Over at The Hardball Times, Studes presents a fascinating review of Schell's Baseball's All-Time Best Hitters. I am an enormous fan statistically of the use of standard deviations for comparisons, in conjunction with the concept of 'mean reversion'.
The bad news for 'mean reversion' fans is that exceeding expected performance is often followed by 'normal performance'. Mark Belanger, who earned eight Gold Gloves at shortstop, hit .287 in 1969. A career .228 hitter, he hit .218 the following year. He played in four World Series and six ALCS, which reinforces (for me anyway) the importance of shortstop as primarily a DEFENSIVE position. I think that watching Orlando Cabrera for three months also vividly demonstrated the same point, with due respect to Nomar.