0 35.0 -23.6 -6.0 40.0 96

#41.  Miguel Tejada

Miguel Tejada

Years: 1997-2013        Primary Team: Oakland A's

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
146.5 46.9 36.6 18.8 41.8 101.9 11.1 -47.5 108

#42.  Rafael Furcal

Rafael Furcal

Years: 2000-2014        Primary Team: Atlanta Braves

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
146.3 39.1 30.0 15.6 34.6 -17.9 52.3 67.0 96

#43.  Roger Peckinpaugh

Roger Peckinpaugh

Years: 1910-1927        Primary Team: New York Highlanders

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
143.2 45.0 29.0 14.9 37.0 -115. 6.9 100.0 86

#44.  Jay Bell

Jay Bell

Years: 1986-2003        Primary Team: Pirates

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
143.2 36.9 30.1 16.5 33.5 33.0 5.3 -12.6 101

#45.  Donie Bush

Donie Bush

Years: 1908-1923        Primary Team: Detroit Tigers

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
141.6 39.3 33.7 17.7 36.5 -40.1 7.0 -34.0 91

#46.  Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes

Years: 2003-2017        Primary Team: New York Mets

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
140.0 36.7 29.1 15.7 32.9 53.5 53.9 -77.0 104

#47.  Rabbit Maranville

Rabbit Maranville

Years: 1912-1935        Primary Team: Boston Braves

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
139.4 42.8 30.4 14.8 36.6 -228. 4.0 130.0 82

#48.  John Valentin

John Valentin

Years: 1992-2002        Primary Team: The Sawx

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
138.1 32.5 31.3 18.3 31.9 63.3 -2.8 79.1 109

#49.  Bobby Wallace

Bobby Wallace

Years: 1901-1918        Primary Team: St. Louis Browns

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
137.1 70.1 41.7 20.1 55.9 67.1 -13. 133.0 105

#50.  Johnny Logan

Johnny Logan

Years: 1951-1963        Primary Team: Boston Braves

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
135.9 32.7 29.4 15.6 31.1 -27.4 8.4 57.1 94

#51.  Eddie Joost

Eddie Joost

Years: 1936-1955        Primary Team: CIN-BSN-PHA-BOS

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
135.3 30.7 27.2 16.9 29.0 18.0 -3.1 4.8 99

#52.  Marty Marion

Marty Marion

Years: 1940-1953        Primary Team: St. Louis Cardinals

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
127.9 31.6 26.1 13.7 28.9 -140. -1.3 130.0 81

#53.  Freddy Parent

Freddy Parent

Years: 1901-1911        Primary Team: The Sox

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
125.8 35.9 32.2 17.9 34.1 6.5 -4.7 70.0 99

In the 1903 "World's Series" between Boston and Pittsburg, Parent outplayed the opposing shortstop, Honus Wagner. He had three triples and four RBIs in Boston's victory over the favored National League Pirates. Parent was a well-educated French-Canadian who teamed with second baseman Hobe Ferris and first baseman Candy LaChance to form a famous double play combo for Boston in the early 20th century.

#54.  Edgar Renteria

Edgar Renteria

Years: 1996-2011        Primary Team: Florida Marlins

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
125.2 32.1 25.5 13.9 28.8 -35.1 21.0 -21.2 94

The most hits through age 25 by a shortstop are by Alex Rodriguez (1,167), and second is Robin Yount with 1,153. Renteria was third with 1,061. But when his career was over he had just 2,327 total hits, and only 142 after the age of 32. He delivered two historic hits in the postseason: the single in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game Seven to win the 1997 World Series; and a three-run homer in Game Five of the 2010 World Series that staked the Giants to their first championship in San Francisco.

#55.  Scott Fletcher

Scott Fletcher

Years: 1981-1995        Primary Team: Chicago White Sox

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
125.0 32.0 27.1 13.6 29.6 -68.6 7.6 100.5 85

#56.  Andrelton Simmons

Andrelton Simmons

Years: 2012-2017        Primary Team: Atlanta Braves

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
123.2 28.6 27.7 17.5 28.2 -28.8 0.3 163.0 90

#57.  Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus

Years: 2009-2017        Primary Team: Texas Rangers

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
118.1 28.8 25.8 12.6 27.3 -54.7 36.5 20.0 89

#58.  Terry Turner

Terry Turner

Years: 1901-1919        Primary Team: Cleveland Indians

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
117.2 38.2 28.6 17.2 33.4 -68.6 4.3 102.0 89

#59.  Bill Russell

Bill Russell

Years: 1969-1986        Primary Team: LA Dodgers

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
115.3 31.2 21.3 10.9 26.3 -155. 22.9 72.4 83

#60.  Carlos Guillen

Carlos Guillen

Years: 1998-2011        Primary Team: Detroit Tigers

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
114.7 27.7 24.2 13.9 26.0 82.4 2.3 -36.8 111

#61.  Jose Valentin

Jose Valentin

Years: 1992-2007        Primary Team: MIL-CHW-LAD-NYM

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
114.3 31.6 25.2 12.8 28.4 -63.6 23.9 61.6 96

#62.  Chris Speier

Chris Speier

Years: 1971-1989        Primary Team: San Francisco Giants

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
113.9 30.6 22.5 13.3 26.6 -95.1 -24. 32.5 88

#63.  Denis Menke

Denis Menke

Years: 1962-1974        Primary Team: Atlanta Braves

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
111.9 28.1 23.3 13.8 25.7 37.8 -5.2 -30.5 103

#64.  J.J. Hardy

J.J. Hardy

Years: 2005-2017        Primary Team: Milwaukee Brewers

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
111.8 28.2 24.4 12.7 26.3 -78.5 -8.9 88.0 90

#65.  Solly Hemus

Solly Hemus

Years: 1949-1959        Primary Team: St. Louis Cardinals

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
111.4 25.5 25.4 16.5 25.5 74.2 1.7 22.1 115

#66.  Billy Jurges

Billy Jurges

Years: 1931-1947        Primary Team: Chicago Cubs

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
111.0 30.7 22.9 12.5 26.8 -140. -0.1 113.0 82

#67.  Roy Smalley

Roy Smalley

Years: 1975-1987        Primary Team: His uncle's team

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
110.9 27.8 23.8 13.6 25.8 26.0 -5.0 -10.0 103

#68.  Ray Chapman

Ray Chapman

Years: 1912-1920        Primary Team: Cleveland Indians

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
110.2 29.0 27.2 15.9 28.1 52.3 14.4 -26.0 111

#69.  Ron Hansen

Ron Hansen

Years: 1958-1972        Primary Team: Baltimore Orioles

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
109.7 24.1 25.9 16.2 25.0 -43.2 -4.7 85.0 92

#70.  Garry Templeton

Garry Templeton

Years: 1976-1991        Primary Team: San Diego Padres

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
109.3 27.6 23.6 12.4 25.6 -151. 5.6 28.8 87

#71.  Leo Cardenas

Leo Cardenas

Years: 1960-1975        Primary Team: Cincinnati Reds

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
108.8 27.3 23.2 13.6 25.3 -116. -16. 30.9 88

#72.  Kid Elberfeld

Kid Elberfeld

Years: 1901-1914        Primary Team: Washington Nats

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
108.5 32.9 25.9 13.8 29.4 65.0 -6.9 -7.0 105

#73.  Jack Barry

Jack Barry

Years: 1908-1919        Primary Team: Philadelphia A's

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
107.3 25.9 24.6 13.5 25.3 -44.1 -1.8 49.0 88

#74.  Gene Alley

Gene Alley

Years: 1963-1973        Primary Team: Pittsburgh Pirates

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
106.7 24.4 24.3 15.4 24.4 -57.9 5.8 58.3 88

#75.  Yunel Escobar

Yunel Escobar

Years: 2007-2017        Primary Team: Toronto Blue Jays

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
106.4 26.7 23.2 12.4 25.0 34.7 -3.1 -8.0 101

#76.  Mike Bordick

Mike Bordick

Years: 1990-2003        Primary Team: Oakland A's

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
105.1 26.8 22.4 12.3 24.6 -116. -9.6 68.2 83

#77.  Glenn Wright

Glenn Wright

Years: 1924-1935        Primary Team: Pirates

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
104.6 25.3 24.4 15.2 24.9 -19.7 0.1 71.0 99

#78.  Jhonny Peralta

Jhonny Peralta

Years: 2003-2017        Primary Team: Cleveland Indians

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
104.6 31.3 26.8 14.5 29.1 30.9 -26. -17.0 102

#79.  Greg Gagne

Greg Gagne

Years: 1983-1997        Primary Team: Minnesota Twins

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
104.5 26.3 21.4 11.2 23.9 -125. -8.5 82.6 83

#80.  Billy Rogell

Billy Rogell

Years: 1925-1940        Primary Team: Tigers

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
104.4 23.7 24.5 15.3 24.1 -108. -5.2 60.0 85

#81.  Dickie Thon

Dickie Thon

Years: 1979-1993        Primary Team: Houston Astros

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
102.0 23.9 22.0 15.7 23.0 -21.5 9.7 6.6 95

Thon was struck in the face by a pitch from Mike Torrez in the first week of the 1984 season, suffering a broken orbital bone. He rushed back to play on opening day the following year but it became obvious that he had serious troubles picking up the baseball at the plate. He missed a full month in '85 and then played sporadically. He tried to regain his form for the next few years but was never the same. He managed to play nine seasons after the gruesome injury but he was only a shell of his former self. How good was Thon before the beaning? In 1982-83 he was the best all-around shortstop in the National League. For those two seasons he posted a WAR of 6.1 and 7.4 for Houston. He was an All-Star, a Silver Slugger winner, and he finished seventh in MVP voting in '83. He was compared to Robin Yount, Cal Ripken, and Alan Trammell. Those three are in the Hall of Fame now, and at the time in the mid-1980s, Thon compared favorably to Trammell, was a much better hitter than Ozzie, and he had the power to hit home runs like Ripken, though Thon toiled in the spacious Astrodome.

Only 27 shortstops have ever had two or more seasons with a WAR of 6.1 or higher. Thon did it before he was 26 years old but never had a (healthy) chance to fill in the rest of the ledger. He never had the really good or good seasons (4 to 5.5 WAR) that those other shortstops had. As a result, Thon's third best year is 2.2 WAR and plummets from there. The other 27 shortstops who had at least two seasons as Thon did are all on this list, the lowest ranked is #53 (Freddy Parent). There's no guarantee that Thon had reached his peak before the injury, he could have pushed the bar higher. I think he was a better than Parent and Julio Franco and probably better than Miguel Tejada. He might have been able to jump ahead of such career-guys like Omar Vizquel and Dave Concepcion, and it's possible Dickie Thon might have been a top 20 Hall of Fame type shortstop had he been able to get out of the way of that fastball.

#82.  Asdrubal Cabrera

Asdrubal Cabrera

Years: 2007-2017        Primary Team: Indians

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
101.9 25.9 21.5 12.5 23.7 49.3 3.8 -47.0 106

Cabrera was a natural shortstop but the Indians moved him to second base in his rookie season because they had Jhonny Peralta (#78 on this list) at short. A few years later, Cabrera pushed Peralta to third and hit over .300 with 42 doubles and 17 stolen bases as a 23-year old. Those doubles started to turn into homers a few years later, but Cabrera fell in love with the power stroke at the expense of all else. His defense was never anything to write back to Venezuela about, and even though he still had a starting job as of 2018 with the Mets, Cabrera's not likely to move much further up the list.

#83.  Erick Aybar

Erick Aybar

Years: 2006-2017        Primary Team: Angels

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
100.3 23.8 23.0 12.4 23.4 -76.5 28.5 -4.0 89

#84.  Juan Uribe

Juan Uribe

Years: 2001-2016        Primary Team: White Sox, Giants, and almost every other team

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
98.5 23.8 21.1 12.1 22.5 -116. -8.9 82.1 87

Juan Uribe is an example of how a player can have several flaws in his game yet still manage to play a long time and earn close to $60 million. How did he do it? By having two valuable strengths: 1) Uribe was a very good glove man at shortstop, and 2) he could hit home runs now and again at a rate higher than most players at his position. But the Dominican had many flaws, namely: he had poor judgment on the base paths and was terrible at stealing bases; he hardly ever met a pitch he wouldn't swing at, and often missed pitches, striking out a lot while not getting on base at a very good rate. He was also notoriously streaky and he was a bad hitter on the road, his home/road splits are some of the most severe in history (.779 OPS at home, .659 on the road). Uribe had one of the best arms at short of his generation, and despite a pot-belly physique, he was quick at getting into the hole and covering ground in the middle of the diamond. He helped the White Sox, Giants, and Mets get to the World Series in a 16-year career spent with seven teams.

#85.  Roy McMillan

Roy McMillan

Years: 1951-1966        Primary Team: Cincinnati Redlegs

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
96.9 25.6 20.0 10.7 22.8 -221. -9.0 93.0 72

#86.  Jack Wilson

Jack Wilson

Years: 2001-2012        Primary Team: The Bucs

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
96.5 23.5 21.0 12.7 22.3 -148. 2.8 141.2 76

#87.  Marco Scutaro

Marco Scutaro

Years: 2002-2014        Primary Team: The A's

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
96.0 22.2 21.1 12.6 21.7 -13.0 7.4 -14.8 95

#88.  Charlie Hollocher

Charlie Hollocher

Years: 1918-1924        Primary Team: Chicago Cubs

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
95.9 23.2 23.2 14.1 23.2 52.3 -17. 37.0 110

In his first five seasons, Hollocher did lots of amazing things, including leading the Cubs to the pennant as a rookie in 1918 when he led the NL in hits and total bases. In his sixth season he was hitting .342 when he left the team in August due to a mysterious stomach ailment and exhaustion. He did not report to spring training the following year, failing to respond to inquiries from Chicago. Hollocher came back to the team in mid-May and in his first start hit a home run and had three hits. He went on a tear for about two weeks, but then he started feeling ill again. He pushed on through the summer, but after going hitless in a doubleheader on August 20, 1924, he left the team, never to play baseball again. Hollocher was suffering from chronic depression, and sadly (as is frequently the case) it was never treated properly. In 1940, almost exactly 16 years after his final big league game, Hollocher's dead body was found in his automobile, he had shot himself in the throat. He was dead at the age of 44. Hollocher probably would have been a Hall of Fame shortstop. He was entering his prime years when his affliction caused him to leave baseball, and he already had close to 900 hits and a .304 batting average. He probably could have won a batting title or two and he was a 200-hits-a-year type of guy.

#89.  Woody English

Woody English

Years: 1927-1938        Primary Team: Chicago Cubs

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
95.6 24.8 21.2 13.1 23.0 -15.8 -3.8 46.0 95

English stepped into the void at shortstop for the Cubs that was left by the abrupt retirement of Charlie Hollocher. He was a relatively average offensive player other than two good seasons in 1930-31 when the entire league was hitting .300 and runs were scoring like crazy. Early in his career, English was an excellent defensive shortstop, leading the National League in assists and putouts three times. His range was pretty good but it was his (large) sure hands and his strong throwing arm that helped him stand out among his peers. Later in his career he showed off his strong arm at third base. He was roommate to Rogers Hornsby, who gave him hitting tips, but other than 1930 and 1931, when he topped 200 hits each season, those tips did him little good.

#90.  Freddie Patek

Freddie Patek

Years: 1968-1981        Primary Team: Kansas City Royals

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
95.4 24.1 20.2 10.8 22.2 -155. 45.7 15.2 79

#91.  Larry Bowa

Larry Bowa

Years: 1970-1985        Primary Team: Philadelphia Phillies

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
95.3 22.6 21.5 12.1 22.1 -305. 41.0 30.0 71

#92.  Rick Burleson

Rick Burleson

Years: 1974-1987        Primary Team: Boston Red Sox

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
95.2 22.6 21.2 11.9 21.9 -85.8 -2.1 47.2 87

#93.  Chico Carrasquel

Chico Carrasquel

Years: 1950-1959        Primary Team: Chicago White Sox

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
94.5 21.2 22.5 12.9 21.9 -84.6 -1.0 62.3 82

#94.  Frankie Crosetti

Frankie Crosetti

Years: 1932-1948        Primary Team: New York Yankees

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
93.9 23.9 19.1 10.5 21.5 -136. 2.3 43.0 83

Crosetti was looked after by double play partner Tony Lazzeri, who treated the young shortstop like a little brother. Both players hailed from the San Francisco bay area, as did Yankee center fielder Joe DiMaggio. The trio were lifelong friends. When Crosetti joined the Yanks in the 1930s they were a quiet team that let their play on the field do their talking for them. But the young shortstop was fiery and enthusiastic and soon earned the nickname "Crow" for his chatter on the infield. He lost his job at the fairly young age of 30 because of his weak bat, but his stellar defense was always needed. In the 1938 World Series he had sort of a "Brooks Robinson coming out" when he made several eye-popping plays to help the Yankees to their third straight title. Later as a coach, Crosetti penned "The Yankee Way", a pamphlet that was given to young players in the organization to teach them how to be a Yankee. He was in uniform as a Yankee either as a player or coach every season from 1932 to 1968, winning 17 World Series.

#95.  Woodie Held

Woodie Held

Years: 1954-1969        Primary Team: Cleveland

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
93.8 22.0 21.9 11.5 22.0 51.4 -0.4 19.3 108

#96.  Brandon Crawford

Brandon Crawford

Years: 2011-2017        Primary Team: San Francisco Giants

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
93.5 20.6 20.6 13.4 20.6 -29.1 -2.0 73.2

Crawford is known for two events involving grand slams, but he's most famous for being a great defender at short, having won three consecutive Gold Gloves from 2015-17 for the Giants. Crawford hit a grand slam in his first major league game and he later became the first shortstop to hit a grand slam in the postseason. His defensive metrics are fantastic and if he can improve on his league-average offense, he could jump many spots on this list before his career is over.

#97.  David Eckstein

David Eckstein

Years: 2001-2010        Primary Team: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
91.6 20.8 19.0 12.3 19.9

The most unlikely player to be on this list, probably along with Bill Russell, who never even played shortstop until he'd been in the major leagues for three years. Eckstein didn't have warning track power on his best day, had average speed, a very weak throwing arm, and in an era of steroid users he was a runt, but he was a winning ballplayer who managed a ten-year career. He was the type of player who would have won an MVP award in the 1950s if his team won a pennant, and in 2002 he did finish tenth in voting when the Angels won the flag.

#98.  Alexei Ramirez

Alexei Ramirez

Years: 2008-2016        Primary Team: Chicago White Sox

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
90.6 20.3 21.6 12.2 21.0 -74.0 5.0 4.0

"The Cuban Missile" was a little like Eddie Miller: wafer-thin but with some surprising power. Ramirez was not a natural shortstop, he started out as a pitcher/outfielder in Cuba before he came to the United States at the age of 26. He finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting after hitting 21 homers. That season he played second base, center, and a little at short. But in his second season he shifted to shortstop and stayed there for seven seasons for the White Sox and one more for the Padres. Like Miller, Ramirez never met a pitch he didn't like to swing at, he was allergic to bases on balls, but still had some value.

#99.  Orlando Cabrera

Orlando Cabrera

Years: 1997-2011        Primary Team: Les Expos

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
90.4 21.4 19.9 11.4 20.7 -170. 27.7 2.7 84

The five worst hitters who got at least 2,000 hits: Larry Bowa, Omar Vizquel, Rabbit Maranville, Luis Aparicio, and Orlando Cabrera, all shortstops with reputations as good defensive players. Cabrera became a good luck charm, from 2004 to 2010, a span of seven seasons, he was on five teams that made the playoffs a total of six times. In that sense he was sort of like Don Baylor, who went to three straight World Series with three different teams and was in the postseason for five different teams in all.

#100.  Eddie Miller

Eddie Miller

Years: 1936-1950        Primary Team: Cincinnati Reds

Score WAR WAR7 WAR3 JAWS RBat RBase RField OPS+
90.2 23.7 20.3 10.8 22.0 -136. -2.7 79.0 80

Miller was traded for the 51st shortstop on this list, Eddie Joost, in a deal made at the winter meetings in 1942. The Reds reversed the trade five years later when they reacquired Miller from the Phillies. The best shortstop in the history of the Cincinnati Reds is Barry Larkin, next is Dave Concepcion. Miller was the best before those two: he was a seven-time All-Star and frequently led the league in fielding stats that mattered. He could also hit some.