BA Newsletter: Get Analysis, Rankings Delivered To Your Inbox!

Building A Fantasy Baseball All-Star Team Of The 1990s



The suspension of all baseball everywhere this spring has many in our universe looking back wistfully at the past to connect in the present with the game we love.

In this post I continue my trip down memory lane in search for the best fantasy seasons of the past four decades. This task is inspired by the Project G.O.A.T. retro fantasy baseball challenge, which was developed by ESPN's Pierre Becquey.

You can see our team of the 1980s here.

On to the fantasy all-star team of the 1990s.


C Mike Piazza | Age 28 | 1997 Dodgers

556 AB | .362 AVG | 104 R | 40 HR | 124 RBI | 5 SB

Piazza hit more home runs than any catcher in history, twice reaching 40 in a season and hitting at least 35 four other times. He hit .300 in nine different seasons. His exploits at catchers seem almost impossible by the standards of today.

On deck: Ivan Rodriguez, 1999 Rangers; and Mike Piazza, 1999 Mets

1B Mark McGwire | Age 34 | 1998 Cardinals

509 AB | .299 AVG | 130 R | 70 HR | 147 RBI | 1 SB

McGwire shattered Roger Maris’ 37-year-old single-season home run record by blasting 70 while also setting career highs with 130 runs and 147 RBIs.

On deck: Jeff Bagwell, 1994 Astros; and Jeff Bagwell, 1999 Astros

2B Roberto Alomar | Age 31 | 1999 Indians

563 AB | .323 AVG | 138 R | 24 HR | 120 RBI | 37 SB

Alomar led the American League with 138 runs and finished third in MVP balloting in a five-category career year. The incredible 1999 Indians are the last team to score 1,000 runs, and the only team to do so in the expansion era.

On deck: Ryne Sandberg, 1990 Cubs; and Roberto Alomar, 1993 Blue Jays

3B Ken Caminiti | Age 33 | 1996 Padres

546 AB | .326 AVG | 109 R | 40 HR | 130 RBI | 11 SB

Caminiti never topped 30 homers, 100 runs or 100 RBIs in any other season, but for one glorious year he was National League MVP. Known as an intense competitor and giving person, Caminiti was the first player to come clean about steroid use in 2002, a year after he retired. He died two years later.

On deck: Howard Johnson, 1991 Mets; and Jim Thome, 1996 Indians

SS Alex Rodriguez | Age 20 | 1996 Mariners

601 AB | .358 AVG | 141 R | 36 HR | 123 RBI | 15 SB

Cal Ripken Jr. revolutionized the shortstop position for larger players. Rodriguez raised the bar. In 1996, his first full big league season, A-Rod led the American League in hitting, runs and doubles (54). The Rangers’ Juan Gonzalez won the MVP that year, but Rodriguez received only one fewer first-place vote.

On deck: Alex Rodriguez, 1998 Mariners; and Howard Johnson,, 1991 Mets

OF Larry Walker | Age 30 | 1997 Rockies

568 AB | .366 AVG | 143 R | 49 HR | 130 RBI | 33 SB

Few players ever impacted all five fantasy categories like Walker did in his National League MVP season. But in a sign of how crazy the late 1990s were for offense, the only fantasy category that Walker led the league in was home runs.

OF Barry Bonds | Age 28 | 1993 Giants

539 AB | .336 AVG | 129 R | 46 HR | 123 RBI | 29 SB

Bonds’ first year in San Francisco was an all-timer that included a National League-leading 46 home runs and 123 RBIs—not to mention his third MVP trophy in four seasons. The Giants signed him for six years and $43.75 million and sure got their money's worth.

OF Manny Ramirez | Age 27 | 1999 Indians

522 AB | .333 AVG | 131 R | 44 HR | 165 RBI | 2 SB

Ramirez’s 165 RBIs in 1999 is the highest single-season total since the high-scoring 1930s. He had a lot of chances batting behind Kenny Lofton (.405 on-base percentage), Omar Vizquel (.397) and Roberto Alomar (.422) in baseball’s last 1,000-run offense.

On deck: Sammy Sosa, 1998 Cubs; Ellis Burks, 1996 Rockies; and Barry Bonds, 1991 Pirates

Greenbateaston

The Green Easton, The Most Iconic Bat Ever, Is Back

The bat once made popular by names like Bo Jackson, Tony Gwynn and Mark McGwire will return for 2021.

SP Randy Johnson | Age 35 | 1999 D-backs

272 IP | 17 W | 0 SV | 364 SO | 2.48 ERA | 1.02 WHIP

After signing with Arizona for four years and $52.4 million, Johnson embarked on the first of four straight Cy Young Award seasons. At age 35 and in his first full season in the National League, he led the circuit in ERA, complete games (12), innings and strikeouts.

SP Pedro Martinez | Age 27 | 1999 Red Sox

213 IP | 23 W | 0 SV | 313 SO | 2.07 ERA | 0.92 WHIP

Martinez turned in one of the most celebrated pitching seasons of all time in 1999, when he won the American League Cy Young Award with a league-best 23 wins, 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts.

SP Pedro Martinez | Age 25 | 1997 Expos

241 IP | 17 W | 0 SV | 305 SO | 1.90 ERA | 0.93 WHIP

Martinez helped the Expos emerge as a superpower in 1994 before the strike wiped away their chance at history. He progressively improved in Montreal until reaching his peak in 1997, when he recorded a National League-leading 1.90 ERA and 0.93 WHIP.

SP Randy Johnson | Age 31 | 1995 Mariners

214 IP | 18 W | 0 SV | 294 SO | 2.48 ERA | 1.05 WHIP

Johnson won his first ERA title and Cy Young Award in 1995, but leading the American League in strikeouts was nothing new. He led the league the three previous seasons, too.

SP Roger Clemens | Age 34 | 1997 Blue Jays

264 IP | 21 W | 0 SV | 292 SO | 2.05 ERA | 1.03 WHIP

Clemens signed with Toronto for the 1997 season and spent two years there, winning the American League Cy Young Award and pitching triple crown both years. He recorded a career high 292 strikeouts in 1997.

Warming up: Randy Johnson, 1997 Mariners; Curt Schilling, 1997 Phillies; John Smoltz, 1996 Braves; Randy Johnson, 1993 Mariners; and Randy Johnson, 1998 Mariners/Astros


Fantasy All-Star Team Of The 1990s

Below is an overall all-decade team, using the positions required in the official Project G.O.A.T. challenge. To increase variety, I chose to devote three of nine pitcher spots to relievers, while disallowing multiple seasons from the same player.

An asterisk (*) denotes an MVP or Cy Young Award season.

PosPlayerTeamYearABRHRRBISBAVG
CMike PiazzaLAD1997556104401245.362
CIvan Rodriguez*TEX19996001163511325.332
1BMark McGwireSTL1998509130701471.299
3BKen Caminiti*SDP19965461094013011.326
CIJeff Bagwell*HOU19944001043911615.368
2BRoberto AlomarCLE19995631382412037.323
SSAlex RodriguezSEA19966011413612315.358
MIRyne SandbergCHC19906151164010025.306
OFLarry Walker*COL19975681434913033.366
OFBarry Bonds*SFG19935391294612329.336
OFManny RamirezCLE1999522131441652.333
OFSammy Sosa*CHC19986431346615818.308
OFEllis BurksCOL19966131424012832.344
UTKen Griffey Jr.*SEA19976081255614715.304
Total788317626251824263.332
PosPitcherTeamYearIPWSVSOERAWHIP
PRandy Johnson*ARI19992721703642.481.02
PPedro Martinez*BOS19992132303132.070.92
PRoger Clemens*TOR19972642102922.051.03
PCurt SchillingPHI19972541703192.971.05
PJohn Smoltz*ATL19962542402762.941.00
PGreg Maddux*ATL19952101901811.630.81
PBilly WagnerHOU1999754391241.570.78
PJohn WettelandMON1993859431131.371.01
PTrevor HoffmanSDP1996889421112.250.92
Total171514312420932.290.97

Are you a member?

In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account. 

Login or sign up  


Additionally, you can subscribe to Baseball America's newsletter and receive all of our rankings, analysis, prospect insight & more delivered to your inbox every day. Click here to get started. 

of Free Stories Remaining