Vinny Castilla, Rockies
HRs 23 RBIs 70 BA .299
Just call it the not-so-hot corner. The roll call of third sackers having off years is lengthy: Cal Ripken, Matt Williams, Ken Caminiti, Travis Fryman, Robin Ventura, John Valentin, Ed Sprague and Edgardo Alfonzo. Castilla, though, just keeps rolling along. After consecutive 40-home-run seasons, he could challenge Mike Schmidt's record of 48 dingers by a third baseman. The future, though, belongs to Chipper Jones and Scott Rolen, whose blow-a-gasket drive on the bases and afield is a pure joy to watch.
Greg Maddux, Braves
W-L 11-2 ERA 1.64 K's 107
Let's get one thing straight: There is Maddux, and then there is everyone else. Tom Glavine? Andy Ashby? Aaron Sele? They're having nice seasons, sure, but as usual, no one has pitched better than Maddux. Even the greats have a clunker of a season once in a while. Not Maddux. He has run off six straight sub-3.00 ERAs-Ford, Gibson and Koufax never did—and is on his way to a seventh. He is 109-44 (.712) with a 2.14 ERA in 1,424? innings during his six-year run. No pitcher has been that dominant since Koufax went 129-47 (.733) with a 2.19 ERA in 1,632? innings between 1961 and 1966.