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Franchise Four: NL West

4/22/2015

Our last division. Two of these franchises have interesting lists to choose from; the other three, not so much. You can do your own voting here at MLB.com. Click here to get all six division articles.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Career leaders in WAR:

Randy Johnson, 53.0

Brandon Webb, 33.1

Luis Gonzalez, 30.0

Curt Schilling, 26.0

Really, there's nobody else in the discussion unless you want to include Paul Goldschmidt (16.6 WAR). Maybe Yasmany Tomas one day. (Sarcasm font needed.)

My picks: Johnson, Schilling, Gonzalez, Webb

Colorado Rockies

Career leaders in WAR:

1. Todd Helton, 61.5

2. Larry Walker, 48.5

3. Troy Tulowitzki, 38.4

4. Ubaldo Jimenez, 18.6

5. Matt Holliday, 18.4

6. Vinny Castilla, 17.4

7. Carlos Gonzalez, 17.2

8. Aaron Cook, 16.8

In looking at the Rockies' career leaders, I'm reminded how often they're still analyzed incorrectly. You often hear how they've never had a great pitcher. Well, this is true. But while they've had three great position players, once you get past Helton, Walker and Tulo, the quality of the pitchers isn't so different from the quality of the hitters. The valuations are skewed by Coors Field, of course, but Holliday and CarGo didn't or haven't provided the club much more value than Jimenez and Cook.

My picks: Helton, Walker, Tulowitzki, Castilla

Los Angeles Dodgers

Career leaders in WAR:

1. Pee Wee Reese, 66.3

2. Duke Snider, 65.9

3. Dazzy Vance, 61.6

4. Jackie Robinson, 61.5

5. Don Drysdale, 61.2

6. Zack Wheat, 59.7

7. Willie Davis, 54.4

8. Sandy Koufax, 53.2

9. Don Sutton 50.7

10. Nap Rucker, 47.9

11. Ron Cey, 47.5

12. Gil Hodges, 44.3

13. Jim Gilliam, 40.7

14. Orel Hershiser, 39.9

15. Clayton Kershaw, 39.5

16. Steve Garvey, 36.4

Arguments for the Dodgers may result in a few fisticuffs. Brooklyn versus L.A. Pitchers versus hitters. Stats versus legacy.

OK, we can all agree on Robinson and Koufax, right? No need to break down those two. I was surprised to see that Reese is the franchise leader in WAR; MLB.com didn't even include him on the ballot. They did include Roy Campanella (34.2 WAR) and Fernando Valenzuela (33.0 WAR), which is understandable.

I have no idea where to go. I'd consider Hershiser just for his amazing 1988 season. I mean, look at that roster. He somehow carried that team to a World Series championship. Garvey, we know now, was overrated as a player, but he was one of the biggest names in the game in the '70s, as was Drysdale in the '60s. And there was nothing like Valenzuela when he arrived in the majors from Mexico. Now we have Kershaw.

My picks: Robinson, Koufax, Drysdale, Campanella

San Diego Padres

Career leaders in WAR:

1. Tony Gwynn, 68.8

2. Dave Winfield, 31.9

3. Trevor Hoffman, 25.3

4. Jake Peavy, 24.3

5. Andy Ashby, 22.8

6. Randy Jones, 20.8

7. Andy Benes, 20.7

8. Adrian Gonzalez, 20.3

I love that MLB.com includes Garvey on the ballot. OK, I don't love it. The Padres retired his jersey number, which is an absolute joke. He played five seasons with the Padres. His wins above replacement: 1.3. I shouldn't be so bothered by this, yet I am.

My picks: Gwynn, Hoffman, Winfield, Peavy

San Francisco Giants

Career leaders in WAR:

1. Willie Mays, 154.6

2. Barry Bonds, 112.3

3. Mel Ott, 107.8

4. Christy Mathewson, 95.6

5. Amos Rusie, 69.7

6. Carl Hubbell, 67.8

7. Juan Marichal, 62.5

8. Willie McCovey, 59.3

9. Bill Terry, 54.3

Outside of maybe the Yankees, I wonder if the Giants would have the best Franchise Eight of any team? The MLB.com ballot doesn't include Rusie (a pitcher from the 1890s), Terry (.341 career hitter) or Hubbell (two-time MVP and owner of one the game's great nicknames, "The Meal Ticket"), but does include Orlando Cepeda and Buster Posey. You know what? I'd consider Posey for my list. He's been the best player on a team that has won three titles in five years -- that's three more titles than the Mays/Marichal/McCovey/Cepeda Giants won.

Alas, with four all-time greats in Mays, Bonds, Ott and Mathewson, it's difficult to check Posey, even if Ott and Mathewson did their thing back in New York.

My picks: Mays, Bonds, Ott, Mathewson

By the way, a reader asked about the best players not to make any of my team lists. Based on career WAR, here are the top 10:

1. Cy Young

2. Roger Clemens

3. Tris Speaker

4. Rogers Hornsby

5. Eddie Collins

6. Pete Alexander

7. Alex Rodriguez

8. Kid Nichols

9. Mickey Mantle

10. Frank Robinson

All these guys played for more than one team, except Mantle (although Hornsby did earn most of his value with the Cardinals). FYI, I went with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra with the Yankees. Maybe I should have gone with Mantle over DiMaggio or Berra. As a reader pointed out, Mantle was more of the cultural icon. I'd argue DiMaggio was just as big in his day as Mantle was in the 1950s and I've always viewed Berra as the glue of those '50s Yankees. But Mantle was the better player.