I've decided to try again. If I have the drive to stick with it, I plan to create all-time teams for each franchise. There'll be the 1st Team, as well as the 2nd Team, all the way to the 6th. (Sometimes you're splitting hairs even before you get to the 6th.) I'll then post them here in chart form for easy reading. And since it's been a few years since I made my Yankees depth chart, I'm going to redo that one.
To determine rankings, I plan to take into account not just raw numbers, but longevity and peak value, meaning these lists will be subjective enough to encourage debate (should anyone but me and my few loyal readers ever see them). I also have a few other rules to note:
1. A player can only count at one position for a franchise. He can't be both the left fielder on the 1st Team and the right fielder on the 4th Team, he's got to be ranked at only one position. I want to see a variety of players, not the same guys over and over. Maybe you'd disagree, but hey, it's my project.
2. I'm only counting starting pitchers at the pitcher position.
3. A player must have played at least three seasons for the franchise at a position to qualify for the depth chart. Rogers Hornsby was with the Boston Braves in 1928, and as he was still in his prime, he put up perhaps the greatest season ever for a Braves second baseman. However, it was also his only season with the Braves franchise, so it wouldn't feel right to rank him on their depth chart.
On the subject of the Braves, they're the first team I've finished for this project, so I thought I'd share it here as my monthly post:
|1st||Kid Nichols||Joe Torre||Fred Tenney||Bobby Lowe||Eddie Mathews||Johnny Logan||Rico Carty||Andruw Jones||Hank Aaron|
|2nd||Greg Maddux||Del Crandall||Joe Adcock||Glenn Hubbard||Chipper Jones||Rabbit Maranville||Sid Gordon||Wally Berger||Jason Heyward|
|3rd||Warren Spahn||Brian McCann||Earl Torgeson||Tony Cuccinello||Bob Elliott||Rafael Furcal||Lonnie Smith||Dale Murphy||David Justice|
|4th||Phil Niekro||Javy Lopez||John Morrill||Marcus Giles||Darrell Evans||Herman Long||Ralph Garr||Billy Hamilton||Tommy Holmes|
|5th||Tom Glavine||Hank Gowdy||Felipe Alou||Felix Millan||Jimmy Collins||Andrelton Simmons||Ryan Klesko||Hugh Duffy||Chick Stahl|
|6th||John Smoltz||Phil Masi||Freddie Freeman||Jack Burdock||Billy Nash||Jeff Blauser||Joe Connolly||Jim O'Rourke||Gene Moore|
It's interesting to see that a franchise as historical as the Braves is fairly weak at first base, second base and left field. Especially second base. Glenn Hubbard sticks out like a sore thumb on that 2nd Team. Why couldn't they have kept Rajah around a bit longer? At pitcher, third base and center field though, they're especially strong.
Perhaps some of you think it's too early to have Freddie Freeman or Andrelton Simmons on these charts. All I can say is that first base is weak enough for Freeman to make it, and Simmons has been great enough in his young career that I feel confident about his place here. I could easily see both of them working their way up to higher teams in future editions of these depth charts.
I hope to have more to share with you next month.