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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 10 Right Fielders in MLB History: Who is the Greatest?

Top 10 Right Fielders in MLB History: Who is the Greatest?

The best ever in RF
Publish Date: 02/21/2024
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Once again in our countdown of the greatest baseball players position by position, right field is loaded with legends. The top 5 are unquestioned to me. Only the order can be in doubt. If you love this article make sure you check out our Greatest Left Fielders of all time list.

Criteria

Stats, as always, are a large determining factor as our awards won. The problem with awards are the fact that a lot of awards were not even in existence when guys like Joe Jackson or Babe Ruth played. The All-Star game did not start until the early 1930s, so you will see a legend like Babe Ruth only played in two all-star games, and that’s because his career was nearing its conclusion when the game actually began.

10) Dave Winfield

In his 22-year career, he had a .283 average, a .353 on-base percentage, 465 home runs, 1833 RBI, 1669 runs scored, 3110 base hits, 540 doubles, and 223 stolen bases. He was selected to the All-Star team twelve times, starting in the right field in five of them.

He won the Silver Slugger Award six times and finished in the top five of the MVP voting three times. He was also a great defensive player, winning seven Gold Glove awards. He was the first big-name San Diego Padre until he went to the New York Yankees in 1981.

  • 12 Time All-Star
  • World Series Champion 1992
  • 7 Gold Gloves
  • 6 Silver Slugger Awards
  • Roberto Clemente Award
Video: Dave Winfield could do it ALL! The Hall of Famer was AWESOME on the field

Dave Winfield could do it ALL! The Hall of Famer was AWESOME on the field

9) Paul Waner

Paul Waner made his Pirates debut in 1927 and quickly earned himself the NL MVP the following season. That same season he hit.380 and led the league in hits, triples, and RBI, ultimately leading them to reach the World Series but being swept by the legendary Yankees – his only postseason appearance.

Waner was an outstanding hitter for another decade, winning two more batting titles and hitting over.300 in all his 12 seasons of professional baseball. “Big Poison” also reached 200 hits eight times, leading the league in runs, doubles, and triples twice. In 1933 he represented Pittsburgh at the inaugural All-Star game; four more times in subsequent years following that.

  • 4 Time All-Star
  • NL MVP 1927
  • 3 Time NL Batting Champion
  • NL RBI Leader 1927
Video: Paul Waner (1963) Interview by Cliff Evans

Paul Waner (1963) Interview by Cliff Evans

8) Tony Gwynn

Gwynn was one of the greatest pure hitters of all time, batting .338 in his career with eight titles. He batted .394 in 1994 and had 3,141 career hits. He also stole 319 career bases. Gwynn was a solid fielder, but he was one of the greatest pure hitters in baseball history.

He helped lead the Padres to two World Series appearances in 1984 and 1998. When you think of the San Diego Padres, you automatically think of Tony Gwynn.

  • 15 Time All-Star
  • 5 Time Gold Glove Award winner
  • 7 Time Sliver Slugger
  • Roberto Clemente Award
  • 8 Time NL Batting Champion
Video: Tony Gwynn Career Highlights

Tony Gwynn Career Highlights

6)”Shoeless” Joe Jackson

Jackson was a legend for the right reasons before the Black Sox scandal; in 1920, he hit.382 during his final MLB season before receiving a lifetime ban for his involvement in the 1919 “Blacksox” scandal. While we don’t doubt he deserved his punishment, Jackson’s peak deserves recognition. Considering he was only 32 then, one can speculate if he had been given more opportunities to play more games during his final MLB season.

Shoeless Joe will always be tainted because of the 1919 Black Sox scandal, but he was one of the greatest all-around baseball players of all time.

  • 1917 World Series Champion
Video: Shoeless Joe Jackson: Hall of Fame Worthy?

Shoeless Joe Jackson: Hall of Fame Worthy?

6) Mel Ott

In his 22-year career, he had a .304 average, a .414 on-base percentage, 511 home runs, 1860 RBI, 1859 runs scored, 2876 base hits, 488 doubles, and 89 stolen bases. He was selected to the All-Star team twelve times, starting in the right field in two of them.

Ott was one of the greatest power hitters of all time. He played more than right field during his career, and there was not much Ott could not do on a baseball field.

  • 12 Time All-Star
  • World Series Champion 1933
  • 6 Time NL Home Run Leader
  • NL RBI Leader 1934
Video: 1933 World Series featuring a home run by Mel Ott

1933 World Series featuring a home run by Mel Ott

5) Al Kaline

Kaline was among the greatest all-around players in baseball history; he was equally good with the bat or the glove. In his 22-year career, he had a .297 average, 399 home runs, 1583 RBI, 1622 runs scored, 3007 base hits, 498 doubles, and 137 stolen bases. He was selected to the All-Star team 18 times, starting in right field in five of them, and he won one batting title.

He was also one of the best defensive players ever, winning 10 Gold Glove awards in an 11-year stretch. In addition, he finished in the top five in the MVP voting four times.

  • 18 Time All-Star
  • World Series Champion 1968
  • 10 Time Gold Glove Winner
  • Roberto Clemente Award
  • AL Batting Champion 1955
Video: Al Kaline Highlights

Al Kaline Highlights

4) Frank Robinson

Robinson was an absolutely amazing offensive player. In his 21-year career, he had a .294 average, a .389 on-base percentage, 586 home runs, 1812 RBI, 1829 runs scored, 2943 base hits, 528 doubles, and 204 stolen bases.

He won the 1956 Rookie of the Year Award and was selected to the All-Star team 14 times, starting in the right field in three of them. He won one batting title, led the league in on-base percentage twice, slugging percentage four times, and in OPS four times.

He ranks seventh all-time in total homers, 14th in runs scored, and 17th in RBI. He won two MVP awards and his best season came in 1966 when he won the Triple Crown Award.

  • 14 Time All-Star
  • 2 Time World Series Champion
  • 2 Time MVP
  • World Series MVP 1966
  • Triple Crown 1966
  • NL Rookie of the Year 1956
  • Gold Glove 1958
  • AL Home Run leader1966
  • AL Batting Average Leader 1966
  • AL RBI Leader 1966
Video: Frank Robinson Highlights

Frank Robinson Highlights

3) Roberto Clemente

In his 18-year career, he had a .317 average, 240 home runs, 1305 RBI, 1416 runs scored, 3000 base hits, 440 doubles, 166 triples, and 83 stolen bases. He was selected to the All-Star team 15 times, starting in the right field in seven.

He was a great defensive player, winning 12 consecutive Gold Glove awards from 1961 until 1972. In addition, he won four batting titles and ranked 27th all-time in total base hits. His best season came in 1966 when he won his only MVP award.

  • 15 Time All-Star
  • 2 Time World Series Champion
  • NL MVP 1966
  • World Series MVP 1971
  • 12 Time Gold Glove Winner
  • 4 Time NL Batting Champion
Video: Roberto Clemente Highlights

Roberto Clemente Highlights

2) Babe Ruth

In his 22-year career, he had a .342 average, a .474 on-base percentage, a .690 slugging percentage, 714 home runs, 2217 RBI, 2174 runs scored, 2873 base hits, 506 doubles, and 123 stolen bases. His best season was in 1920. He had a .376 average in that season, 54 home runs, 137 RBIs, 158 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases.

Ruth was the first true power hitter in baseball history, and he had seasons where he hit more home runs than some entire teams hit. He was also hit for a high average, and even after almost a century, everybody still knows who he is. Ruth was one of the greatest baseball players to ever live, and if you don’t believe it, read this article about who was the greatest, Barry Bonds or Babe Ruth?

  • 2 Time All-Star
  • 7 Time World Series Champion
  • AL MVP 1923
  • AL Batting Champion 1924
  • 12 Time Home Run Leader
  • 5 Time AL RBI Leader
  • AL ERA Leader
Video: Babe Ruth Highlights

Babe Ruth Highlights

1) Hank Aaron

In his 23-year career, he had a .305 average, 755 home runs, 2297 RBI, 2174 runs scored, 3771 base hits, 624 doubles, and 240 stolen bases. He was selected to the All-Star team an incredible 25 times, starting in the right field in fourteen of them. He won two batting titles, led the league in slugging percentage four times, and in-home runs four times.

He was also an excellent defensive outfielder, winning three consecutive Gold Glove awards from 1958 until 1960. He ranks fourth in runs scored, third in base hits, second in homers, first in RBI, and first in total bases.

  • 25-time All-Star
  • World Series Champion
  • NL MVP 1957
  • 3 Time Gold Glove
  • 2 Time NFL Batting Champion
  • 4 Time NL Home Run Leader
  • 4 Time RBI Leader
Video: Hank Aaron Highlights

Hank Aaron Highlights

Honorable

Larry Walker

Larry Walker began his career in Montreal when the Expos called him up in August 1989. The following April, he was their starting right fielder. Walker made his first All-Star team and won his first Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in 1992. In his final year in Montreal, the strike-shortened 1994, he led the league in doubles and had 19 HRs, 86 RBI, and a .322 average when MLB canceled the season due to the player’s strike.

Harry Heilman

Harry Heilmann may be the most underrated player in the Top Ten. His lifetime. of .342 average ranks second only to Babe Ruth among qualified right fielders, and he debuted with the Tigers in 1914 but didn’t stay until 1916. Playing alongside Ty Cobb helped Heilmann develop into a premier hitter; after returning from World War I, his average never fell below.300 for the rest of his career.

Reggie Jackson

In his 21-year career, he had a .262 average, a .356 on-base percentage, 563 home runs, 1702 RBI, 1551 runs scored, 2584 base hits, 463 doubles, and 228 stolen bases. He was selected to the All-Star team fourteen times, starting in right field in nine of them, and he won two Silver Slugger awards. However, his best season came in 1973 when he won his only MVP award.

Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro’s first ten seasons had 200 hits each year; the case can be made that if he had played his entire career in the MLB, he would have broke Pete Rose’s hit record. He was a great defensive player with fantastic speed.

Dwight Evans

Dewey spent all 20 years of his professional baseball career with Boston and Baltimore, known for his excellent throwing arm from right field and keen batting eye. Throughout that span, he led the league in walks three times, earned six Gold Gloves, hit 2,446 career balls, and hit 385 home runs – a testament to his legendary status.

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