Building The Ultimate Five-Tool Player

Daniel Corrigan| June 12th, 2020

Baseball scouts grade position players based on five specific attributes. Hitting, hitting for power, fielding, throwing, and running.

Have you ever heard an announcer call someone, a “Five-tool” player? Well, that’s what it means. In this article, I will be taking the best player that held each of these tools and creating the best player I can. The only rule is, I can’t use the same player twice. Otherwise, I would probably just recreate Barry Bonds.

Hitting: Ichiro Suzuki

Now, I really wanted to put Tony Gwynn here. I think we can all agree that Gwynn is a better overall player, however, If Ichiro started his career in America instead of Japan, he would clearly be the hit leader. Usually, players have a bit of a hard transition coming to the MLB from another country.

Ichiro came into the MLB in 2001 at 27 years old and won the MVP, ROY, GG, and SS all while being an all-star. He finished the season with 242 hits and a .350 BA. Pretty damn good, huh?

Ichiro finished his career with 3,058 hits and if we add his hits in Japan, he had a total of 4,367 hits. He had a career BA of .311 and a slash line of .355/.402/.757.

It was a very close battle between him and Gwynn, but Ichiro gets the nod due to longevity.

Hitting For Power: Barry Bonds

I mean, did anyone think otherwise? Not only is Bonds the best player of all-time, but he is also the best power-hitter of all time. He finished his career with 762 home runs, the most of all-time. It’s one of those records that will not be broken for a very long time.

Yeah, I know he is a controversial player. But he was already the best power-hitter in the 90s when he was on the Pirates. This is a very easy pick.

Fielding: Ozzie Smith

I’m not building a specific position player here. I guess with my fielding choice, I’m building a middle infielder and who better to pick from than Ozzie Smith. You do not get the nickname “The Wizard” without being the best fielder ever.

In his career, Smith won 13 Gold Gloves and amassed a War of 44.8. I think those numbers speak for themselves.

Throwing: Vladimir Guerrero

Guerrero without a doubt had the strongest arm in the 90s. He had six straight seasons of 10 plus assist from 1999-2004, including a total of 126 assists for his career.

This is one of the hardest tools to pick from. I had it narrowed down between Gurrero and Roberto Clemente, but I give the edge to a more modern-day player.

Running: Rickey Henderson

Henderson’s career steals record could be the most unbreakable record in the game. He swiped 1,406 bases in his 25-year career and stole over 100 bases in a season three times.

To put his speed into reference, Usain Bolt holds the world record of a 9.58 100-yard dash. Legend has it, that Henderson was clocked at 9.7 for a 100-yard dash.

Questions and comments?

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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