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Ranking the Positions 2006

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No, this isn't a repeat of last week's Ranking the Lineup Positions. Instead, it's the natural follow-up to that piece: ranking the fielding positions (along with designated hitter and pinch hitter).

Again, this is a simple concept, but useful to see as a major-league whole. I've taken the 2006 hitting stats for every team's fielding position, as well as designated hitter and pinch hitter, and ranked them based on OPS (ties are ranked by OBP then SLG).

The winner in these rankings? As you can see below, it's first base for the Phillies.

With almost 690 of the 710 plate appearances for Phillies first basemen going to Ryan Howard, the position just beat out the Cardinals first basemen, who were watered down by about 80 of the 710 plate appearances for first basemen going to a mix of players not named Albert Pujols (although Jose Vizcaino did have a 3.000 OPS for his 1 plate appearance as a Cardinal first baseman).

How about the rest of the Phils (in bold in the chart below)? They have 7 spots in the top 112 (one is the 36 at-bats the designated hitters got), including the Pat Burrell-dominated left field position (which was 29th overall and 6th for all left fielders - he needs to be moved . . . why?). As most observers could have guessed, the atrocious combination of David Bell and Abraham Nunez at third base (249th), the weak hitting bench (292nd), and the pitchers (321st) were the huge weaknesses for the team.

With right field (no Bobby Abreu) and catching (the shocking Chris Coste performance likely replaced by lots of plate appearances for sub-.290 OBP Rod Barajas) likely to fall in the rankings, the Phils better hope Wes Helms improves third base, the crud Gillick has assembled for the bench miraculously produces, and the coaching staff teaches the pitchers (two of whom have lived most of their MLB lives in the AL) how to hit, even just a bit. My suggestion: don't hold your breath.

Here's the beginning of the list, numbers 1 through 100. 101-200, 201-300, and 301-330 are listed in separate stories.

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Rank Team Pos AB BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Philadelphia 1B 599 0.309 0.420 0.643 1.063
2 St. Louis 1B 616 0.325 0.416 0.641 1.057
3 Cleveland DH 561 0.298 0.412 0.604 1.016
4 Cincinnati DH 21 0.286 0.385 0.619 1.004
5 Boston DH 571 0.278 0.406 0.597 1.003
6 Florida 3B 607 0.338 0.428 0.563 0.992
7 Boston LF 582 0.302 0.423 0.553 0.977
8 Chicago Sox DH 544 0.281 0.408 0.566 0.975
9 Colorado LF 650 0.323 0.380 0.591 0.971
10 Minnesota 1B 609 0.328 0.384 0.586 0.970
11 Houston 1B 632 0.318 0.396 0.573 0.969
12 Chicago Sox RF 622 0.310 0.376 0.582 0.958
13 Chicago Sox 1B 629 0.326 0.387 0.556 0.943
14 Colorado 3B 630 0.319 0.398 0.541 0.939
15 LA Dodgers 1B 649 0.319 0.387 0.550 0.937
16 St. Louis 3B 610 0.305 0.379 0.554 0.933
17 Washington 1B 580 0.290 0.415 0.505 0.920
18 Cleveland CF 665 0.295 0.378 0.541 0.920
19 San Francisco LF 556 0.268 0.414 0.504 0.918
20 Toronto CF 661 0.312 0.364 0.551 0.915
21 Pittsburgh LF 592 0.280 0.389 0.522 0.911
22 Cleveland 1B 620 0.319 0.376 0.534 0.910
23 NY Yankees 3B 615 0.293 0.389 0.520 0.909
24 NY Mets CF 611 0.267 0.370 0.538 0.909
25 Philadelphia DH 36 0.278 0.350 0.556 0.906
26 Toronto 1B 622 0.320 0.380 0.524 0.905
27 LA Dodgers LF 600 0.317 0.387 0.517 0.903
28 Colorado RF 612 0.297 0.375 0.525 0.900
29 Philadelphia LF 608 0.265 0.379 0.516 0.896
30 Atlanta 3B 633 0.300 0.378 0.517 0.895
31 NY Yankees SS 657 0.341 0.412 0.481 0.893
32 Detroit SS 592 0.318 0.393 0.500 0.893
33 NY Mets 3B 612 0.306 0.377 0.516 0.893
34 Washington LF 672 0.272 0.346 0.546 0.892
35 Philadelphia 2B 682 0.305 0.372 0.516 0.888
36 Atlanta C 592 0.307 0.362 0.525 0.888
37 NY Mets 1B 613 0.272 0.359 0.529 0.887
38 LA Angels RF 644 0.309 0.363 0.522 0.885
39 Chicago Cubs 3B 627 0.282 0.340 0.544 0.884
40 Atlanta CF 598 0.259 0.363 0.518 0.882
41 Oakland DH 546 0.262 0.368 0.513 0.881
42 Colorado 1B 615 0.298 0.398 0.478 0.876
43 Toronto RF 644 0.297 0.354 0.522 0.876
44 Seattle LF 639 0.290 0.354 0.516 0.871
45 Cincinnati 1B 610 0.297 0.390 0.480 0.870
46 San Diego C 647 0.300 0.362 0.509 0.870
47 Texas 1B 632 0.275 0.364 0.505 0.869
48 Minnesota C 629 0.334 0.401 0.466 0.867
49 Baltimore SS 651 0.330 0.382 0.484 0.866
50 Houston RF 590 0.264 0.371 0.495 0.866
51 Florida 1B 625 0.288 0.351 0.512 0.863
52 Kansas City 3B 606 0.300 0.366 0.493 0.859
53 Milwaukee 1B 606 0.289 0.364 0.495 0.859
54 Atlanta 1B 602 0.271 0.335 0.522 0.856
55 San Diego 1B 622 0.299 0.358 0.494 0.852
56 Baltimore RF 612 0.304 0.354 0.497 0.851
57 Toronto LF 635 0.309 0.395 0.455 0.850
58 LA Dodgers RF 607 0.275 0.377 0.471 0.849
59 LA Angels DH 573 0.295 0.356 0.492 0.849
60 Oakland LF 617 0.277 0.355 0.494 0.849
61 Seattle 1B 612 0.265 0.340 0.507 0.847
62 San Francisco 2B 611 0.278 0.349 0.494 0.844
63 Milwaukee LF 623 0.281 0.337 0.507 0.844
64 Cincinnati LF 594 0.241 0.363 0.480 0.843
65 NY Yankees DH 565 0.265 0.369 0.473 0.842
66 Cincinnati 3B 629 0.291 0.358 0.482 0.840
67 NY Mets SS 704 0.297 0.351 0.486 0.837
68 Chicago Cubs RF 628 0.288 0.337 0.498 0.835
69 Pittsburgh 3B 641 0.315 0.362 0.470 0.832
70 San Francisco RF 649 0.287 0.346 0.482 0.828
71 Arizona DH 29 0.276 0.343 0.483 0.826
72 Milwaukee 3B 611 0.282 0.349 0.475 0.823
73 Boston 3B 637 0.284 0.341 0.482 0.823
74 Toronto 3B 602 0.251 0.349 0.472 0.820
75 Tampa Bay LF 647 0.295 0.344 0.473 0.817
76 Philadelphia RF 598 0.273 0.391 0.425 0.816
77 Texas 2B 586 0.292 0.357 0.459 0.816
78 NY Yankees RF 627 0.289 0.357 0.456 0.814
79 Chicago Cubs C 603 0.287 0.341 0.473 0.814
80 Milwaukee SS 618 0.254 0.331 0.482 0.814
81 NY Yankees 2B 632 0.315 0.343 0.470 0.813
82 Cincinnati PH 241 0.270 0.336 0.477 0.813
83 NY Yankees C 572 0.260 0.354 0.458 0.812
84 Florida SS 679 0.289 0.345 0.467 0.811
85 Toronto DH 582 0.292 0.338 0.473 0.811
86 Cleveland C 609 0.297 0.365 0.445 0.810
87 Washington 3B 644 0.283 0.347 0.463 0.810
88 Texas LF 604 0.273 0.341 0.469 0.809
89 Florida LF 626 0.267 0.339 0.470 0.809
90 Detroit RF 643 0.291 0.344 0.463 0.808
91 Texas CF 682 0.292 0.349 0.457 0.807
92 San Diego CF 641 0.262 0.347 0.460 0.807
93 NY Mets RF 606 0.281 0.337 0.470 0.807
94 NY Yankees CF 670 0.273 0.345 0.461 0.806
95 Houston 3B 593 0.238 0.365 0.438 0.804
96 NY Yankees 1B 591 0.250 0.348 0.455 0.804
97 Philadelphia SS 717 0.276 0.334 0.470 0.804
98 Arizona CF 689 0.276 0.328 0.476 0.804
99 LA Dodgers C 589 0.301 0.365 0.438 0.803
100 Minnesota CF 632 0.282 0.334 0.468 0.803