Giants' Top 5 right fielders: Guardado's take

May 12th, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO -- No one loves a good debate quite like baseball fans. With that in mind, we asked each of our beat reporters to rank the top five players by position in the history of their franchise, based on their career while playing for that club. These rankings are for fun and debate purposes only. We also asked fans to weigh in on Twitter:

Here is Maria Guardado’s ranking of the top five right fielders in Giants history:

Giants' All-Time Team: C | 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | LF | CF

1. Mel Ott, 1926-47
Key fact: Ott was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1951.

Signed by the Giants at 16 out of high school, spent his entire 22-year career in New York, developing into a 12-time All-Star with a .304 career batting average, 488 doubles and 1,860 RBIs. The left-handed slugger led the National League in home runs six times and was the league’s first player to reach 500. He finished with 511 homers, a then-NL record. Only Babe Ruth (714) and Jimmie Foxx (534) had a higher total at the time.

Ott helped the Giants capture three NL pennants and crushed the series-clinching home run in Game 5 of the 1933 World Series against the Washington Senators. He spent the final six seasons of his career as a player-manager and compiled a 464-530 record as the Giants’ skipper.

2. Mike Tiernan, 1887-99
Key fact: Tiernan led the NL in home runs in 1890 and ’91.

The late 19th-century Giants featured a star-studded roster that included six future Hall of Famers in Buck Ewing, John Montgomery Ward, Tim Keefe, Roger Connor, Jim O’Rourke and Mickey Welch. But the club didn’t fulfill its championship potential until the arrival of Mike Tiernan, who batted .311 with a 138 OPS+ and 525 extra-base hits, including 106 home runs, over his 13-year career with the Giants.

In 1888, the Giants won their first NL pennant with Tiernan as their regular right fielder and No. 2 hitter. After batting .293 with 52 stolen bases over 113 games during the regular season, Tiernan hit .342 over 10 playoff games as the Giants toppled the American Association St. Louis Browns for their first world championship. The following year, Tiernan batted .335 with 10 home runs and a league-high 147 runs scored to help New York defend its title.

3. Bobby Bonds, 1968-74
Key fact: He is one of two players with five 30-30 seasons. The other? His son Barry.

Known for his rare combination of power and speed, drew frequent comparisons to Willie Mays after debuting with the Giants in 1968. A two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove Award winner with the Giants, Bonds became the third NL player to join the 30-30 club when he hit 32 home runs and stole 45 bases in 1969. In 1973, he fell one homer shy of becoming the first player to have a 40-40 season.

Bonds hit .273 with a 131 OPS+ and 186 home runs over seven seasons with the Giants before being traded to the Yankees for Bobby Murcer following the 1974 campaign. The deal was widely viewed as a swap of “the next Willie Mays” for “the next Mickey Mantle.”

4. Ross Youngs, 1917-26
Key fact: Youngs was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.

Ross Youngs debuted with the Giants at 20 and posted a .322 career average over his 10 seasons with the club. He finished second in the NL batting race to Rogers Hornsby in 1920, when he hit .351 with six home runs, 27 doubles and 14 triples over 153 games. The left-handed hitter helped the Giants win four consecutive NL pennants from 1921-24, which culminated in World Series titles in 1921 and ’22.

Youngs’ career came to an untimely end in 1926 after he was diagnosed with a kidney disease. He died the following year at 30. In ’28, the Giants installed a memorial plaque at the Polo Grounds and dedicated it to Youngs.

5. Jack Clark, 1975-84
Key fact: His 26-game hitting streak in 1978 remains a San Francisco record.

A 13th-round Draft pick of the Giants in 1973, reached the Majors two years later as a teenager and went on to earn two All-Star selections over his decade-long tenure in San Francisco. His best season came in '78, when he finished fifth in the NL MVP voting after hitting .306 with 25 home runs, 46 doubles and 98 RBIs over 156 games. “Jack the Ripper” didn’t benefit from much of a supporting cast, though, as he was a part of only three Giants teams that finished above .500. After the '84 season, Clark was traded to the Cardinals.

Honorable mentions
became the first Dominican-born player in San Francisco history upon debuting with the Giants in 1958. He earned his first All-Star nod in ’62, when he helped lead the Giants to the NL pennant by batting .316 with 25 home runs and 98 RBIs over 154 games. After his playing career ended, Alou returned to manage the Giants from 2003-06, posting a 342-304 record.

hit .290 with 51 home runs over 666 games with the Giants.

helped the Giants capture World Series titles in 2012 and ’14, inspiring teammates with his stirring speeches during the club’s playoff runs. He was named an All-Star in ’14, when he hit .277 with 20 home runs over 162 games.