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Building A Fantasy Baseball All-Star Team Of The 2000s



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 find our previous two teams below.

1980s | 1990s 

On to the fantasy all-star team of the 2000s.


C Javy Lopez | Age 32 | 2003 Braves

457 AB | .328 AVG | 89 R | 43 HR | 109 RBI | 0 SB

Lopez struck 42 of his 43 homers while playing catcher and still holds the single-season record for a player at his position.

On deck: Joe Mauer, 2009 Twins; and Mike Piazza, 2000 Mets

1B Todd Helton | Age 26 | 2000 Rockies

580 AB | .372 AVG | 138 R | 42 HR | 147 RBI | 5 SB

Helton lined up his peak seasons with peak Coors Field, when it was the greatest hitting environment in major league history. In 2000 and 2001 he batted a cumulative .354 with an average of 135 runs, 46 home runs and 146 RBIs per season.

On deck: Todd Helton, 2001 Rockies; and Albert Pujols, 2009 Cardinals

2B Bret Boone | Age 32 | 2001 Mariners

623 AB | .331 AVG | 118 R | 37 HR | 141 RBI | 5 SB

Boone in 2001 helped power the Mariners to a historic 116-win season. Rogers Hornsby is the only second baseman in history to record more than 141 RBIs in a season. He did it three times in the 1920s.

On deck: Alfonso Soriano, 2002 Yankees; and Jeff Kent, 2000 Giants 

3B Alex Rodriguez | Age 31 | 2007 Yankees

583 AB | .314 AVG | 143 R | 54 HR | 156 RBI | 24 SB

In his third American League MVP campaign, A-Rod put up one of the biggest fantasy seasons of the past 40 years. He led the AL with 54 home runs, 143 runs and 156 RBIs while hitting .314 and chipping in 24 steals.

On deck: Alex Rodriguez, 2005 Yankees; and Scott Rolen, 2004 Cardinals

SS Alex Rodriguez | Age 25 | 2001 Rangers

632 AB | .318 AVG | 133 R | 52 HR | 135 RBI | 18 SB

A-Rod’s first season in Texas after signing for $252 million was probably his best from a fantasy perspective. He led the American League with 52 home runs, 133 runs and 393 total bases while hitting .318 with 18 stolen bases.

On deck: Alex Rodriguez, 2002 Rangers; and Alex Rodriguez, 2000 Mariners

OF Barry Bonds | Age 36 | 2001 Giants

476 AB | .328 AVG | 129 R | 73 HR | 137 RBI | 13 SB

This Bonds season or Larry Walker in 1997 is probably the greatest offensive fantasy season of the past 40 years. A 36-year-old Bonds established a single-season record with 73 home runs, drove in 137 and even stole 13 bases in 16 tries.

OF Sammy Sosa | Age 32 | 2001 Cubs

577 AB | .328 AVG | 146 R | 64 HR | 160 RBI | 0 SB

Sosa did everything but steal bases in 2001. His total of 425 total bases is the highest of the 2000s, while his 160 RBIs rank second for the decade, his 146 runs rank second and his 64 home runs ranks fifth.

OF Barry Bonds | Age 37 | 2002 Giants

403 AB | .370 AVG | 117 R | 46 HR | 110 RBI | 9 SB

Bonds won his second of four straight National League MVP awards in 2002 and the Giants advanced to the World Series. He would never hit higher than .370 in his career, while his 46 homers were his third highest single-season total.

On deck: Barry Bonds, 2004 Giants; Albert Pujols, 2003 Cardinals; and Gary Sheffield, 2003 Braves

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SP Pedro Martinez | Age 28 | 2000 Red Sox

217 IP | 18 W | 0 SV | 284 SO | 1.74 ERA | 0.74 WHIP

The major league ERA in 2000 was 4.77, the second highest mark in history. Martinez’s ERA was 1.74, which translated to a 291 ERA+ that is the best in history. His 0.74 WHIP is also a record. What a remarkable season.

SP Randy Johnson | Age 37 | 2001 D-backs

250 IP | 21 W | 0 SV | 372 SO | 2.49 ERA | 1.01 WHIP

Johnson’s historic 2001 season included a fourth career Cy Young Award and a strikeout total of 372 that ranks third highest of all time behind only Nolan Ryan in 1973 and Sandy Koufax in 1965. Oh, and he also helped pitch the fourth-year Diamondbacks to a World Series championship.

SP Randy Johnson | Age 36 | 2000 D-backs

249 IP | 19 W | 0 SV | 347 SO | 2.64 ERA | 1.12 WHIP

Among Johnson’s first four seasons in Arizona, all of which resulted in Cy Young Awards, this is the one that didn’t result in an ERA title. Though he did lead the National League in strikeouts, complete games (eight) and ERA+ (181).

SP Randy Johnson | Age 38 | 2002 D-backs

260 IP | 24 W | 0 SV | 334 SO | 2.32 ERA | 1.03 WHIP

A year after pitching the D-backs to World Series glory, Johnson had enough in the tank to throw 260 innings, the second highest total of his career. He won the National League pitching triple crown with 24 wins, a 2.32 EAR and 334 strikeouts.

SP Randy Johnson | Age 40 | 2004 D-backs

246 IP | 16 W | 0 SV | 290 SO | 2.60 ERA | 0.90 WHIP

Even at age 40, Johnson nearly struck out 300 batters and finished runner-up for the National League Cy Young Award. The Astros’ Roger Clemens, himself 41, went 18-4 and won the award, even though he recorded a worse ERA, WHIP and strikeout rate than Johnson.

Warming up: Curt Schilling, 2002 D-backs; Johan Santana, 2004 Twins; Ben Sheets, 2004 Brewers; Pedro Martinez, 2002 Red Sox; and Curt Schilling, 2001 D-backs


Fantasy All-Star Team Of The 2000s

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
CJavy LopezATL200345789431090.328
CJoe Mauer*MIN20095239428964.365
1BTodd HeltonCOL2000580138421475.372
3BAlex Rodriguez*NYY20075831435415624.314
CIAlbert Pujols*STL20095681244713516.327
2BBret BooneSEA2001623118371415.331
SSHanley RamirezFLA20095761012410627.342
MIAlfonso SorianoNYY20026961283910241.300
OFBarry Bonds*SFG20014761297313713.328
OFSammy SosaCHC2001577146641600.328
OFGary SheffieldATL20035761263913218.330
OFLuis GonzalezARI2001609128571421.325
OFLarry WalkerCOL20014971073812314.350
UTJeff BagwellHOU2000590152471329.310
Total793117236321818177.331
PosPitcherTeamYearIPWSVSOERAWHIP
PPedro Martinez*BOS20002171802841.740.74
PRandy Johnson*ARI20012502103722.491.01
PCurt SchillingARI20022592303163.230.97
PJohan Santana*MIN20042282002652.610.92
PBen SheetsMIL20042371202642.700.98
PKevin BrownLAD20002301302162.580.99
PEric Gagne*LAD2003822551371.200.69
PRobb NenSFG200066441921.500.85
PBilly WagnerHOU2003861441051.780.87
Total165511414020512.420.92



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