The hot corner stirs some debate. Brooks Robinson is the best defensive 3rd baseman of all time, but does that get him in the top 3? No one mentioned Bill Mazeroski when debating 2nd Base! Here's my list:
3. Chipper JonesIt was either Chipper or Mathews. You can't have 2 braves in the top 3. 1 MVP, 6 Top-Tens, led the Braves to the playoffs from '95 to '05, lifetime .310/.407/.545, 421 HR, 145 OPS+, hit so well in Shea that he named his kid after the stadium. Larry has had a great career.
2. George Brett13 straight All-Star teams, 1 MVP, 3000+ hits, .309 lifetime average, 135 OPS+, hitting .390 in 1980, Only 1 Ring but he hit .337 in the postseason, and he used a healthy amount of pine tar.
1. Mike Schmidt3 MVPs, 9 top tens, 10 Gold Gloves, 548 HR, 1500+ RBI, 1 Ring. He's Brooks Robinson Lite in the field AND Mickey Mantle with the bat. Choosing Schmidt at number 1 was possibly the easiest choice so far.
Wade Boggs: 12 straight All-Star teams, 3000+ hits, lifetime .328 avg and .418 obp, 130 OPS+, batted over .350 five times, 1 Ring (oddly enough, it was as a Yankee)
Eddie Mathews: 143 OPS+, 512 HR
Brooks Robinson: 15 straight All-Star teams, 16 straight Gold Gloves, 1 MVP & 7 top-10 MVPs, 2 Rings. With the bat, he was essentially Rusty Staub (who was better than you might think) You can't hit .267/.322/.401 and be the best ever! Bill James rates Ron Santo ahead of Brooks Robinson.
Current players who could be in the conversation:
David Wright: He's 26, has 4 All-Star games, 3 top-tens in MVP, 2 questionable Gold Gloves. He's the face of the Mets. Too bad Citi Field has sucked all his power away.
Evan Longoria: He's 23, ROY, 2 All-Star teams, the sky is the limit
Alex Rodriguez: When he has played more games at the hot corner than at short, he'll go up in the ranks for sure.
It's on the the outfield next. But not before a little more Tito love!