This is MLB's All-Tall Team
When Pirates prospect Oneil Cruz made his MLB debut on Oct. 2, 2021, he became the tallest player to start a big league game at shortstop ... ever.
Listed at 6-foot-7, Cruz is now back in the Majors, and he put together an electric 2022 debut on Monday, flashing his diverse tools and making an impact all over the field.
Cruz's career is just beginning, but he's already part of MLB's All-Tall Team. These are the tallest players to start a game at each position in MLB history.
Catcher: Grayson Greiner (6-foot-6)
Only three catchers listed at 6-foot-6 have started a game at catcher, and it definitely looks weird to see a man that big crouching behind the plate. Of the three 6-6 backstops, Greiner has made the most starts by far, beginning his career with the Tigers before moving on to the D-backs in 2022.
Honorable mentions: Pete Koegel (6-6), Don Gile (6-6)
First base: Tony Clark (6-foot-8)
It makes sense to have a big target at first base, and Clark fit the bill. The 6-foot-8 slugger played for six teams in 15 seasons and hit .262 with 251 homers, 824 RBIs and an .824 OPS. He’s also the tallest switch-hitter in MLB history.
Honorable mentions: Nate Freiman (6-8)
Second base: Dick Hall (6-foot-6)
Hall’s career spanned from 1952-71, and he spent much of it as a pitcher and part-time outfielder. However, he also started seven games at second base for the Pirates in his second big league season. No other player 6-6 or taller has started a game at the keystone.
Third base: Ryan Minor (6-foot-7)
Best known as the player who replaced Cal Ripken Jr. in the Orioles’ starting lineup when Ripken ended his consecutive games-played streak at 2,632 on Sept. 20, 1998, Minor played four seasons in MLB, three with the O’s and one with the Expos. He hit .177 with five homers over 142 games.
But it should hardly be surprising, given his height, that Minor was also an accomplished basketball player. He twice led the Big 8 Conference in points per game while at Oklahoma, and the Philadelphia 76ers made him a second-round pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. (That was the same year Philly picked Allen Iverson first overall and also drafted Mark Hendrickson, who went on to pitch for 10 MLB seasons).
Honorable mention: Joel Guzman (6-7)
Shortstop: Oneil Cruz (6-foot-7)
There are some tall shortstops in today's game -- Corey Seager and Carlos Correa are both 6-4 -- but Cruz towers over everyone. He has two inches over the next tallest players to start a game at short -- Troy Glaus, Archi Cianfrocco and Mike Morse, all 6-5. Joel Guzman is the only other 6-7 guy to make an appearance at shortstop, but he never started there.
Left field: Frank Howard (6-foot-7)
A hulking right-handed slugger who won the 1960 NL Rookie of the Year Award and hit 382 homers over 16 seasons, Howard made more starts in left field (902) than any of his other positions (1B, RF, DH) combined. Of all the 6-foot-7 players to appear in an MLB game, Howard is also the only one we could find who has gone on to manage.
Honorable mentions: Billy Ashley (6-7), Walt Bond (6-7), Taylor Jones (6-7), Richie Sexson (6-7), Steven Moya (6-7)
Center field: Aaron Judge (6-foot-7)
Judge has mostly played right field during his career, but he’s now made enough starts in center field to qualify for this spot. Bond is the only other player listed at 6-foot-7 or taller who has started a game in center.
Honorable mention: Walt Bond (6-7)
Right field: Walt Bond (6-foot-7)
Howard and Judge both have more right-field starts, but with those two occupying left and center, respectively, this spot goes to Bond. A left-handed hitter, Bond recorded 41 homers, 179 RBIs and a .733 OPS over six seasons for Cleveland, Houston and Minnesota.
Honorable mentions: Billy Ashley (6-7), Steven Moya (6-7), Richie Sexson (6-7)
Designated hitter: Nate Freiman (6-foot-8)
Clark and Freiman are the only two position players listed at 6-8 or taller in MLB history. Freiman played two seasons in the Majors, appearing in 116 games with the A’s over 2013-14, including eight starts as the DH.
Starting pitcher: Randy Johnson (6-foot-10)
With 11 starts in his career, 6-11 righty Jon Rauch technically is the tallest player to start an MLB game. But with Rauch in our RP spot, the starting nod goes to the Big Unit. Among the most intimidating pitchers ever, the 6-10 left-hander collected 303 wins, 4,875 strikeouts -- second all time behind Nolan Ryan -- and five Cy Young Awards en route to the Hall of Fame.
Honorable mention: Chris Young (6-10), Eric Hillman (6-10), Aaron Slegers (6-10)
Relief pitcher: Jon Rauch (6-foot-11)
Rauch was the first player listed at 6-11 or taller to appear in an MLB game, and he held that distinction alone for more than 20 years until Sean Hjelle made his big league debut on May 6, 2022. Over 11 seasons, Rauch tallied 62 saves and recorded a 3.90 ERA while pitching for seven teams.
Honorable mention: Sean Hjelle (6-11)