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Throughout the season the CBS Sports MLB experts will bring you a weekly Batting Around roundtable breaking down pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we picked between struggling former No. 1 overall picks. This week we're going to debate the GOAT.

Who is the greatest baseball player of all time?

R.J. Anderson: Gosh, it's a tough question to answer. Willie Mays has an outstanding case, being that good of a hitter and a fielder at a premium defensive position for so long. He would be my answer most days. At minimum, I think you have to describe him as the most well-rounded player of all-time. You can make an argument for Babe Ruth, for Hank Aaron, even for Barry Bonds. I think Shohei Ohtani is in the conversation, too. I know he hasn't yet accumulated those Big Round Numbers, but we're talking about an elite two-way player at the game's highest level -- something none of us had seen before, or even thought was possible. Again, at minimum, maybe you describe Ohtani is the most talented player of all-time. I think he's already earned that treatment, no matter what happens next.

Matt Snyder: Babe Ruth is the best player ever in Major League Baseball, if you compare against contemporary Major League Baseball players. He was that much better than his competition that it isn't really an argument. It needs to be said, of course, that his competition was lacking due to segregation. Josh Gibson and Oscar Charleston were segregated from MLB and have a case, so they must be mentioned as well. On the pitching side from that unfortunate era, there's Walter Johnson and Satchel Paige. Post-integration, Willie Mays was the most complete all-around player and Hank Aaron is the greatest slugger of all-time without a PED-era asterisk. Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez are the PED Era guys on the position player side while Roger Clemens has a case as the greatest pitcher ever (Pedro Martinez or Sandy Koufax in their primes might've been better, but Koufax had a short window and Pedro didn't have quite the longevity of a Clemens or Johnson). I think it would be possible to create a "this is the best player ever and here's why" case for any of the names mentioned above. 

For me, without any caveats or asterisks, I think Mays has a great case and possibly the best case. If pressed to answer, I'll say Mays over Ruth by a nose. I also don't think it's possible to give a definitive answer here. There are just so many moving parts in every player's argument. 

Dayn Perry: I have to say Mays. He put up his numbers in the Integrated Era, which is a requirement for me in discussions such as this one, and he was exceptional at every phase of the game. For instance, 18 WAR would be a darn good career in the majors. Mays had 18 WAR in the field alone. I just can't get away from his peak. Over a 13-year span starting in 1954, Mays led the majors in WAR eight times and paced the NL on another two occasions. In those three seasons in which he didn't top his loop in WAR, he put up figures of 7.6, 7.8, and 8.7 -- MVP-caliber value, in other words. That's just an absurd peak that lasted much longer than peaks typically do. I know Mays played in a distant era, but make available to him modern hitting labs and all we now know about physical conditioning and performance diets, and I have no doubt he'd tower above the competition in this era, too. For me, he's the GOAT. 

Mike Axisa: I don't think there is a "correct" answer to this question. Babe Ruth towered over the rest of the sport when he played. He was the greatest player ever when compared to the competition at the time. Barry Bonds was in this conversation even before he started breaking home run records and putting up .500 on-base percentages. Hank Aaron was the most consistently excellent hitter ever. The guy never had a down season. Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson stand out among pitchers for their excellence and longevity. You can make a case for all of them.

I'm going to side with my colleagues here and say Willie Mays was the greatest ballplayer ever. He was one of the best hitters ever, one of the best basestealers ever, and also one of the best defensive outfielders ever. Many players have been one of those things, several have been two, but really only Mays was all three. He is 1 of 1. The list of players I wish I could have seen play is very long and the "Say Hey Kid" is at the top. He's my pick for the greatest ever.