The Phillies Nation Top 100 continues today with #43. Our mission is to assess the Top 100 Phillies players of all time using impact to the Phillies, individual achievement, team achievement, traditional stats, and analytics as our criteria. The list was compiled by Ian Riccaboni and Pat Gallen with input from the rest of the Phillies Nation staff.
From this point forward, each weekday, we will reveal two Phillies from the PN Top 100 in separate posts. To view the 2008 iteration of the list of Greatest Phillies of All Time as compiled by Tim Malcolm, please click here.
Please check back tomorrow morning for #42.
#43 – Al Orth
100-72, 3.49 ERA, 1.330 WHIP in 1504.2 IP
Previous Rank: 67 (+24)
fWAR Phillies Rank: 14th among pitchers, 42nd among Phillies
Signature Season: Went 20-12 with a 2.27 ERA and a league-leading 1.001 WHIP with a league-leading six complete-game shutouts in 19o1
Throwing little other than variations on a fastball, the Curveless Wonder Al Orth was one of the Phillies earliest pitching stars. At age 22, Orth made quite an impression as a rookie, going 8-1 with a 3.89 ERA in 88.1 innings pitched. Orth would be the Phillies most reliable work horse from 1895 through 1901, leading the team in innings pitched and ranking 12th in the Majors in that same time frame. Orth’s 100 wins from 1895 through 1901 rank him seventh among starters, behind names like Cy Young and Kid Nichols. Orth’s 3.49 ERA in that time put him at a respectable 24th while he threw the fifth-most complete game shutouts in that time frame.
While Orth was one of the top pitchers in the National League, he was also one of the top hitting pitchers in baseball. Orth hit .294/.311/.405 in 751 PA with the Phillies with 7 HR and 15 SB. Orth ranks fourth among pitchers from 1895 through 1901 in batting average, 11th in OBP, and third in slugging. Orth’s bat would slow down after leaving the Phillies but his arm wouldn’t. After the 1901 season, Orth jumped to the Washington Senators and would later be traded to the then-New York Highlanders. He would lead the American League in wins and innings pitched in 1906, finishing his career with a 204-189 record and a 1.259 WHIP.