Yesterday’s post got us thinking — besides ARod, is there any other current American League 3rd basemen close to threatening Graig Nettles‘ record for all-time homeruns by a 3rd baseman in the American League.
It is currently onerous to figure out how many homers a player has hit while playing a particular position in a game — you have to do a year-by-year addition of ESPN’s splits — so we took a ballpark view — lets take a look simply at how many homeruns each current AL 3rd baseman has, all time.
Again, All-Time Record Homeruns American League: Graig Nettles = 319
|Team||Player||All-time Homers as 3rd Baseman (as of today’s date)|
|NY Yankees||Chase Headley||96|
|NY Yankees||Alex Rodriguez||287 (see yesterday’s article)|
|Tampa Bay||Evan Longoria||185|
|Boston||Pablo Sandoval||108 (only 2 in AL so far)|
|Kansas City||Mike Moustakas||55|
|Chicago White Sox||Conor Gillaspie||21|
|LA Angels||David Freese||58|
|Texas||Adrian Beltre||477 — 295 in American League|
We originally wrote this article in 2015, and have been watching the last guy we looked up — Adrian Beltre — for the last 4 years. Beltre announced his retirement at the end of the 2018 season. His final stats are below (and of course Beltre played in an era with a more lively ball, steroids, and a VERY hitter-friendly ballpark in Texas).
|Year||Team||HR’s as 3rd Baseman (in AL)|
|1998-2004||LA Dodgers||0 (in National League)|
|Final Total||American League||295|
All of this — especially the homerun totals of current American League 3rd basemen — shows you two things:
- How 3rd Base is really a DEFENSIVE position — a position where DEFENSE is prioritorized over hitting. Yet when it comes to Hall of Fame voting, 3rd basemen are judged by their offense as if they were outfielders. The least players in the Hall of Fame by position is 3rd basemen.
- How impressive Graig Nettles record is — built in the dead-ball seventies, and still holding up today, 30 years later. Really impressive. And his phenomenal defense.
Final Point: Graig Nettles — belongs in the Hall of Fame. Not to mention the Yankees should retire his number (#9, already retired for Roger Maris but Yanks have double retired other numbers, like #8 for Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey) and give him a plaque in Monument Park — he’s been named greatest Yankee 3rd basemen by the Yankees themselves in a survey they did a few years ago, had a Hall of Fame-caliber career with them, won a homerun title as a Yankee, won 2 Gold Gloves (should have won 10), and won the 1978 World Series for them with his Defense!