The Greatest Reds: #90 - #86

90. Greasy Neale

Played as Red Primary Position Career Rank Peak Rank Prime Rank
1916-22, 1924 RF, LF 94 95 73
Percent Breakdown of Value Best Season Best player on Reds
Hit Field Pitch 1919 Never
80% 20% 0%
Awards/Honors as a Red Leading the League On the Reds Leaderboard
N/A N/A

-15th in career sacrifice hits
-20th in career hit by pitch
-28th in career triples
-32nd in career stolen bases
-50th in career singles

Although ultimately better known for his top-notch work as an NFL coach during the 1940s, Neale was a 5-year regular in the outfield, including during the 1919 championship season (Neale was the best hitter for the Reds in that year’s World Series). After the 1920 season, Neale was packaged with Jimmy Ring to the Phillies in exchange for Eppa Rixey (who pitched in 13 seasons for the Reds en route to a Hall of Fame career). As the Phillies found out, however, Neale’s career was essentially over, and the Reds claimed him off of waivers the following June.

89. Ray Mueller

Played as Red Primary Position Career Rank Peak Rank Prime Rank
1943-44, 1946-49 C 99 50 86
Percent Breakdown of Value Best Season Best player on Reds
Hit Field Pitch 1944 Never
59% 41% 0%
Awards/Honors as a Red Leading the League On the Reds Leaderboard
All Star – 1944 N/A

-50th career AB / HR

Ray Mueller was a struggling catcher throughout the late 1930’s, picked up by the Reds prior to the 1943 season after spending the early 1940’s kicking around in the minor leagues, who found WWII-era baseball extremely to his liking. 1943 and 1944 were MVP-lite level seasons (286/353/398 for a 115 OPS+ season in 1944), then he missed the 1945 season (presumably due to military service), posted a pretty good line in 1946, and then was never the same.

88. Aaron Boone

Played as Red Primary Position Career Rank Peak Rank Prime Rank
1997-2003 3B 90 99 73
Percent Breakdown of Value Best Season Best player on Reds
Hit Field Pitch 2002 2003
71% 29% 0%
Awards/Honors as a Red Leading the League On the Reds Leaderboard
All Star – 2003 N/A

-29th in career slugging percentage
-30th in career home runs
-45th in career OPS
-46th in career doubles
-49th in career RBI

Aaron Boone is listed as the best player on the Reds for the 2003 season. On the one hand, this fairly represents Boone’s strong season with the Reds that year. On the other, it is unusual in that he was traded to the Yankees on July 31 of that year. In a completely random and unrelated note, the Reds only won 69 games in 2003. The other curious statistical oddity with Boone is that his "best season" as listed above, was really one of his worst in terms of rate performance (93 OPS+, versus a career 99 OPS+ with the Reds). That just happened to be the year he stayed completely healthy and played in all 162 games.

87. Dummy Hoy

Played as Red Primary Position Career Rank Peak Rank Prime Rank
1894-97, 1902 CF, LF 90 79 86
Percent Breakdown of Value Best Season Best player on Reds
Hit Field Pitch 1896 Never
74% 26% 0%
Awards/Honors as a Red Leading the League On the Reds Leaderboard
N/A N/A

-1st in career AB/K ratio
-3rd in career on-base percentage
-15th in career stolen bases
-38th in career OPS
-39th in career runs scored

Hoy is perhaps the most famous deaf player in baseball history, who retired as the all-time leader in games played in centerfield, and was a noted speedster who specialized in covering a ton of ground in the outfield, as well as a strong ability to take a walk at the plate, likely a function of standing 5’4". Unfortunately for the Reds, he had his best seasons with other teams. His best year (1896) was one in which he produced a .298 batting average and an on-base percentage of .403, but his OPS+ of 108 was still below his overall career mark of 110.

86. Clay Carroll

Played as Red Primary Position Career Rank Peak Rank Prime Rank
1968-1975 RP 73 145 93
Percent Breakdown of Value Best Season Best player on Reds
Hit Field Pitch 1970 Never
0% 0% 100%
Awards/Honors as a Red Leading the League On the Reds Leaderboard
All Star – 1971, 1972 Saves – 1972
Games Pitched – 1972

-3rd in career saves
-3rd in career games pitched
-5th in career ERA+
-6th in career W-L percentage
-30th in career wins

Here is a guy who I would have loved to have seen pitch, if for no other reason than to try and figure out how he succeeded. From the stats, it appears that Carroll was blessed with neither overpowering stuff (4.8 K/9 as a Red) nor excellent control (3.2 BB/9). Instead, he had a rubber arm that consistently got people out. Despite being entrenched as a reliever, he still started 15 games over the course of his tenure with the Reds. When it came time to face the best possible opponents in the postseason, Carroll turned it up a few more notches (career reg. season ERA with the Reds: 2.73; career post-season ERA with the Reds over 32.1 IP: 1.39). In his best season, Carroll appeared in 65 games for 104.1 IP, saving 16 and posting a 2.59 ERA (161 ERA+). Then went on to throw 10.1 scoreless innings in the postseason. In his last ever appearance for the Reds, Carroll pitched the 7th and 8th innings in game 7 of the 1975 World Series, ultimately getting credited with the win.

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