I like to read hastily put together lists that make people angry. Just today I read a list of the best 10 TV shows of the decade that somehow included Modern Family despite it only having aired like six episodes. What a joke, right? Always in search of links and angry comments I decided today would be a good day to put together my own hastily top ten list. Enjoy.
- Prince Fielder: Two magical seasons and two really good seasons are all it took for Prince to be ranked here. Among Brewers career leaders he is 2nd in OBP, SLG and OPS as well as 8th in homeruns that will jump to fifth if he hits just 16 more. He also owns Brewers single season records in homeruns, RBIs, OPS, walks, XBH% and intentional walks. He's pretty good and I can't really see anyone arguing with this one.
- Ryan Braun: The question isn't really "Is Braun the best Brewer of the 2000?", but "Will Ryan Braun be the best Brewer of all-time?" I think the answer to that question is a big yes. Even if he leaves when his contract comes up, I don't see a way that he doesn't lead the Brewers in every all-time category outside of games played. Currently he has the best all-time batting average, OBP, SLG and OPS (duh). Ryan Braun is a special, special player and we are really lucky to have him.
- Richie Sexson: I almost put Sexson second, but I really couldn't bring myself to do it. If I did do it here was the argument I was going to lay out.
Braun has statistical advantages in most categories, but I placed him here for two reasons.
1.) You can't be sure how good Braun would be without Prince batting behind him in the lineup. He's really, really good but this good? Hard to say.
2.) In a non-Prince world Sexson would own some of the best single seasons in Brewers history. Before Prince's arrival he had the two best HR hitting seasons in Brewers history, the 3rd best RBI season and if it wasn't for Braun or Prince he would have the best OPS in Brewers history.
Not a horrible argument, but I couldn't convince myself of it.
- Geoff Jenkins: Not one of the all-time greats by any means, but he did play 10 seasons in a Milwaukee uniform and only once (his rookie year) did he post an OPS+ below 100 (100 being average). He was slighty above average to above average his entire career. He played good defense and hit 212 homeruns. Solid, if unspectacular.
- Ben Sheets: Among Brewers pitchers with 100 or more starts Ben Sheets is the 2nd best ever behind Teddy Higuera with an ERA+ of 115 in that span and an ERA of 3.72 (also 2nd). He also ranks first in times people have used the words "frustrating" or "injured" to describe him.
- Yovani Gallardo: Maybe a little high, but find me another starter that was more value to the team during his time with them not named CC. (Which arguably they never would have gotten CC without a Yo injury.) His career ERA, K/9 and ERA+ are higher than Sheets' and if you compare each of their first three seasons it's looking like Yo is going to have a better career.
- Mike Cameron: Here me out. In his two seasons in Milwaukee he posted an OPS+ of 111 each year. Corey Hart, JJ Hardy, Rickie Weeks, Tyler Houston and Jeromy Burnitz did not post two seasons that good during the 2000s. (Only Bill Hall really had a case here, but his lows were far too low.) Beyond that his defense can't be discounted nor can the people who played his position before his arrival. Brady Clark, Alex Sanchez, Scott Podsednik and Marquis Grissom are the very definition of journeymen.
- CC Sabathia: I really didn't want to put him on this list. He only pitched 17 games as a Brewer! 17! But his value during that stretch was so amazing I don't even know how to properly quantify it. His 1.65 ERA is the best single season ERA in Brewers history as is his 255 ERA+, but this isn't even about numbers really. When we made that trade for CC we knew we were winning when he pitched and we knew we were making the playoffs. It was inevitable and you can't say that about anybody else on this list. Maybe he should be #1.
- Corey Hart: Besides his original call up he only posted an OPS+ under 100 once and that one time was during a season in which he absolutely tore up the first half (122 OPS) leading to an All-Star berth. Did he get hurt that year and play through it? Would he have been better non-appendix this season? Couldn't tell you, but he was solid if unspectacular and you can't discount the two 20/20 seasons.
- JJ Hardy: Seems about right. He was roughly league average with a bit more pop during his time here, but the good seasons were great and he gave the defense needed from the position.
Honorable mentions: Dan Kolb (best Brewers reliever of decade?), Trevor Hoffman (2nd best single season ERA+ in Brewers history), Bill Hall (he was good, once), Scott Podsednik (70 steals!) and Craig Counsell (bench player of the decade).