The St. Louis Cardinals’ 50 greatest players

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#47 Willie McGee OF

There’s good reason for why McGee is so far down on this list, so please do not think we are McGee haters here. McGee normally makes any Cardinals’ all time list and has his fans who believe his #51 should be retired. However, he almost doesn’t even make this list.

In his first eight seasons as a Cardinal, McGee posted an fWAR of 18.1, when you add in baseball reference’s 4.4 WAR they apply to his 1990 season with the Cardinals before he was traded to Oakland that season, and you have a 22.5 WAR number, that is pretty darn good for anyone.

However, McGee’s numbers are buoyed by his 1990 season and his 1985 season where he posted a 7.1 fWAR. So, when you subtract those numbers from his total you are looking at a rather pedestrian 11.0 fWAR. However, McGee gets to keep these seasons, which makes him one of the better Cardinals’ of all time.

His 1985 season is his best season, and it’s not even close. In 1985, McGee hit .353/.384/.503 with 54 extra base-hits (26 doubles, 18 triples, 10 homers), posting a wRC+ of 151. That year McGee posted an offensive value of 42.3 runs above average.

But, the reason why McGee finishes so low on this list is that McGee finished his career being worth just 20.5 runs above average, showing that aside from his spectacular 1985 season, McGee was rather average.

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