His best season was in 1951, where he finished 3rd in the NL MVP voting. In 151 games, he hit .312 with .514 SLG and 19 2B, 11 3B, 24 HR, 121 RBI, 89 BB, 94 RS and 174 hits. He was still playing at a top level despite being 32 years old. Many have stated how good of an all around player Irvin was. Roberto Clemente said he looked up to Irvin as a player and tried to mirror his play. Irvin was known as the five tool player before it was even a term. Later on players like Clemente, Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle exemplified the meaning of the five tool player. Irvin showed those superior skills in his Negro League career through 1938-1948, way before the others made their debuts.
Thanks to Wikipedia, Irvin's stats were dug up from his time from '38-'48. A special committee looked up most of the stats from that time period. Oddly enough, Irvin's career stats for the 11 years equated a full MLB season, totaling 159 games, three less than the 162 games which will be played every year after 1962. He had 587 ABs, 127 RS, 210 hits, 34 2B, 9 3B, 23 HR, 146 RBI, 15 SB, 57 BB and hit .358 with a .564 SLG. Of course, the seasons would not be longer than 40 something games long and he missed a lot of time due to millitary service from 1942-1945.
For his time with the Giants, he was a very good player. While Willie Mays got to play the majority of his professional career in the big leagues, Irvin did not make his MLB debut until he was 30. Since most star players started playing professionally in their late teens, Irvin missed out on being a career major leaguer. The sky was the limit on how good of an all time player he could have been. The Negro League stats put it all in prospective. He was that dominant of a player who was as good as it got in that time period. Its a shame that he wasn't 10 years younger and had almost a full MLB career like Jackie Robinson did. Ironically, Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickie was interested in signing Irvin away from his prior team. They could not come to an agreement in 1945, two years before Jackie Robinson made his first MLB appearance.
Looking over what a guy like Monte Irvin had to go through shows how much of a disgrace it was for baseball to not be integrated until the late 1940s. Its a shame that many did not get to see the likes of Irvin, Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson, Arthur Coleman, Sachel Paige and others. These players were as good, if not better than the ones that played in the majors at the time and because of that, they have become more mythical legends than all time greats. I don't think thats right, especially if these players were as good or better. MLB has done a better job honoring players like Irvin by putting them in the Hall of Fame and making the Negro Leagues part of major league baseball history.