C: Ivan Rodriguez (.347 wOBA, 37.0 Fld, 34.2 WAR in 1,214 games; .028 WAR/G)
I take Rodriguez over Jorge Posada (.378, -17.9 Fld, 40.6 WAR in 1,302 games; .031 WAR/G) here since their offensive values don't have a huge gap and I'd prefer the superior defense out of my catcher. Especially on a team like this where offense will definitely not be lacking.
Not quite enough AB's by Mauer for me to give him more serious consideration.
1B: Albert Pujols (.437 wOBA, 61.0 Fld, 75.2 WAR in 1,398 games; .054 WAR/G)
Pretty easy pick here. Best player of the decade easily beats out his two closest peers of the 00's (Lance Berkman and Todd Helton).
2B: Jeff Kent (.379 wOBA, -23.4 Fld, 38.4 WAR in 1,266 games; .030 WAR/G)
If this was about ratios and not a full body of work over a period of 10 seasons, Chase Utley (.387 wOBA, 74.0 Fld, 41.2 WAR in 891 games, .046 WAR/G) would be my choice. The fact that Utley didn't debut in the bigs until 2005 made me hesitatingly omit him from this list. I'm thinking a minimum 1,000 game cutoff period is probably ideal for a best of decade list such as this.
Kent's fielding was weak but he is arguably the best offensive 2B of all time, so that made up for the less than stellar defense more often than not.
SS: Jimmy Rollins (.331 wOBA, 26.6 Fld, 37.5 WAR in 1,405 games; .027 WAR/G)
This was a tough call between Rollins and Derek Jeter (.371 wOBA, -77.8 Fld, 48.9 WAR in 1500 games; .033 WAR/G). Once again, I have to default to the better defender here at a premium position like shortstop. If the offensive gap was much bigger at all, I'd have to go with Jeter. Rollins will also serve as some well needed speed for this power dominated lineup.
3B: Alex Rodriguez (.416 wOBA, 16.4 Fld, 77.3 WAR in 1,524 games; .051 WAR/G)
Fairly easy call here, though Scott Rolen (.371 wOBA, 114.4 Fld, 50.9 WAR in 1,283 games; .040 WAR/G) gave me more reason to pause than I expected prior to looking closer at the numbers.
CF: Andruw Jones (.354 wOBA, 176.0 Fld, 50.1 WAR in 1,413 games; .035 WAR/G)
Extremely close call here, but once again (at the premium positions) I'll give the edge to the better defender if it is otherwise fairly close. Carlos Beltran (.360 wOBA, 47.8 Fld, 51.6 WAR in 1,392 games; .037 WAR/G) would be just as good of a choice here, especially with his advantage over Jones on the basepaths.
RF: Carlos Beltran (.360 wOBA, 47.8 Fld, 51.6 WAR in 1,392 games; .037 WAR/G)
Despite just missing the cut in CF, Beltran is an excellent choice to play RF and leadoff for this squad. Surprisingly enough, I almost gave the nod to a player that I didn't even consider when initially thinking of who would be the top OF's of the 00's: J.D. Drew (.389 wOBA, 58.2 Fld, 41.6 WAR in 1,221 games; .034 WAR/G). Drew never struck me as a very dynamic player, but the numbers sure tell another story.
*I don't care if submitting Beltran doesn't fit with the rules of this exercise. As long as I have one CF, I'm going to add the next two best overall outfielders regardless of their main position.
LF: Barry Bonds (.490 wOBA, 3.3 Fld, 63.5 WAR in 984 games; .065 WAR/G)
Despite barely missing my own 1,000 game cutoff period, I can't help but include Bonds on this list. The best player of this generation was otherworldly with the bat even in to his 40's and still made it on to the field for 126 games in 2007.
Bench: Manny Ramirez (.424 wOBA, -127.0 Fld, 41.4 WAR in 1,358 games; .030 WAR/G)
This was a little bit of a debate, but it basically came down to what it was I wanted out of my bench player (since there was so many types of players to choose from that could adequately fill this role). As I narrowed down my choices of skills and potential players, it became a decision between best overall bat and best runner/fielder who can still swing it. Obviously I went with the former here, but if I was going with the latter my choice would have been Ichiro Suzuki (.350 wOBA, 110.2 Fld, 48.1 WAR; .034 WAR/G). With little need for station to station type play and an already stellar OF defense, I think having Ramirez available in the late innings would be more beneficial to this squad.
5-Man Pitching Rotation:
1. Randy Johnson (3.34 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 4.47 K/BB, 55.0 WAR in 1,874 IP; .029 WAR/IP)
2. Pedro Martinez (3.01 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 4.63 K/BB, 47.8 WAR in 1,468 IP; .033 WAR/IP)
3. Roy Halladay (3.37 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 3.82 K/BB, 53.7 WAR in 1,871.2 IP; .029 WAR/IP)
4. Johan Santana (3.03 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 4.00 K/BB, 39.9 WAR in 1,546 IP; .026 WAR/IP)
5. CC Sabathia (3.62 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 2.69 K/BB, 44.6 WAR in 1,889.1 IP; .024 WAR/IP)
Figuring out my five starters was far from easy. Randy Johnson and Roy Halladay where the only locks in my mind, while the rest took quite a bit of researching and thinking about. I almost left Pedro Martinez off because he pitched quite a bit less innings than everyone else on the list, and missed a good amount of time due to injuries. However, Martinez' dominance during the time he did pitch was impossible to ignore. In terms of WAR/IP, he was basically head and shoulders above all his starting pitcher peers of the 00's.
Honorable Mentions: Mike Mussina, Roy Oswalt, Javier Vazquez, Brandon Webb, and Andy Pettite
Closer: Mariano Rivera (2.08 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 4.88 K/BB, 24.8 WAR in 713.1 IP; .035 WAR/IP)
Enough said. Closer and 1B where the two easiest choices of this exercise.
1. RF Carlos Beltran (.282/.363/.502, 67.5 BsR)
2. 1B Albert Pujols (.334/.427/.628, 16.4 BsR)
3. 2B Jeff Kent (.300/.371/.518, -12.8 BsR)
4. LF Barry Bonds (.322/.517/.724, -9.9 BsR)
5. 3B Alex Rodriguez (.304/.401/.587, 27.5 BsR)
6. CF Andruw Jones (.257/.339/.492, 0.0 BsR)
7. C Ivan Rodriguez (.298/.335/.477, -1.0 BsR)
8. SS Jimmy Rollins (.274/.329/.439, 64.2 BsR)
9. P Randy Johnson (.129/.166/.154, -3.6 BsR)