#Hot Corner

The greatest non-All-Star

Kevork Djansezian

Mike Axisa of Eye On Baseball made a terrific All-Star team of players who never made the All-Star team. I always thought Tim Salmon was the best player never to make the team, but Axisa found someone better. Incidentally, a big reason Salmon never made an All-Star team is this:

Tim_salmon_by_month_medium

Over his career, April was by far Salmon's worst month. And April is when "All-Stars" (like Cesar Izturis and Kent Bottenfield) are made.

Anyway, Axisa's greatest non-All-Star is someone who ...

  • Played 18 years for six different teams
  • Played at least five games at every position except pitcher and catcher
  • Reached base at a .374 clip for his career
  • Has 50 career Wins Above Replacement

One more hint: His last season (which was pretty danged good) was in 1999.

I'll just tell you. It's Tony Phillips.

Ironically, it was Phillips' versatility that made him so valuable yet also so overlooked. As Bill James has said, anything that "breaks up" a player's career can make him underrated. Splitting time between teams, leagues, and positions can make a player's accomplishments harder to see, harder to make sense of. If Tony Phillips had played his whole career at second base for Oakland (or a team in a bigger market), he might be remembered differently. In the Hall of Underrated, Phillips' plaque will go somewhere between Bobby Abreu and Ben Zobrist.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Baseball Nation

You must be a member of Baseball Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Baseball Nation. You should read them.

Join Baseball Nation

You must be a member of Baseball Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Baseball Nation. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker