Top Ten Baseball Players at Each Position

A countdown of the best at each position on the diamond in MLB history

Portrait of New York Yankees outfielder and slugger Joe DiMaggio
Joe DiMaggio.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The best of the best. Hall of Famers all around. It's a countdown of the top 10 players in baseball history at each position. Agree or disagree? Give your opinion and join the debate about the best 10 players at each position.

Top Catchers

Top catchers: Others were more physically talented, but Yogi Berra was the glue of a team that won an incredible 10 World Series. Johnny Bench is a close second. 

Top Basemen

Top first basemen: He's known for playing a lot of games in a row and a disease that bears his name. But that's only a small part of the greatness of Lou Gehrig. Jimmie Foxx is second, and a current star is at their heels. 

Top second basemen: No list of the best hitters of all-time can't be without Rogers Hornsby, a great combination of power and average. It's a position where modern players take a back seat. 

Top third basemen: No player combined power with grace at third base like Mike Schmidt. A contemporary — George Brett — is No. 2. 

Top shortstops: Honus Wagner is probably better known for his baseball card, which is more valuable than anybody else's because of its rarity. But his career was better than any other shortstop in big-league history, too. Three modern players are ranked second through fourth. 

Top Outfielders

Top left fielders: What puts Red Sox great Ted Williams over the top isn't just that .344 lifetime average, the .482 on-base percentage, the .634 slugging percentage or those 521 homers. Stan was the man at No. 2. 

Top center fielders: Some of the greatest athletes ever played this spot. But if Willie Mays were coming up today, he would be the No. 1 pick in every fantasy draft. Joe DiMaggio, Ty Cobb, and Mickey Mantle are next. 

Top right fielders: The central figure in the history of the sport. How could it be anybody else but Babe Ruth? And the second-best — Hank Aaron — broke his home run record. 

Top designated hitters: None of these 10 set out to be on this list, but landed here because of circumstances, either with injury, defensive shortcomings or because that's where their team needed them. But they were all great hitters, in some cases Hall of Fame hitters, since the designated hitter rule came into being in 1973. No. 1 was the first baseman for years and put a "Big Hurt" at the plate, Frank Thomas. 

Top Pitchers

Top left-handed pitchers: He's got the right name for it — Lefty Grove. He's one of the most under-appreciated pitchers in baseball history. It's a tough list. Sandy Koufax is all the way down at No. 4. 

Top right-handed pitchers: The "Big Train" chugs in at No. 1. Walter Johnson has the numbers and the reputation as the all-time best in a list of pitchers from all different eras, from the 19th century to the present.

Top relief pitchers: At a position that's evolved as an important one in the past generation or so, Mariano Rivera has carved out his spot as the clear No. 1. Four Hall of Famers is in the top six, with another at No. 9.

And, of Course, You Need a Skipper, Too

Top managers: John McGraw, a master of the small ball who managed at the turn of the 20th century, is still the best ever. The top four are all from earlier eras. 

And a Play-By-Play Guy

Top broadcasters: A Dodgers great — Vin Scully, who has been with the team since the Brooklyn days — is the gold standard of baseball broadcasters, now and for all-time.