Welcome to the debut of the TMI Power Poll. Each week a panel of 8 from the ESPN Stats & Info group will tackle a different topic and rank the top ten players/teams/items in that category. But we encourage you to get involved. Let us know why we're wrong, where we got it right and suggest future topics.
Since it is Opening Day (for most teams anyway), we lead off with the top 10 leadoff hitters. Corny? Absolutely, but it is an interesting topic for sure.
What makes a good leadoff hitter? It used to be that most would say a nice batting average and a lot of stolen bases would do the trick. Those numbers are definitely still relevant, but there are so many ways to look at things nowadays. Runs created, pitches seen, extra bases taken… Imagine the possibilities.
The majority of our panel was aboard the Ichiro bandwagon. Not much to dislike when it comes to the Mariners leadoff hitter – Ichiro has been a model of consistency. In each of his nine MLB seasons, he has at least 200 hits, 25 steals, a .300 BA and a .350 OBP. Last season Ichiro slugged a career high .465 and grounded into just 1 double play.
All that and much more were considered… You know our number one, so here's the rest of our best leadoff hitters (first-place votes in parentheses):
TMI Power Poll: top 10 leadoff men
Others receiving votes: Julio Borbon, Juan Pierre, Grady Sizemore, Alfonso Soriano, Ian Kinsler, Skip Schumaker, Stephen Drew, Kosuke Fukudome, David DeJesus, Marco Scutaro, Andrew McCutchen and Dexter Fowler.