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Bagwell, Thomas Are Perfect 100s : Baseball: In the latest statistical rankings, the pair join Don Mattingly and Cal Ripken, the only otherplayers to previously achieve the feat.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell have become only the third and fourth players to achieve perfect scores in the annual baseball statistical rankings compiled by the Elias Sports Bureau.

The only previous players with perfect 100s were New York Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly in 1987 and Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken in 1991.

Cleveland outfielder Albert Belle was third with a 97.143, followed by Atlanta Braves pitcher Greg Maddux at 95.883 and Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds at 95.714.

Rankings are based on statistics over two seasons and Thomas led in all five categories used to sort first basemen and outfielders. The Chicago White Sox star was first in plate appearances (647), batting average (.308), on-base percentage (.454) home runs (40) and RBIs (111).

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Bagwell also was first in all of those categories following an adjustment for the 32 days the Houston first baseman spent on the disabled list this year. He had 539 plate appearances this season and hit .290 with 21 homers, 87 RBIs and a .399 on-base percentage.

Thomas, third in the rankings last year behind Bonds and Maddux, led AL first baseman for the fourth straight season. Maddux led NL pitchers for the third straight year, and Bagwell displace Colorado’s Andres Galarraga as the top first baseman in the NL.

Mike Stanley of the New York Yankees ended the two-year run of Chris Hoiles as the top AL catcher. Chuck Knoblauch of Minnesota was the top AL second baseman, stopping the three-year streak of Toronto’s Roberto Alomar. Boston’s John Valentin repeated as the AL’s top shortstop and Wade Boggs of the Yankees was the top third baseman. He led the category four times in a five-year stretch.

Belle was among the top three AL outfielders for the third straight year. Tim Salmon of the Angelswas second and Paul O’Neill of the Yankees was third, displacing Ken Griffey Jr. and Kirby Puckett. Griffey, who dropped to fourth, had been in the top three for fourth straight seasons.

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Mike Mussina of Baltimore displaced Jimmy Key as the top AL starting pitcher, with Randy Johnson in second place. John Wetteland, the top NL reliever in 1994, was the top AL reliever this year.

Edgar Martinez was the top designated hitter, ending the four-year streak of Toronto’s Paul Molitor.

Philadelphia’s Darren Daulton was the top catcher, replaced Rick Wilkins of the Cubs, who tied Daulton for the top spot in 1993. Houston’s Craig Biggio led second baseman for the second straight year, Cincinnati’s Barry Larkin led shortstops for the fifth time in six years and San Francisco’s Matt Williams repeated at third base.

Bonds was among the top three outfielders for the fifth straight year, followed by Colorado’s Larry Walker and Florida’s Jeff Conine. Last year, Moises Alou was second and David Justice tied for third with Kevin Mitchell.

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Jeff Brantley of the Giants was the top NL reliever.

The rankings, created in the 1981 strike settlement, are used to divide free agents into three groups that determine draft-pick compensation for a player’s former club if he signs with a new team. The top 30% in each group get an A ranking, the next 20%a B ranking and the group between 50 and 60% a C ranking.


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