Mr. Know-It-All’s greatest seasons by M’s players, Part III

Today: Outfielders. Not a lot of surprises here, but statistically, the greatest seasons by a right fielder were achieved by Jay Buhner, not Ichiro. Read on and see if you agree wth K-I-A’s logic.

Mr K-I-A weighed in on the greatest seasons by catchers, first basemen, second basemen in his first post, which included an introduction to the whole exercise. For here’s a look at the best seasons by shortstops and third basemen. Check ’em out.

Tomorrow: Part IV will look at DH’s and conclude with the overall best seasons.

Left Field

81 Tom Paciorek lf 0.888
2006 Raul Ibanez lf 0.872
85 Ivan Calderon lf 0.859
85 Phil Bradley lf 0.853
77 Leroy Stanton lf 0.848
87 Phil Bradley lf 0.846
86 Phil Bradley lf 0.843
2008 Raul Ibanez lf 0.836
2007 Raul Ibanez lf 0.831

 Well now there is something to talk about.  Wimpy Paciorek! Show of hands, who heard Dave Niehaus call the back to back games Tom won with 9th inning home runs against the Yankees?    This was a great year .888 OPS, .326 avg, .379 onbag, .509 slug his fourth season in Seattle.  He was traded to the White Sox afterwards for Todd Cruz, Rod Allen and a bucket of balls.  He had two subsequent good years with the White Sox posting OPS in excess of .800.  Rual Ibanez everybody’s hard working good player checks in with three very good seasons in 2006, 2008, and 2007:  .872, .836 and .831.

Phil Bradley put in three very good years in 1985, 1987 and 1986:  .853, .846, .843.  Ran well had some pop, scored hundred runs in of those years and close in the other. Very good RBIs in 1985 with 88.  He was traded to the Phillies for Dave Brundage, Michael Jackson and Glen Wilson.  He never approached the level shown with the Mariners again. For those who check on Ivan Calderon’s season it was but 210 at bats, but he had 16 doubles, 4 triples and 8 homeruns. He was traded early the following year for Scot Bradley a left handed hitting catcher who was one of Rick Rizz’s favorite guys to quote. I always wanted to write a sentence where I could write Rizz’s.  A three stooge moment of sorts, better said than read.

Phil Bradley was Division I quarterback at Missouri with some success.  Based on what he showed  here, probably did not throw a lot of long touchdowns, but a better than average player.  Then there is Raul Ibanez a guy who puts up three very good years here in his second stint with the Mariners.  First time through he could not play well enough to play consistently.  Good but not great.


94 Ken Griffey cf 1.075
97 Ken Griffey cf 1.028
93 Ken Griffey cf 1.024
96 Ken Griffey cf 1.018
98 Ken Griffey cf 0.972
99 Ken Griffey cf 0.955
91 Ken Griffey cf 0.931
92 Ken Griffey cf 0.892
95 Ken Griffey cf 0.862
90 Ken Griffey cf 0.847
87 Mickey Brantley cf 0.845
2001 Mike Cameron cf 0.829
86 Dave Henderson cf 0.828
77 Ruppert Jones cf 0.779
2002 Mike Cameron cf 0.777
2009 Franklin Gutierrez cf 0.762

 Having set the definition of what was minimum good at .800, I put as a reference point seasons by Mike Cameron, Ruppert Jones and Franklin Gutierrez that are sub .800.  All those seasons were generally more than acceptable from a speed defender, in fact there are many worse years to reflect on than those years.  Dave Henderson was the most gifted player to hit the Mariners from their inception.  Big, fast, some juice, great arm and he did not quite ever put it fully together here before he went off to play in several World Series with Boston and Oakland.  I have felt if he had arrived in majors with either Boston or Oakland he would be talked about more than he is now.  I still think he was the first really high level player to play for Mariners.  Mickey Brantley played two years with the Mariners and put up one good year and one so-so year and then was supplanted by a 19 year old rookie named Ken Griffey Jr.  He was traded to Milwaukee and Frank Bolick Jr. and neither were ever seen again.

 His swan song the past two years has clouded the first time through with the Mariners.  I am glad that he came back, there is some ritualistic aspects of saying goodbye to a star athlete that were satisfied by that even with the twenty-five bobblehead nights and fifteen Junior poster nights that came with that swan song.  Ten remarkable years replete with nightly highlight reels full of defensive gems and big and long hits.  Eight straight games with home runs, an unjuiced 58 home runs.  You will notice that there are four years greater than 1.0 and a bunch in the .900s.  Simply marvelous stats. 

Seeing him was revelatory.  I called a great friend the first week of the 1989 season, who played ball for Cal when he was in college and said to him, I’ve just seen a player that might be better than Willie Mays was.  Well if that did not prove out, he was as good.  Better than Mickey Mantle, who I revere.  Better than Barry Bonds, who was left off the top 100 players list in 1999, and deservedly so. 

The double is the Mariners’ play of plays.  It is revelatory that he scores from first on the play, because yes he could hit with power and consistently and he could catch the ball and throw the ball, but he could fly around the bases. Best player I ever saw, by a long, long margin.


94 Jay Buhner RF 0.933
96 Jay Buhner RF 0.922
95 Jay Buhner RF 0.911
97 Jay Buhner RF 0.885
2000 Jay Buhner RF 0.879
78 Leon Roberts RF 0.872
2004 Ichiro Suzuki rf 0.868
93 Jay Buhner RF 0.858
2009 Ichiro Suzuki rf 0.848
2001 Ichiro Suzuki rf 0.833
91 Jay Buhner RF 0.829
2007 Ichiro Suzuki rf 0.825
2002 Ichiro Suzuki rf 0.811
82 Al Cowens RF 0.800
2007 Jose Guillen rf 0.796
2005 Ichiro Suzuki rf 0.785
2003 Ichiro Suzuki rf 0.783
2006 Ichiro Suzuki rf 0.783
92 Jay Buhner RF 0.752
2010 Ichiro Suzuki rf 0.751
2008 Ichiro Suzuki rf 0.745

Fourteen seasons above .800, Jay Buhner has the top five seasons.  Ichiro has three of seasons six through ten, Leon Roberts checks in at six, then Ichiro, Jay, Ichiro and Ichiro;  7,8,9,10.  Then are nine seasons of sub .800 for reference points.  Jay Buhner was a very, very good player as those numbers show.  Hands down the best right fielder that the Mariners have ever had.

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