Pujols' overall value trumps A-Rod's

Originally Published: June 8, 2005
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
Since I prefer to leave discussion of the draft to the experts, today let's check some reaction to my last column, which was about the greatest "franchise players" at various points over the last century or so.

Adam in Northbrook, Ill.: Not to take away from Barry Bonds, but growing up in the early 90's, all I ever heard about was how Ken Griffey Jr. was going to the best player anyone had ever seen. I can't imagine he wouldn't be the guy you wanted to build around, with 87 homers before he was 23 years old, but especially for the '94-95 seasons; he had just come off hitting over .300, OBP over .400, SLG over .600, not to mention 47 HR, 38 2B, 100 runs, and 17 steal … and he was 23 years old! Given that he still hit 48 HR in 1999, you could argue that he should have been the choice for franchise player past 1996, even with A-Rod coming. After all, Griffey was an all-century player by the time he was 30 years old.

Rob in Portland: You had me until the end, Adam. It's true that Griffey was named to MLB's official All-Century Team, but it's also true that the All-Century Team was, at least to some extent market driven, and it's also true that Griffey hadn't done enough in his career to justify his selection. He was overrated, and today ranks behind Duke Snider among the great center fielders.


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