Originally Posted by Frater Perdurabo
No disrespect to Cabrera, but he has Prince Fielder protecting him. For much of Frank's peak, he lacked a true threat behind him to keep from being walked. Look at his 1994 season with Julio Franco protecting him: a 212 OPS+.
You're right, although I remember Franco having a good 1994 campaign. Finding someone to hit behind Frank seemed to be a yearly chore for the White Sox. Sammy Sosa hadn't discovered Flintstone vitamins
, yet. Ventura didn't like it (so he hit fifth), and George Bell was too old. John Kruk waited until his batting average was higher than Mickey Mantle before he decided to quit, and Chris Sabo was just plain awful. Danny Tartabull hit home runs, but provided little else. Lyle Mouton was memorable only because his name was Lyle Mouton (Hawk insisted on trying five or six different pronunciations of his last name).
The Sox didn't finally find a good compliment for Thomas until Albert Belle came along, but that was right before Frank started to slip (coinciding with the arrival of Jerry "The Tinkerer" Manuel in 1998), and even that lasted only two seasons before Belle ended up in Baltimore. Magglio Ordonez was probably the best cleanup hitter Frank played with, but Frank wasn't quite the same by the time Magglio was protecting him, as age and injury had begun to slow him down.