Top 10 Indians Left Fielders

The second installment of the Indians Top 10 Positional Leaders will feature the best Indians left fielders of all time.The Indians have had a lot of great outfielders over the history of the franchise and while most of them have been centerfielders, there have been a few good ones in left as well, including the second most prolific home run hitter in team history. For more information on any player click on the link on their name for their All-Time Indians Bio. Players will be linked as more bios are added.

10. Al Smith – Years Starting Left Fielder 1954, 1956
Smith only played two years as the Indians starting left fielder, but still accrued more than 1,000 total bases during his time in Cleveland. Smith also played right field and third base during his time with the Tribe, but the appearance of a young star right fielder (Rocky Colavito) kept him starting in left.

9. Mel Hall – 1984, 1986-1988
The 1980's weren't that bad of a time to be an Indians outfielder, with Cory Snyder, Brett Butler and Joe Carter all around by 1986. Hall was probably the worst of this group, but at least played long enough to be considered as one of the better left fielders in Indians history.

8. Jack Graney – 1910-1911, 1913-1917, 1919
Graney is what it looks like when a mediocre player plays an extremely long career (to see what it looks like when a good player plays a long career, check out Charlie Jamieson). Graney played in more games than any left fielder outside of Jamieson, but his .250 average was by far the worst on this list. He is one of the few speed outfielders on the list, stealing 148 bases or about 10 per season.

7. Leon Wagner – 1964-1967
Wagner showed a lot of power for the Tribe, hitting 97 home runs in just six seasons. Only one player ahead of him on the home run rankings did it in less games and most played 300 or more games than Wagner. Wagner did this despite playing in one of the hardest times for the Indians, the years between 1955 and 1994.

6. Tito Francona – 1960-1961, 1963
Francona is one of four players listed between the 1950's and 1960's compared to the single player from 1901-1920 and the zero players listed from 1969-1983. The Indians were lucky to have so many talented outfielders over this time, but they came at a cost. The cost for Francona was Larry Doby, one of the Indians all-time greats. 

5. Dale Mitchell – 1947-1953
Dale Mitchell was a member of the last two Indians World Series appearances prior to the 1990's. He was one of just five players to play on both the 1948 and 1954 teams, but he wasn't very successful in either. During the regular season, he did a lot to help the Tribe get to the postseason with a .312 career average and more than 550 runs scored.

4. Joe Vosmik – 1931-1936
Vosmik was one of the most consistant left-fielders in Indians history, taking over for Jamieson after a decade of great play. Vosmik played next to Earl Averill in center for six years, making this one of the best outfields in Indians history.

3. Charlie Jamieson – 1920-1930
Jamieson started two more seasons in left than any other player on this list and thus leads everyone in at bats, runs, doubles and total bases. He ranks as low as he does because he played in more than 500 more games than the two players ahead of him and still trailed in home runs, RBI, slugging percent and OPS.

2. Jeff Heath – 1938-1940, 1942-1943, 1945
Heath immediately preceeded Mitchell as the Indians starting left fielder and outplayed him in every offensive facet of the game despite a shorter career. Mitchell played in 150 more games, but Heath still had more doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, walks and steals. Heath is definitely one of the most underrated players in Indians history.

1. Albert Belle – 1991, 1993-1996
Belle was the most pure power hitter in the history of the Cleveland Indians. His 242 home runs are second all-time to Jim Thome and his .285 Isolated Power is the highest in team history. Belle spent some time as DH, but was a serviceable left fielder during the majority of his time in Cleveland. Despite a short career, Belle not only ranks as number one on this list, but should be considered highly on the list of top ten hitters in Indians history. Belle's inclusion with Manny Ramirez in right and Kenny Lofton in center makes the Indians outfield from 1994-1996 the best group in Indians history.

Left Fielders Years G R H 2B HR RBI AVG SLG OBP ISOP
Albert Belle 1989-1996 913 592 1014 223 242 751 .295 .580 .369 .285
Jeff Heath 1936-1945 957 546 1040 194 122 619 .298 .506 .365 .208
Charlie Jamieson 1919-1932 1483 942 1753 296 18 492 .316 .406 .380 .090
Joe Vosmik 1930-1936 824 480 1003 206 44 556 .313 .459 .372 .146
Dale Mitchell 1946-1956 1108 552 1237 168 41 402 .312 .417 .366 .104
Tito Francona 1959-1964 835 413 832 153 85 378 .284 .437 .353 .152
Leon Wagner 1964-1968 630 316 581 76 97 305 .265 .437 .332 .171
Jack Graney 1908, 1910-1922 1402 706 1178 219 18 420 .250 .342 .346 .092
Mel Hall 1984-1988 538 244 498 101 49 266 .282 .432 .328 .150
Al Smith 1953-1957,1964 669 432 648 115 67 270 .269 .418 .373 .149

Borderline: Michael Brantley (Active), Matt Lawton, Minnie Minoso, John Lowenstein, Gene Woodling

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona.

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