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Wily Mo Pena

Posted by Andy on January 29, 2009

My friend Brian asked for a post about Wily Mo Pena so here it is.

Fewest walks for a player with at least 500 career strikeouts:

  Cnt Player             **BB**   SO  From  To   Ages   G    PA    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI IBB HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions Teams
+----+-----------------+--------+----+----+----+-----+----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+---+---+---+---+---+----+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+-----------+
    1 Milt Pappas           36    510 1957 1973 18-34  527  1174  1073   72  132  13   3  20   67   0   8  52   5  13    1   0  .123  .157  .197  .354 *1/4      BAL-CIN-TOT-ATL-CHC 
    2 Miguel Olivo          79    557 2002 2008 23-29  640  2215  2092  239  505 110  13  73  265  12  22  12  10  43   32  17  .241  .275  .411  .686 *2/D3     CHW-TOT-FLA-KCR 
    3 Bob Feller           100    505 1936 1956 17-37  570  1485  1282   99  193  28  13   8   99   0   3 100   0  15    1   2  .151  .214  .211  .425 *1        CLE         
    4 Lefty Grove          105    593 1925 1941 25-41  619  1579  1369  119  202  27   5  15  121   0   2 103   0   1    1   1  .148  .209  .207  .416 *1        PHA-BOS     
    5 Wily Mo Pena         106    520 2002 2008 20-26  560  1725  1590  196  402  67   5  77  225   5  21   1   7  35   12   8  .253  .307  .447  .754 978/D5    CIN-BOS-TOT-WSN 
    6 Craig Paquette       120    620 1993 2003 24-34  814  2766  2591  304  620 128  10  99  377   6  12  17  26  70   27  13  .239  .274  .411  .685 *573/946D OAK-KCR-NYM-STL-DET 
    7 Charley Smith        130    565 1960 1969 22-31  771  2686  2484  228  594  83  18  69  281  19  14  38  20  60    7  12  .239  .279  .370  .649 *5/64     LAD-TOT-CHW-NYM-STL-NYY-CHC 
    8 Kurt Abbott          133    571 1993 2001 24-32  702  2227  2044  273  523 109  23  62  242  11  17  21  12  37   22  11  .256  .305  .423  .728 64/5739D8 OAK-FLA-TOT-COL-NYM-ATL 
    9 Jerry Kindall        145    535 1956 1965 21-30  742  2261  2057  211  439  83   9  44  198  17   8  36  15  45   17  11  .213  .266  .327  .593 *46/53    CHC-CLE-TOT-MIN 
   10 Russ Davis           146    503 1994 2001 24-31  612  2176  1980  261  508 108   6  84  276   7  16  18  16  42   16  11  .257  .310  .444  .754 *5/D376   NYY-SEA-SFG 

That's right. Of the 4 guys ahead of Pena, three are pitchers and one is a catcher.

If we restrict the above list to just outfielders or DH, Pena looks really bad:

  Cnt Player             **BB**   SO  From  To   Ages   G    PA    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI IBB HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions Teams
+----+-----------------+--------+----+----+----+-----+----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+---+---+---+---+---+----+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+-----------+
    1 Wily Mo Pena         106    520 2002 2008 20-26  560  1725  1590  196  402  67   5  77  225   5  21   1   7  35   12   8  .253  .307  .447  .754 978/D5    CIN-BOS-TOT-WSN 
    2 Junior Felix         158    509 1989 1994 21-26  585  2339  2132  309  562 105  24  55  280  10  19   7  23  35   49  40  .264  .317  .413  .730 *98/D7    TOR-CAL-FLA-DET 
    3 Bobby Darwin         160    577 1962 1977 19-34  646  2436  2224  250  559  76  16  83  328  13  37   3  12  75   15   9  .251  .311  .412  .723 *9/8D71   LAA-LAD-MIN-TOT 
    4 Corey Patterson      169    768 2000 2008 20-28  991  3728  3466  479  876 161  30 104  363  19  29  43  21  32  182  50  .253  .291  .407  .698 *8/79     CHC-BAL-CIN 
    5 Gerald Williams      180    530 1992 2005 25-38 1168  3323  3059  474  780 183  18  85  365   8  31  31  22  60  106  57  .255  .301  .410  .711 879/D     NYY-TOT-MIL-ATL-TBD-NYY-FLA-NYM 
    6 Don Demeter          180    658 1956 1967 21-32 1109  3730  3443  467  912 147  17 163  563  31  42  33  32  65   22  25  .265  .307  .459  .766 *857/93   BRO-LAD-TOT-PHI-DET-TOT 
    7 Craig Monroe         181    567 2001 2008 24-31  780  2837  2612  360  661 144   9 112  417  11  11   3  30  66   19  18  .253  .301  .444  .745 *79/D8    TEX-DET-TOT-MIN 
    8 John Shelby          182    671 1981 1991 23-33 1036  3326  3090  389  739 128  24  70  313  15   4  32  18  51   98  40  .239  .281  .364  .645 *87/9D4   BAL-TOT-LAD-DET 
    9 Ruben Rivera         185    510 1995 2003 21-29  662  1818  1586  237  343  67  11  64  203   4  29   6  12  28   50  20  .216  .307  .393  .700 *89/7D    NYY-SDP-CIN-TEX-SFG 
   10 Cito Gaston          185    693 1967 1978 23-34 1024  3339  3120  314  799 106  30  91  387  14   9  10  15  85   13   7  .256  .298  .397  .695 89/73     ATL-SDP-TOT 

The next lowest guy had 50% more walks than Pena. Ouch.

Here are the guys (pitchers excluded) who have struck out the most with no more than 2000 career PA's (for the uninitiated...that's plate appearances...)

  Cnt Player             **SO**    PA  From  To   Ages   G    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  IBB HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions Teams
+----+-----------------+--------+-----+----+----+-----+----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+----+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+-----------+
    1 Dave Nicholson       573    1661 1960 1967 20-27  538  1419  184  301  32  12  61  179  219   7   7   4  12  13    6  10  .212  .318  .381  .699 *79/8     BAL-CHW-HOU-ATL 
    2 Wily Mo Pena         520    1725 2002 2008 20-26  560  1590  196  402  67   5  77  225  106   5  21   1   7  35   12   8  .253  .307  .447  .754 978/D5    CIN-BOS-TOT-WSN 
    3 Shane Andrews        515    1924 1995 2002 23-30  569  1704  196  375  76   4  86  263  191  17   7   3  19  35    7  10  .220  .298  .421  .719 *5/3D7    MON-TOT-CHC-BOS 
    4 Ruben Rivera         510    1818 1995 2003 21-29  662  1586  237  343  67  11  64  203  185   4  29   6  12  28   50  20  .216  .307  .393  .700 *89/7D    NYY-SDP-CIN-TEX-SFG 
    5 Melvin Nieves        483    1392 1992 1998 20-26  458  1228  163  284  53   6  63  187  136   9  17   1  10  25    4  12  .231  .314  .438  .752 *9/7D83   ATL-SDP-DET-CIN 
    6 Todd Pratt           454    1869 1992 2006 25-39  662  1612  194  404  84   3  49  224  208  16  28   7  14  39    6   2  .251  .344  .398  .742 *2/3D7    PHI-CHC-NYM-TOT-PHI-ATL 
    7 Benji Gil            448    1767 1993 2003 20-30  604  1610  158  381  75  12  32  171  102   1   7  34  14  26   24  21  .237  .283  .358  .641 *6/43D58  TEX-ANA     
    8 John Buck            445    1914 2004 2008 23-27  525  1727  202  404  92   3  62  223  138   6  26   9  14  46    3   9  .234  .298  .398  .696 *2/D      KCR         
    9 Rickie Weeks         425    1907 2003 2008 20-25  445  1615  306  395  72  18  51  158  215   8  59   8  10  25   78  14  .245  .352  .406  .758 *4/D      MIL         
   10 Jayson Werth         424    1611 2002 2008 23-29  460  1394  229  367  66  12  57  222  188   4  16   4   9  17   44   5  .263  .355  .451  .806 *97/8D3   TOR-LAD-PHI 

Wily Mo is saved by Dave Nicholson. This comparison doesn't look to good for Pena, or for #10 Jayson Werth either.

There ya go, Brian.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 29th, 2009 at 8:00 am and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Wily Mo Pena”

  1. I am certainly not a supporter of Willy Mo Pena but I will say this. There has been a LOT of animosity towards Pena throughout his career from all sides. But lets not forget the fact that he is only 26 years old and can still improve his game. And his lifetime OPS of 94, while not anything legendary is not as terrible as this post would make him sound.

  2. I think it goes without saying that there is upside to Pena's game. If not, he never would have gotten this many ABs.

  3. JohnnyTwisto Says:

    I think Pena may have screwed himself when he first signed. If I remember correctly, he was 17 years old and got a major league contract, so he had to go on the 40-man roster. A few later when he was traded to the Reds, he was out of options and had to be placed on the major league roster, or they would risk losing him on waivers. He wasn't major league ready, however, and he lost out on valuable development time sitting on the bench. Now there's no guarantee he would have become a star if he had gotten to spend some more time in AA and AAA, but it looks pretty obvious now that he's not going to become one.

  4. Pena's always been one of my favorites to watch. Not that he's put up great numbers or that I believe he'll be a star--there's just something about seeing this guy play. I figured he was about done, but when you look at those similarity scores on his B-R page, it makes you wonder. Bob Allison? Dave Henderson? George Foster? Who wouldn't take one of those guys at age 26? Only three guys out of the 10 were just about done, Kokos, Plantier and Clinton. The other seven had lengthy, productive careers after that point. If you do a career projection using his stats and those of the 10 similar, it comes out to 14 seasons, 214 HR, 700 RBI, .255. Great? No. But not Dave Nicholson, either. Similarity scores might not mean much, but they usually aren't this good for a guy this criticized.