Hi, my name is Brian Giles and I am historically underrated. You may not have realized how good I was during my playing career. Probably because I didn’t reach 450 plate appearances until I was 26 years old. Or because I didn’t reach 600 PAs until I was 28 years of age. Or because I played my entire career with the Indians, Pirates, and Padres and only had 90 postseason PAs. Whatever the reason may have been it left me vastly underrated.
This is a very true statement. Over Giles’ 15 year career he hit 287 homeruns, 411 doubles, 55 triples, stole 109 bases, and had 1183 walks against just 835 strikeouts compiled over 7800 plate appearances for an fWAR of 57.8, good for 59th all-time among outfielders and a higher total than both Hall of Famers Jim Rice and Kirby Puckett. Take a look at their totals by nth season:
Giles’ best season was bested by Rice and Puckett’s best season but Giles’ 2nd through 10th best seasons were all better than any of Rice or Puckett’s 2nd through 10th best seasons. Am I saying Giles is a Hall of Famer? No, I am just saying he is historically underrated. I am also saying that he was probably better than Rice and Puckett but that’s for another time.
Giles compiled an impressive triple-slash line of .291/.400/.502 in his career. Only 11 other outfielders with at least 7800 plate appearances have a triple-slash of .290/.400/.500 or better. Eight of those 11 outfielders are Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Mel Ott, Ed Delahanty, and Harry Heilmann, each in the Hall of Fame. The other three are Barry Bonds, Larry Walker, and Manny Ramirez, each deserving of the Hall of Fame. Am I saying Brian Giles belongs in the Hall of Fame? No, I am just saying he is historically underrated.
In fact, there are only 20 other players in the history of the game with at least 7800 PAs and a .290/.400/.500. I mentioned 11 above, the other nine are Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Chipper Jones, Jeff Bagwell, Frank Thomas, Edgar Martinez, and Todd Helton. Four of those nine are in the Hall of Fame and the other five all have legitimate cases. Am I saying Brian Giles belongs in the Hall of Fame? No, I am just saying he is historically underrated.
Now, I could cherry pick the stats more to the tune of .290/.400/.500 with 280+ homeruns, 50+ triples, 100+ stolen bases, and with more walks than strikeouts if I want but cherry picking… oh, what the heck, I think I will anyways. There are only 6 players in history that meet these criteria: Ruth, Bonds, Hornsby, Mantle, Gehrig, and Mr. Brian Giles. You want to talk about being in the company of legends, this is it. Of course, Giles does not hold a candle to these legends but either way, Giles is in the company of greats.
Am I saying Brian Giles belongs in the Hall of Fame? No, I am just saying he is historically underrated.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis, Hall of Fame Tagged: | Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Brian Giles, Chipper Jones, Ed Delahanty, Edgar Martinez, Frank Thomas, Hall of Fame, Harry Heilmann, Indians, Jeff Bagwell, Jim Rice, Jimmie Foxx, Kirby Puckett, Larry Walker, Lou Gehrig, Manny Ramirez, Mel Ott, Mickey Mantle, Padres, Pirates, Rogers Hornsby, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Todd Helton, Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb