#20 – OF Lou Brock
Sweet Lou may not on paper sound like the definition of a great hitter. Lou was one of our exceptions here, as when you rank the top 20 in history according to wRC+, but one cannot leave Lou and his 3,023 hits off of this list. Brock also sits fourth in team history with his 684 extra base-hits.
Brock may have been known primarily for his wheels, but what most don’t know about Brock is that from 1965-1967 Brock had more than 15 homers each season, having 20 or more doubles in each of those seasons as well, and stealing over 60 bases in ’65 and ’66.
While you may disagree with us here that Brock was not as good of a hitter as the others on this list, Brock stands in with a really good career line of .293/.343/.410. Brock’s best numbers of his career came when the outfielder was playing in one of the best eras for pitching this league has ever seen, also known as the second dead ball era.
While wRC+ does account for era, I am not sure enough credit is given to Brock for regularly having an average in the area of .280-.320 and totaling 200 hits four times in this same era.
Brock’s numbers may not stand up to some of the other boppers in this team’s history, specifically those who may have played during a time when baseball was just getting on its’ feet. In my opinion the level of talent was not as great as it was during this time, especially the pitchers.
When reading about this era in the book “Baseball’s Code”, it is clear that this was a tough time for hitters. Brock was a guy, who was likely routinely targeted by pitchers for his knack to steal bases at the “wrong time”, but Brock stood in there and still was a great hitter for his time in a Cardinals’ uniform.
Next: The Cardinals' best third-basemen