BTW: Frank Thomas came close to doing it in 7 straight seasons, from '91-'97. He missed by .002, .003 and .012 BA points in '91, '93, & '95. He's in, of course. But he had his great run just before the obvious juiced age.
Yep. There are three guys I think of as Edgar's hitting comps: the Big Hurt, Manny Being Manny, and Miguel Cabrera. Interestingly all four players had a joyful approach to the game (though in distinctly various colors and tones!).
Frank Thomas had the '91-97 run and the fact that a .318 AVG "doesn't count" for this stat, well, that's why I don't like the framework of this ".320/.420/.550" bidness. The difference between .318 and .323 is luck, and the thinnest slice of luck pie you could get. Thomas delivered an "80" grade batting average in all those years. So the question would be better verbalized as: Who could string "80" grade AVG, BB, and SLG every single year for a long time?
Thomas, by the way, would have had a TEN year run except for a .380 OBP type season in 1998.
Best six-year runs:
1991f Hurt .330 / .452 / .604
1993f Edgar .325 / .444 / .559
1999f Manny Ramirez .322 / .424 / .626 (that's eight years!)
2000f Miguel Cabrera .320 / .396 / .564 Hmmmm ... walks are "only" plus-plus so he doesn't make the traveling squad ;- )
Albert Pujols hit .337 / .435 / .640 for seven years 2003ff.
At the time I always thought of Edgar as 97% of Frank Thomas - about as comparable as two players can get; you could trade one for the other and not affect the ballclubs either way. And this brings up my opinion about DH's: count them exactly the way you would a bad 1B, the number 14 first baseman in the league. The #14 first baseman in the league:
- Isn't doing anything with his glove to take the club forwards
- May be INSISTING on being in the field to the detriment of his club! a la Adam Dunn
- May not be ABLE OR WILLING to hit as well from the DH Yahtzee slot
If I'm the GM and Boras is trying to sell me Edgar or Hurt (before Hurt moved off 1B), they're a push to me, because I want either player at DH anyway -- and I'm not certain that Thomas will make a happy, team-oriented DH. "Being able to DH" isn't a huge skill, but it is worth counting.
Other players of note:
Ken Griffey Jr. had a 70 grade HIT, 70 walks, and 80+ power.
Mike Piazza was the same hitter as Cabrera: 80-70-80. But from catcher!?
Jeff Bagwell was 70-80-80 - fantastic walks and power and a .295-.300 batting average. Alex Rodriguez was also a 70-80-80 player, hitting around .300 with a .400 OBP and .550+ SLG.
Larry Walker played in Coors, so who knows how good he was or wasnt. ;- ). Same with Todd Helton, a .324 / .434 / .529 hitter from 2003-09.
Which is the whole point here, gentlemen. You get anywhere close to an 80-80-80 hitter and they're all inner-circle HOF'ers, except Edgar. Who isn't even worthy of the fringe, I guess.
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