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Here is the best right fielder for all 30 clubs

May 14, 2020

No one loves a good debate quite like baseball fans, and 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 each player's career with that franchise. We've already tackled catchers, first basemen,

No one loves a good debate quite like baseball fans, and 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 each player's career with that franchise. We've already tackled catchers, first basemen, second basemen, third basemen, shortstops, left fielders and center fielders. Next up are right fielders.

These rankings are for fun and debate purposes only, and fans were able to participate in Twitter polls to vote for their favorites. Here is the No. 1 right fielder for each club, as chosen by MLB.com's beat reporters.

American League East

Blue Jays: José Bautista (2008-17)
Key fact: Ranks second in franchise history with 288 home runs
In August 2008, the Blue Jays acquired Bautista for a player to be named later. His sudden rise to stardom at age 29 was just the beginning of his legend in Toronto. Bautista’s standout moments, from his 54-homer season in 2010 to his infamous Bat Flip in '15, represent some of the organization’s highs over the past decade. He left his name all over the record books, too, ranking second all time in home runs by a Blue Jays player (288), third in RBIs (766) and fourth in OPS (.878). It wasn’t just what he did, but also how he did it that made him truly special. Even though the Blue Jays didn’t win immediately upon Bautista’s arrival, fans used to seeing their team pushed around in a stacked AL East instantly rallied behind Bautista’s confident attitude. Blue Jays top 5 >

Orioles: Frank Robinson (1966-71)
Key facts: Won AL Triple Crown, MVP Award and World Series MVP Award in 1966
One of the game’s all-time great sluggers, Robinson altered the course of Orioles history like few players have ever impacted a single club. Arriving from Cincinnati in a lopsided deal for Milt Pappas in December 1965, Robinson won the AL Triple Crown the next season. He also led the Orioles to their first World Series appearance, earning series MVP honors, and was named league MVP shortly after that. Between 1966-71, Robinson helped the O’s to four World Series appearances and two titles. He eventually went into the Hall of Fame wearing an Orioles cap, despite spending less than a third of his 21-year playing career in Baltimore. Orioles top 5 >

Rays: Steven Souza Jr. (2015-17)
Key fact: Hit 30 homers in 2017, the second most in a single season by a Rays right fielder
Souza was a solid player in his first two seasons with the Rays, hitting 33 home runs and finishing with a combined .715 OPS, but it wasn't until his third -- and ultimately final -- year with the club that he really found his footing. In 2017, Souza slugged 30 home runs -- then a team record for a right fielder -- and posted an .810 OPS. He was dealt to Arizona the following spring. Rays top 5 >

Red Sox: Dwight Evans (1972-90)
Key fact: Won eight Gold Glove Awards, the most in Red Sox history
The man known as Dewey throughout Red Sox Nation was a plus-plus defender in right field for the majority of his career. His eight Gold Gloves are a club record. Evans' offense eventually caught up to his defense, as he became one of the most productive hitters of the 1980s. Evans hit 256 homers in that decade, the most of any AL player, and he finished second in RBIs and walks, third in runs and seventh in on-base percentage. He made two World Series appearances, and although Boston lost each series in seven games, Evans came up big in both 1975 and '86. His catch to rob Joe Morgan in Game 6 of the 1975 Fall Classic is one of the most memorable defensive plays in history. Red Sox top 5 >

Yankees: Babe Ruth (1920-34)
Key facts: Led league in homers 10 times and won four World Series with Yankees
The most celebrated character of his time, Ruth is succinctly described on his National Baseball Hall of Fame plaque as the “greatest drawing card in the history of baseball.” Ruth’s accomplishments and exploits have filled tomes, and he quite literally changed the way baseball was played and viewed following his acquisition from the Red Sox prior to the 1920 season. Converted from a pitcher to a full-time outfielder, Ruth won 12 home run titles, smacking 60 in 1927, and went on to wallop 714 career homers – a mark that stood until Hank Aaron surpassed the Sultan of Swat in April 1974. The Baltimore-born icon was a major component in transforming the Yankees from an also-ran into a juggernaut that scored seven pennants and four World Series titles, including its first in 1923, when Yankee Stadium opened its doors. With the Yankees, Ruth compiled a staggering 142.8 bWAR, batting .349/.484/.711 with 659 home runs and 1,978 RBIs, plus 15 more homers in World Series play. Yankees top 5 >

AL Central

Indians: Manny Ramirez (1993-2000)
Key fact: Has the highest slugging percentage in club history
Ramirez, the man with arguably the best right-handed swing the game has ever seen, spent the first eight seasons of his career in Cleveland. During that time, he earned four All-Star selections and won three Silver Sluggers. Ramirez led the AL in slugging percentage and OPS in each of his final two seasons with the Tribe and recorded an MLB-best 165 RBIs in 1999. His .592 slugging percentage is the best of all Indians players, and he leads all Tribe right fielders in games played (967), runs scored (665), hits (1,086), doubles (237), homers (236), RBIs (804), walks (541) and OPS (.998). Indians top 5 >

Royals: Danny Tartabull (1987-91)
Key fact: Made AL All-Star team in 1991
Tartabull was truly one of the more interesting players in Royals history. “The Bull,” as he was nicknamed, had exquisite power, hitting 124 home runs for the Royals in five seasons, driving in 100 or more runs three times and posting an overall .894 OPS. Acquired from the Mariners in the winter of 1986 for Scott Bankhead, Mike Kingery and Steve Shields, Tartabull recorded 34 home runs with 101 RBIs in his first season with Kansas City. His best season came in 1991, when he led all of MLB with a .593 slugging percentage. Royals top 5 >

Tigers: Al Kaline (1953-74)
Key facts: 18-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove Award winner
Of course Mr. Tiger tops this list. Kaline is up there with Ty Cobb on the list of the most accomplished players in franchise history, and he finished a home run shy of becoming one of a select few MLB players with 3,000 career hits and 400 homers. Kaline was an elite player from the get-go, becoming the youngest-ever AL batting champion with a .340 average and a runner-up for the AL MVP Award as a 20-year-old in 1955. He hit .300 or better eight more times, including in 1972 at age 37 (.313). Tigers top 5 >

Twins: Tony Oliva (1962-76)
Key facts: Won three batting titles, led the AL in hits five times
The beloved Tony O is the only member of the organization to have been in the dugout for all three of its AL pennant-winning teams: in 1965 as the right fielder, in '87 as the hitting coach and in '91 as the bench coach. That journey began in earnest with Oliva's remarkable rookie season in 1964, when he hit .323/.359/.557 with 32 homers, 43 doubles and 12 stolen bases and became the first rookie in MLB history to win a batting title. That was the first in a stretch of eight seasons in which the franchise legend made eight All-Star teams, won three batting titles, led the AL in hits five times and even won a Gold Glove Award in right field. Twins top 5 >

White Sox: Magglio Ordonez (1997-2004)
Key facts: Hit .307 and had an .889 OPS in eight years with the White Sox
Paul Konerko once referred to Ordonez as the most talented individual he suited up with, and Ordonez’s career statistics certainly back up those numbers. With the White Sox, Ordonez had five seasons with at least 30 doubles and three seasons with at least 40. He was a four-time All-Star, had four seasons with at least 30 home runs and drove in at least 100 runs every year from 1999-2002. Ordonez's 2002 season was his best during a run of sheer excellence, as the right-handed hitter batted .320/.381/.597 with 38 homers, 47 doubles, 116 runs scored and 135 RBIs. He finished eighth in the AL MVP race and captured a Silver Slugger Award. White Sox top 5 >

AL West

Angels: Tim Salmon (1992-2006)
Key fact: His 40.6 bWAR is the third highest in club history
It was a close call between Tim Salmon and Vladimir Guerrero, but Salmon ultimately had a longer lasting impact on the franchise and also played a pivotal role in leading the Angels to a World Series title in 2002. Although Salmon was never an All-Star, he played his entire career with the Angels and has the third-highest WAR in club history. Guerrero won the 2004 AL MVP Award and is the lone player wearing an Angels cap on his Hall of Fame plaque, but he only played six years with the team compared to Salmon's 14. Angels top 5 >

Astros: George Springer (2014-present)
Key fact: Is the franchise's all-time leader in postseason homers (15)
Springer has been the Astros' primary center fielder since 2017, but he has logged twice as many games in right field as he has in center during his career. Springer was named MVP of the 2017 World Series after he shook off an 0-for-4, four-strikeout performance in Game 1 by socking five homers and driving in seven runs in the final six games. Springer is a three-time All-Star (2017-19) and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner (‘17, ‘19), and he has hit .270 with 131 doubles, 11 triples, 160 homers, 426 RBIs, 47 stolen bases in 744 career games with the Astros. He is also the club’s all-time leader in playoff homers (15), doubles (14) and extra-base hits (29). Astros top 5 >

Athletics: Reggie Jackson (1967-75, '87)
Key fact: Third on the A’s all-time home run list with 269
Jackson might be wearing a Yankees cap on his Hall of Fame plaque, but it was with the A’s that Mr. October’s baseball legacy was truly born. Jackson was at the center of an A’s dynasty that won three straight World Series titles from 1972-74, taking home both the AL and World Series MVP Awards in ‘73. He was a six-time All-Star with the A’s and ranks third on the team's all-time home run list with 269. When the club introduced the Oakland A’s Hall of Fame in 2018, Jackson was part of the inaugural class of inductees alongside Rickey Henderson, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Catfish Hunter, Dave Stewart and Charlie Finley. Athletics top 5 >

Mariners: Ichiro Suzuki (2001-12, '18-19)
Key fact: Posted a .321 batting average over 1,861 games with Seattle
Jay Buhner is already a member of the Mariners Hall of Fame, but this is another position with little debate over who should be No. 1. Ichiro replaced Buhner in 2001 and became a franchise icon as well as a likely first ballot National Baseball Hall of Famer. Though he didn’t arrive in MLB until age 27 after nine outstanding seasons in Japan, Ichiro quickly made his mark by winning AL MVP and Rookie of the Year honors while hitting .350 with 56 stolen bases for Seattle’s 116-win team in 2001. He wound up earning 10 straight All-Star selections and 10 consecutive Gold Glove Awards. In 1,861 games for the Mariners, Ichiro posted a .321/.365/.416 slash line with 2,542 hits and 56.2 bWAR. Mariners top 5 >

Rangers: Juan Gonzalez (1989-99, 2002-03)
Key facts: Won AL MVP Awards in 1996, '98; Rangers' all-time leader with 372 home runs, 1,180 RBIs
Gonzalez began his career as a center fielder, moved to left in 1993 and finally found a home in right field three years later. Gonzalez had his best years under manager Johnny Oates, leading the Rangers to division titles in 1996, '98 and '99 and winning two AL MVP Awards ('96, '98). The slugger is the Rangers' all-time leader in home runs (372) and RBIs (1,180). Rangers top 5 >

National League East

Braves: Hank Aaron (1954-74)
Key Fact: Aaron’s 136.3 fWAR ranks fifth among all outfielders in MLB history
Aaron spent some time at each of the three outfield positions and at both first and second base. But the majority of his legendary career was spent becoming one of the greatest right fielders the game has ever seen. Hammerin' Hank is one of six players to record at least 500 homers and 3,000 hits, and he belted 520 of his 755 career homers while playing right field. The Braves have had some talented right fielders over the course of the past 30 years, but David Justice, Jeff Francoeur and Jason Heyward have never come close to becoming the club’s next Hank Aaron. Braves top 5 >

Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton (2010-17)
Key fact: Set franchise records for home runs (59) and RBIs (132) in 2017, winning the NL MVP Award
Statistically, there is a strong case that Stanton is the greatest player in Marlins history, as he holds the franchise lead in homers (267) and fWAR (34.6). A four-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, Stanton in 2017 became the organization’s lone MVP Award winner, establishing single-season team records for homers (59) and RBIs (132). Marlins top 5 >

Mets: Darryl Strawberry (1983-90)
Key fact: Mets' all-time leader with 252 homers
It is not hyperbole to say that when the Mets selected Strawberry first overall in the 1980 Draft, they gained the most gifted athlete in franchise history. For eight seasons in New York, Strawberry mostly made good on that promise by winning NL Rookie of the Year honors in 1983, making seven consecutive All-Star teams, and averaging 31 homers and 91 RBIs per year. He was also a key part of the Mets’ 1986 World Series championship team. But Strawberry did not stick around long enough to compile gaudy career numbers in New York, as he had gone to Los Angeles by the time he was 28. Although Strawberry remained a big leaguer until 1999, injuries, medical issues and personal problems -- including legal troubles and substance abuse -- played a significant role in his career. Mets top 5 >

Nationals: Vladimir Guerrero (1996-2003)
Key fact: Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018
Guerrero began his 16-year, Hall of Fame career playing in right field for the Expos from 1996-2003, a span in which he earned four All-Star selections and three Silver Slugger Awards. Looking at Guerrero’s place in Expos and Nationals franchise history, he owns the highest batting average, slugging percentage and OPS. He also is second in homers and OPS+, third in triples and sixth in bWAR (34.7), all while ranking eighth in games played. Guerrero slashed .323/.390/.588 with a .978 OPS and a 148 OPS+ over 1,004 games with Montreal. Nationals top 5 >

Phillies: Bobby Abreu (1998-2006)
Key fact: Ranks 10th in franchise history with 47.2 bWAR
Abreu is a no-brainer in the top spot. The only question about him is this: Should he make the National Baseball Hall of Fame? Abreu’s name appeared on only 5.5% of ballots cast in January in his first year of eligibility, barely keeping him on the ballot for a second year. Abreu finished his career with 60.2 bWAR, while Hall of Famers such as Harold Baines (38.7 WAR), Jim Rice (47.7), Tony Perez (54.0) and numerous others fall below that. Even if Abreu doesn't make it to Cooperstown, one thing is certain: No right fielder in Phillies history comes close to Abreu’s production. In his career with the club, Abreu slashed .303/.416/.513 with 195 homers, 254 steals and 947 walks. Phillies top 5 >

NL Central

Brewers: Christian Yelich (2018-present)
Key facts: Leads the NL in wRC+, wOBA, AVG, SLG and OBP since the start of 2018
If longevity drives the decision, perhaps Sixto Lezcano or Jeromy Burnitz is the best right fielder in Brewers history. But the fact that Yelich is squarely in the debate after only two seasons -- compared to Corey Hart’s nine seasons or Lezcano’s seven or Burnitz’s six -- is a measure of the remarkable impact Yelich has had on the organization in a short time. Yelich has delivered two of the top four seasons in franchise history in terms of fWAR, winning the NL MVP Award in 2018 and finishing a close second in '19, winning the first two league batting titles in Brewers history and making a pair of All-Star teams. Brewers top 5 >

Cardinals: Stan Musial (1941-63)
Key facts: Franchise leader in games played (3,026), hits (3,630), walks (1,605), runs (1,949), home runs (475) and RBIs (1,950), among other categories
Musial played his entire 22-year career with St. Louis and was the club’s ambassador long after he stopped playing. His No. 6 was the first number the Cardinals retired, and he became a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 1969. During his career, Musial won three MVP Awards and finished second four other times. He won seven batting titles and led the league in runs (five times), hits (six times), doubles (eight times), triples (five times), RBIs (twice), total bases (six times) and OPS (seven times). Splitting his time between right field, left field and first base, Musial hit .331/.417/.559 and accumulated 128.3 bWAR, earning 24 All-Star selections and winning three World Series titles along the way. Cardinals top 5 >

Cubs: Sammy Sosa (1992-2004)
Key fact: Only player in MLB history to hit 60-plus homers in three seasons
The numbers Sosa compiled over the course of his Cubs career are jaw-dropping. Alongside Mark McGwire, Sosa captivated the nation in 1998, when the pair of sluggers chased down Rogers Maris’ single-season home run record. He is the Cubs’ all-time home run king with 545 (out of 609 in his career) and is at or near the top of multiple other categories in team history. Sosa won the 1998 NL MVP, made seven All-Star teams and remains the only hitter with three seasons of 60-plus homers. And yet, fans and Hall of Fame voters alike have struggled with the idea that Sosa may not have achieved it all without some artificial help. While Sosa has denied ever using PEDs, speculation and suspicions have cast a shadow over his legacy. Cubs top 5 >

Pirates: Roberto Clemente (1955-72)
Key facts: Hall of Famer; two-time World Series champion
An icon on and off the field, Clemente stands behind only Honus Wagner on the list of the Pirates’ greatest players of all time. As he paved the way for future Latin American superstars, Clemente won two World Series, earned the 1966 NL MVP Award, took home 12 consecutive Gold Glove Awards and won four batting titles during his 18-year career in Pittsburgh. Clemente recorded exactly 3,000 hits with a lifetime .317 average, and he possessed an incredibly strong throwing arm. As Roger Angell wrote during the 1971 World Series, Clemente “played a kind of baseball that none of us had ever seen before … as if it were a form of punishment for everyone else on the field.” He tragically died in a plane crash at the age of 38 on Dec. 31, 1972, when he was attempting to deliver earthquake relief supplies from Puerto Rico to Nicaragua. Pirates top 5 >

Reds: Frank Robinson (1956-65)
Key fact: Is the only MLB player to win an MVP Award in both leagues
One of the most feared hitters ever to play the game, Robinson quickly established himself as a 20-year-old for the Reds as he hit 38 home runs and scored a league-leading 122 runs on his way to earning the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 1956. He would hit 30 or more homers in five of the next six seasons -- including 37 in 1961, when he won the NL MVP Award while also batting .323/.404/.611 with a league-best 164 OPS+ and 124 RBIs. Robinson played left field and first base early in his career but moved to right field full time in 1962. Reds top 5 >

NL West

D-backs: Justin Upton (2007-12)
Key fact: Finished fourth in the NL MVP voting in 2011
Upton was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 Draft, and therefore the pressure on him was immense from the start. A shortstop in high school, he transitioned to center field in the Minors in 2006. He joined the big league club the next season, becoming the starting right fielder on a team that won the NL West and advanced to the NL Championship Series. Upton’s big breakout came in 2011, when he played in 158 games and led the D-backs to another division title. He hit 31 homers that year, slashing .289/.369/.529 while compiling an OPS+ of 141. While he put up very good numbers during his time in Arizona, it never seemed to be enough for fans, who had outsized expectations. D-backs top 5 >

Dodgers: Dixie Walker (1939-47)
Key fact: Hit above .300 in seven of his eight full Brooklyn seasons
Walker was a right-field fixture with the Dodgers for seven years and one of the most popular players in Brooklyn history -- “The People’s Choice,” as broadcaster Red Barber called him. Walker made five All-Star teams during that time and was the NL batting champ in 1944, besting Musial. However, the native Georgian’s on-field accomplishments were in many ways overshadowed by his vocal opposition to baseball’s integration after Jackie Robinson was promoted to the Major Leagues. Walker later apologized for his actions. Dodgers top 5 >

Giants: Mel Ott (1926-47)
Key fact: Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1951
Signed by the Giants at 16 out of high school, Ott 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 NL 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 was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1951. Giants top 5 >

Padres: Tony Gwynn (1982-2001)
Key facts: Lifetime .338 hitter; won eight batting titles
The case for Gwynn as the best right fielder in Padres history is so obvious that if you were to take his career and split it in half, it’s likely he’d have finished first and second. On the franchise leaderboards, Gwynn’s hits, runs, total bases, doubles and WAR all double those of the next closest Padre. His eight batting titles are the most for any hitter in the past 100 years. (Only Ty Cobb, with 12, has more.) And perhaps more importantly, Gwynn played his entire 20-year career in San Diego, where he's as beloved as any ballplayer in any big league city. Mr. Padre would’ve turned 60 last Saturday. Padres top 5 >

Rockies: Larry Walker (1995-2004)
Key fact: Won the 1997 NL MVP Award with a .366 average, 49 homers and 33 steals
The big, friendly crowds at Mile High Stadium in the early 1990s were part of the reason Walker signed with the Rockies in ‘95. He validated the signing by leading Colorado to the postseason in 1995, claiming NL MVP honors in '97, winning three NL batting titles, earning five Gold Glove Awards and making four All-Star teams with the club. In 2020, Walker became the first former Rockies player to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Rockies top 5 >