Mike Schmidt vs. Brooks Robinson
A Baltimore fan recently called WIP and was trying to make the case Brooks Robinson was a better player than Mike Schmidt. I don’t know if he was entirely serious, or just trying to be a good Oriole fan. One look at the stats show that he is clearly delusional. Mike Schmidt was the best all-around 3rd baseman to ever play the game. Period.
Yes, I am a Phillies fan. Yes, Schmidt is my all-time favorite Phillie, but all we have to do is look at the stats. I didn’t see Schmidt’s full career. When he retired, I was just twelve, but, again, we look to the stats.
Let’s start off with the “slash line” of batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage.
Clearly, there is no contest here. Same average, but that’s it. Schmidt did strike out twice as much, but Schmidt got on base MUCH more than Robinson. Robinson’s career OBP is lower than Jimmy Rollins’. Jimmy Rollins. Think about that. Schmidt’s slugging percentage is, again, MUCH higher. Schmidt was a dominant power hitter, leading the league in home runs eight times. Moreover, Schmidt had much more speed and stole almost 150 more bases.
Brooks Robinson is usually touted as the best fielding third baseman ever. He does beat out Schmidt in fielding percentage at .971 to .955. He also appears to have had more range, leading the league more in put-outs and having a better “range factor” than Schmidt. Range factor is the number of put-outs and assists divided by 9 innings or games. It’s a good way to measure the effectiveness of a defender.
So in conclusion, because Schmidt’s offensive production was significantly better than Robinson’s and Robinson’s defense was fairly better than Schmidt’s, Schmidt has to win the crown as best all-around third baseman.