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The worst full-time players of the last 50 years

Posted by Andy on September 14, 2011

There are a lot of ways to come up with a list of the worst players from the last 50 years, but here's one particularly interesting variety. Here are the most plate appearances in a season since 1961 by a player with an OPS+ of 60 or worse, provided that they didn't play at least half their games at 2B, SS, or C:

Rk Player PA OPS+ Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Brian Hunter 589 48 1999 28 TOT 139 539 79 125 13 6 4 34 37 91 44 .232 .280 .301 .581 *78
2 Vinny Castilla 578 60 2002 34 ATL 143 543 56 126 23 2 12 61 22 69 4 .232 .268 .348 .616 *5
3 Jose Hernandez 571 60 2003 33 TOT 150 519 58 117 18 3 13 57 46 177 2 .225 .287 .347 .634 *56/843
4 Clete Boyer 554 59 1964 27 NYY 147 510 43 111 10 5 8 52 36 93 6 .218 .269 .304 .573 *56
5 Brooks Robinson 539 58 1975 38 BAL 144 482 50 97 15 1 6 53 44 33 0 .201 .267 .274 .541 *5
6 Willy Taveras 538 55 2008 26 COL 133 479 64 120 15 2 1 26 36 79 68 .251 .308 .296 .604 *8
7 Darren Lewis 538 57 1999 31 BOS 135 470 63 113 14 6 2 40 45 52 16 .240 .311 .309 .620 *89/D
8 Nick Punto 536 53 2007 29 MIN 150 472 53 99 18 4 1 25 55 90 16 .210 .291 .271 .562 *564
9 Alexis Rios 530 60 2011 30 CHW 134 500 57 112 22 1 10 40 25 61 11 .224 .260 .332 .592 *8/D
10 Scott Brosius 526 53 1997 30 OAK 129 479 59 97 20 1 11 41 34 102 9 .203 .259 .317 .576 *569/87
11 Michael Bourn 514 57 2008 25 HOU 138 467 57 107 10 4 5 29 37 111 41 .229 .288 .300 .588 *8
12 Bobby Tolan 501 57 1973 27 CIN 129 457 42 94 14 2 9 51 27 68 15 .206 .251 .304 .555 *8*9
13 Corey Patterson 481 54 2005 25 CHC 126 451 47 97 15 3 13 34 23 118 15 .215 .254 .348 .602 *8
14 Vince Coleman 477 59 1994 32 KCR 104 438 61 105 14 12 2 33 29 72 50 .240 .285 .340 .626 *7/D
15 Coco Laboy 476 48 1970 29 MON 137 432 37 86 26 1 5 53 31 81 0 .199 .254 .299 .552 *5/4
16 Todd Cruz 475 51 1983 27 TOT 146 437 37 87 13 3 10 48 22 108 4 .199 .241 .311 .552 *56/4
17 Bob Bailor 465 59 1979 27 TOR 130 414 50 95 11 5 1 38 36 27 14 .229 .297 .287 .585 *95/87D
18 Rowland Office 461 52 1977 24 ATL 124 428 42 103 13 1 5 39 23 58 2 .241 .282 .311 .593 *8/37
19 Wayne Garrett 454 56 1969 21 NYM 124 400 38 87 11 3 1 39 40 75 4 .218 .290 .268 .558 *54/6
20 Adam Dunn 448 58 2011 31 CHW 110 376 34 61 13 0 11 40 66 160 0 .162 .292 .285 .577 *D3/9
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/14/2011.

Many of these seasons stick out as classic "What were they thinking?" years, in reference to why the manager put the guy out there so often.

There's Adam Dunn at #20, but his teammate Alex Rios is also on there for this year's 2011 performance. In some ways, that makes me think Ozzie Guillen should be Manager of the Year for having his team near .500.

In a few cases, I think managers were fooled by high stolen base totals (with Hunter and Taveras springing to mind.) there are also a few cases of fading stars being given a final year in the sun.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 at 12:17 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

80 Responses to “The worst full-time players of the last 50 years”

  1. I did a double-take upon reading Dunn's K total .... 160 ... in 376 ABs? Really?

  2. Funny thing about the Brooks Robinson 1975 season, as bad as it was: Earl Weaver penciled him into the starting lineup in 1976 too. And he was just as bad. Kind of amplifies the "What were they thinking" factor.

  3. Willy Taveras... 68 stolen bases and just 64 runs scored! Wow!

  4. Sad that Jeff Mathis doesn't have enough plate appearances to qualify. The Mendoza line is now officially "The Mathis Line."

  5. Wow. 38 year old Brooks Robinson was terrible.

  6. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Clete Boyer was never a great hitter, but he held his own with the bat for several years, and was a superb fielder. This was just an odd fluke season at age 27. He would bounce back the next year.

    The Yankees acquired Scott Brosius after his horrendous season and he was very good the next year.

    Although Michael Bourn wasn't too young, the Astros must have seen potential in him, and indeed he has developed into a good player with a decent bat.

  7. Ah, good ol' Jeff Mathis "Hard"

  8. @1 - s'true, Diane, s'true: 160 stikeouts in 376 AB. It's almost worth just letting the pitcher hit.

    And Ozzie keeps putting Rios in the lineup, and in the middle of the lineup as well. A few weeks ago he had a .251 OBP, fourth worst in Sox history. Now he's up to .260, warming up just in time to see the black and orange tip of the Tiger's tail as it runs off to the Central Division pennant.

    Monday (9/12) Pierzynski was batting 4th, and the scoreboard showed A.J.'s career stats in the cleanup spot: 97 AB, 1 HR, 7 RBI. Multiply that by five (for a full season) and you get 485 AB, 5 HR, 35 RBI. In the fourth spot?? Is Ozzie pulling names from a hat?

  9. @2,5

    Brooks Robinson may have been a terrible hitter in '75, but his defense was still extremely highly regarded (he won the gold glove that year), and the advanced stats seem to back up that he deserved it. When his defense fell off in '76, so did his playing time.

    Those Weaver teams regularly played fantastic defense, and the '75 team had four of the top 10 in the league in dWAR (Grich, Belanger and Paul Blair joined Robinson). That's how you win 90 games despite a below average offense and a pitching staff that strikes out only 4.4 batters per nine innings.

  10. I'd like to see how these seasons rank in oWAR.

  11. # 8 - Steve:

    I am sure, somewhere, there are multiple 2011 CWS lineups that read in part:

    5) Dunn DH
    6) Rios CF
    7) A J C

    A true Murderers Row behind Quentin & Konerko. Somehow, Ozzie will be back next year...

  12. In Ozzie's defense, as I implied in the original post, how many high-priced players can you bench? Rios and Dunn are tied with Konerko as the highest-paid non-pitchers on the team, and Pierzynski ostensibly has some value beyond offense as a catcher. He can't really be expected to sit all 3 players on a full-time basis.

  13. several of those guys are positive wins above replacement. so there's no way they should be considered the worst full time players of the last 50 years.

    Dunn though... yeah he belongs in the top 20.

  14. Dunn is horrible this year, but Ozzie has a way of burying people he doesn't like. If I were the owner, knowing I have three more years of Dunn's contract to pay out, I want to at least know if they guy can hit a little. He's not going to do that just riding the bench. Dunn has 37 plate appearances in the last four weeks.

  15. Aww, Figgins has too few PA's to qualify with his 39 OPS+. He only has about 320 PA.

  16. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    He didn't qualify for the above list because he didn't have enough PA, but George Scott in 1968 has stuck in my memory -
    in 124G/ 387 PA:
    .171/.236/.237 3 HR, 25 RBI, 23 Runs, 39 OPS+

    Even in the Year of the Pitcher, for a full-time first baseman (who won the GG) to put up this line struck me as extraordinarily bad. His overall WAR was -2.9.

    Funny thing was, he had kind of an ordinary year the next year, then eight good-to-excellent years from 1970 to 1977.

  17. Here's are the 200 seasonal WAR for position players since 1951:

    http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/J5t6m

    Dunn comes in at 40th, just behind Bob Uecker's 1967 season. Brian Giles managed third place on the list in just 61 games in 2009. Others from this year (who can still add, er, subtract, from their totals) are Ordonez (123rd), Nishioka (152nd), Rios (153rd) and Spilborghs (154th).

  18. That should be 200 worst seasonal WAR.

  19. Here are the most PAs for any player (any defensive position) in 2011, OPS+ of 60 or worse:

    Rk Player PA OPS+ Age Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO HBP SB BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
    1 Alexis Rios 530 60 30 CHW 134 500 57 112 22 1 10 40 25 61 1 11 .224 .260 .332 .592 *8/D
    2 Adam Dunn 448 58 31 CHW 110 376 34 61 13 0 11 40 66 160 4 0 .162 .292 .285 .577 *D3/9
    3 Franklin Gutierrez 344 53 28 SEA 92 322 26 72 13 0 1 19 16 56 1 13 .224 .261 .273 .534 *8
    4 Paul Janish 342 38 28 CIN 103 315 23 65 13 1 0 21 16 43 4 3 .206 .251 .254 .505 *6/54
    5 Jonathan Herrera 320 58 26 COL 104 281 28 68 5 1 3 14 28 40 1 4 .242 .313 .299 .612 *46/5
    6 Chone Figgins 313 39 33 SEA 81 288 24 54 11 1 1 15 21 42 0 11 .188 .241 .243 .484 *5/7
    7 Juan Uribe 295 56 31 LAD 77 270 21 55 12 0 4 28 17 60 6 2 .204 .264 .293 .557 *54/6
    8 Brandon Inge 285 53 34 DET 92 256 26 52 9 2 3 22 20 69 2 1 .203 .263 .289 .552 *5
    9 Jeff Mathis 259 44 28 LAA 83 226 16 41 12 0 3 22 15 69 1 1 .181 .233 .274 .507 *2/D
    10 Alberto Gonzalez 243 54 28 SDP 93 225 18 49 9 1 1 30 12 33 2 1 .218 .260 .280 .540 465/3
    11 Tsuyoshi Nishioka 240 49 26 MIN 68 221 14 50 5 0 0 19 15 43 1 2 .226 .278 .249 .527 *6/4D
    12 Reid Brignac 230 34 25 TBR 81 217 17 43 4 0 1 14 9 56 1 3 .198 .233 .230 .464 *6
    13 Pedro Alvarez 227 51 24 PIT 62 207 17 40 8 1 3 15 17 71 2 1 .193 .261 .285 .546 *5
    14 Drew Butera 227 18 27 MIN 81 213 16 34 9 0 2 19 8 41 2 0 .160 .196 .230 .426 *2
    15 Ryan Spilborghs 223 51 31 COL 98 200 22 42 8 1 3 22 19 49 2 2 .210 .283 .305 .588 798
    16 Michael Martinez 219 50 28 PHI 81 197 22 40 5 2 3 24 15 33 0 3 .203 .257 .294 .551 5468/7
    17 Tyler Colvin 212 41 25 CHC 73 196 17 30 8 3 6 20 14 50 0 0 .153 .209 .316 .525 *97/83
    18 Matt Tolbert 207 43 29 MIN 76 191 19 38 9 2 0 11 9 29 3 3 .199 .246 .267 .513 64/5D
    19 Kevin Kouzmanoff 206 60 29 TOT 60 188 15 41 8 0 4 24 9 38 5 2 .218 .267 .324 .591 *5
    20 Bill Hall 199 60 31 TOT 62 185 24 39 9 2 2 14 11 63 2 3 .211 .261 .314 .575 *4/D7
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 9/14/2011.
  20. Twins have 3 guys in the "top" 18...wow.

  21. Really think that baserunning has to be better factored into these advanced stats. The only stat on this site that really tries to go there is TotA.

    TotA bumps Tavares' "OPS" from .604 to .658

    Are almost all of Tavares' numbers crap? Yes.
    But the man stole 68 bases and was caught 7 times.
    19 steals of 3rd, caught once.

    Does a steal have the same front-end impact as a double or a triple? No.
    But I really think it is a more valuable piece of offense than is being acknowledged by today's conversational metrics.

  22. Rocky Calhoun Says:

    #8 and #13 Could be in the starting lineup today for the Haphazard 2011 St. Louis Cardinals.

  23. Looked at the 2011 Twins, and their position players have a 3.4 WAR...that's not good...at all...

    And how about 18 OPS+ Drew Butera splitting the season with Joe Mauer behind the plate. Ouch!

    Even the offensively challenged 2010 Mariners (9.0) and 2011 Mariners (6.2) have a higher WAR.

  24. The O's finished 5 games behind the Red Sox in '75. Would playing Doug DeCinces instead of Robinson have been enough to change that outcome?

  25. Brian Giles went from +3.9 WAR to -3.9 WAR the next season.

    Talk about sticking around 1 year too long.

  26. Andy, speaking of "18," how about you look at Drew Butera's OPS+ this year? Isn't that gross? I just can't believe the Twins have been giving him that much playing time this year. Isn't there some long-lost Molina cousin out there somewhere they can pick up?

    Also, @21 - the baserunning version of wOBA does a much better job than TotA, because it doesn't commit the bases fallacy. It's available at Fangraphs, if you'd like to see it.

  27. Definitely not age based. 18 between 24 and 34.

    Would be interesting to see how long their careers lasted after that year. How long did they play as a starter and when did their career end. It's possible if they were good fielders, they may have stuck around several years a a reserve player.

    Half the players were from 1999 to 2011 (13 seasons)
    Half were from 1964 to 1997 (34 seasons).

    OPS+ is weighted vs the league. 7 of the top 10 OPS players are from 1999-2011.

    OPS+ / Year / OPS / Minimum OPS to qualify
    59 / 1964 / 0.573 / 0.583
    56 / 1969 / 0.558 / 0.598
    48 / 1970 / 0.552 / 0.690
    57 / 1973 / 0.555 / 0.584
    58 / 1975 / 0.541 / 0.560
    52 / 1977 / 0.593 / 0.684
    59 / 1979 / 0.585 / 0.595
    51 / 1983 / 0.552 / 0.649
    59 / 1994 / 0.626 / 0.637
    53 / 1997 / 0.576 / 0.652
    48 / 1999 / 0.581 / 0.726
    57 / 1999 / 0.620 / 0.653
    60 / 2002 / 0.616 / 0.616
    60 / 2003 / 0.634 / 0.634
    54 / 2005 / 0.602 / 0.669
    53 / 2007 / 0.562 / 0.636
    57 / 2008 / 0.588 / 0.619
    55 / 2008 / 0.604 / 0.659
    58 / 2011 / 0.577 / 0.597
    60 / 2011 / 0.592 / 0.592

    OPS+ values depend on league OPS with an additional weight for where the games were played. It's "easier" to qualify if league OPS values drift up.

    First few years were dominated by 3B. The last few by CF. 17 of the people on the list are either 3B or CF? Weak hitting/good fielders are often starters because of their fielding, of course. Are the better fielding OFers in placed in CF? Some were obviously still in the lineup because they could steal bases. Very few HRs keep the SLP down, low walks and low BA average keeps the OPS down.

    The higher R/TOB players tend to be there because they can steal bases.

    Garrett gets a WS ring as a rookie in 1969, played 10 seasons.

    3 of last 5, the OBP was higher than SLP

    @13 maybe their defensive WAR was excellent

  28. Jerry Royster in 1977 didn't make your list as he was at SS. But... wow what a bad season.

    George Wright in 1985 only had 393 plate appearances but wow was he bad.

  29. @24
    Well, if somehow DeCinces was given the opportunity and was able to put it together the way he did in:
    1978 (6.8 WAR), then sure
    (Brooks was -.7/1.7 = 1 WAR)

  30. @17, wow was Dante Bichette's defense bad in 1999 or what? Hit .298/.354/.541 (though only good for a 102+ OPS thanks to Coors Field) in 659 PA with 38 2B and 34 HR, and still manage a -2.8 WAR. -3.3 dWAR and -34 rfield is just insane. Worst defensive season ever?

  31. @26
    I would absolutely love to see the baserunning version of wOBA.
    But I already spend too much time on this website.
    I can't go to fangraphs, too.

  32. Lot of part time infielders in the 2011 list.

  33. @6.

    It was all or nothing with Brosius in the late '90s.

    1996 OAK .304 / .393 / .516 127 OPS+
    1997 OAK .203 / .259 / .317 53
    1998 NYY .300 / .371 / .472 121 AS, WS Champ
    1999 NYY .247 / .307 / .414 84 GG, WS Champ

    Those seasons were all at least 500 PAs. Hard to believe it was the same player with swings like that.

  34. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @17/ Whiz - "The Boomer" George Scott is tied for 10th worst WAR (see my #16). He only had -.1 DWAR, so he didn't get a big defensive penalty. I was right!

  35. I haven't checked each player's WAR, but there is defense for playing some of these guys based on, well, defense!

    @2 and 5, Brooks overall wasn't terrible, as Jim Dunne @9 noted, Robinson in 1975 was still an excellent fielder. So good, in fact, that he produced a plus WAR for the year based on his glove. It wasn't until the following year that age began to also rob him of enough range that he no longer a productive everyday player.

    Same with Clete Boyer in '64. His glove was so good it made him a productive player, with his glove pulling his WAR rating into plus zone.

    I don't know how many players on the list above are similar to Robinson and Boyer, although I do see a few players who were noted as good defenders. Nick Punto, as bad as he is with the bat in '07, still was able to be a plus player. Scott Brosius was also an excellent glove man, but even is strong defensive ratings weren't quite enough to pull into the plus zone.

    Yet all this gets me to wondering, specifically about Adam Dunn. Unlike the players with the strong gloves, Dunn is a negative fielder when he does take to the field, and is a negative baserunner. Is he fashioning one of the worst seasons ever?

  36. One of the strangest thing in the list is these "worst full-time players" sometimes stayed with very good teams indeed. 1964 Yankees and 2002 Braves pop out immediately. Maybe the author could also investigate the winning percentage of these teams and how many of them make the postseason.

  37. [...] a list of the worst seasons by players who didn't play a middle infield position. Dunn is #20. http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/15045 Official sponsor of my daughter Sarah, SPOILERS!, and the St. Louis Cardinals Isa turn the [...]

  38. I already spend too much time on this website. I can't go to fangraphs, too.

    Oy so true. Call it the Voomo Kahuna Rule.

  39. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Those seasons were all at least 500 PAs. Hard to believe it was the same player with swings like that.

    This obviously shows that offensive stats can't be trusted.

  40. Wow, remembering some of those players Strato cards, they were pretty disgusting. In Boyer's and B Robby's cases, they were "1"s at third so that when they were on defense and someone rolled "GB(3b)X", at least you could smile. The 1975 GG for B Robby was his 16th...and last.

  41. The Original Jimbo Says:

    WAR would be a really nice addition to the table.

  42. The Original Jimbo Says:

    So did something happen to Brian Giles or is he just the most obvious roider ever looking at his stats and the steroid testing timeline.

  43. @40 Andrew...

    You made me smile.. for an infield defense of all 1's in Strato...

  44. Oh, Lord, 1999 Brian Hunter.

    One of the two times in my life I was moved to actually call in to a Sports Radio show was after the Mariners acquired him from Detroit in late April of that year, and he went 3-for-6 in his debut as a starter. The Seattle host and all of the callers who talked about the deal were ecstatic that the Mariners had finally solved their leadoff-hitter problem. I called in to say I thought it was a terrible acquisition and I was told on-air that I was being way too negative, dissing a guy who was hitting .500 and who was clearly the savior for that season. I suggested that the track record might be something to consider, too.

    He actually got 18 hits in his first 11 M's games, going .353/.377/.431 and 4-for-4 in SB (the best 11-game stretch in his entire career?). .217/.265/.284 in 474 PA the rest of the way.

    Sports radio people didn't seem to miss him much when he didn't show up in Arizona the next spring...

  45. The Chief (tm) Says:

    Regarding Dunn, has anyone ever had >=100 more strikeouts than they have had *hits* in a given season?

  46. Oh, fun. This means I can post my research, regarding "worst full-time players", that I did while listening to John Lackey this afternoon.

    The highest qualifying ERAs for pitchers with non-losing records:
    1. Wes Ferrell (Senators/Yankees, 1938 ) 15-10, 6.28
    2. Guy Bush (Cubs, 1930) 15-10, 6.20
    3. Brian Bohanon (Rockies, 1999) 12-12, 6.20
    4. Dave Milicki (Tigers/Astros, 2001) 11-11, 6.17
    5. Livan Hernandez (Twins/Rockies, 2008 ) 13-11, 6.05

    After today's start, Lackey is 12.1 innings from qualifying for the ERA title, and he's 12-12 with a 6.19 ERA. (He was in line for the win, but Daniel Bard has completely lost it over the last eight days. My fond hopes of a Phillies/Red Sox World Series have dropped like a rock.)

  47. (BTW, functionality request: add a "greater-than-or-equals" and "less-than-or-equals" to that computed-stat item in the P-I. I had to cobble the .500 and over-.500 records together from two separate reports.)

  48. @45 Mark Reynolds 99 hits, 211 SOs last year

  49. I always admired Jesus Alou in this respect. I believe he had a career OPS of 86 playing corner outfield poorly and stealing bases at a low percentage. Had a moderately long career as well.

  50. Alou was part of the 69 Houston team which did not have a corner outfielder hit more than 4 home runs. Wynn hit 33.

  51. A lot of times, it isn't the managers fault. A player like Alex Rios, for example, carries a high contract. Often the higher-ups (gms, presidents, owners etc) don't want a player who they are shelling out millions for, wasting time on the bench or as a pinch hitter. It's a sad fact, but that's how the money works.

  52. @46 - Tom Colcolough went 8-5 in 150.2 innings in 1894. His ERA was 7.23. Harry Staley went 12-10 in 1894 in 208.2 innings. His ERA was 6.81. Of course the league ERA in the NL in 1894 was 5.33, though Colcolough's ERA+ is still a horrendous 72 (which is the same as Ferrell's in 1938).

    Since the mound moved to its current distance, HOFer Rube Marquard holds the distinction of having the worst ERA+ in a qualifying season in which he finished over .500. In 1915 Marquard finished 11-10 with a 4.04 ERA, which doesn't look bad, but the NL ERA was 2.75. Christy Mathewson, he was not. Heck, Jack Morris, he was not.

  53. The Chief (tm) Says:

    @48 Charles,

    Thanks. I'm doing something else (but peeking at BBRef) so my mind wasn't completely focused on the topic. While I could vaguely remember that Reynolds had put up some gaudy K numbers the past few years, I guess I thought he would have had a few more hits, too. That's why I was pretty sure that previous "leaders" in this category, like Deer, Bonds Sr., Kingman, et. al., had never had so few hits for so many K's.

  54. Stop defending Ozzie Guillen, people. He's starting Rios and Dunn because the Incan Monkey God that lives in his brain is telling him to. It's the same Incan Monkey God that convinced sportswriters he's ever been anything but a terrible manager.

  55. chancelikely Says:

    That's one profane monkey god.

  56. Michael E Sullivan Says:

    Scott Brosius 97 is interesting. I remembered him being pretty good then falling off -- but that was 98 with the yankees. I wasn't really aware of him with Oakland.

    What's interesting is that he sandwiched this stinker in between 2 5+ WAR seasons, one in '96 with Oakland, and one in '98 with the Yankees. In all three of these seasons his defense was top notch, but in 96 and 98 his offense was also well above average, while in 97 it pretty much overwhelmed his defensive contribution.

  57. @54
    That may all be true about the Incan Monkey God, actually.
    But I'm sure the Pale Hose GM, who ate Rios' contract in a straight waiver claim, has something to do with it.
    I agree with Andy that Ozzie G should be Manager of the Year.

  58. Johnny Twisto Says:

    When would the people appalled at how many PA Dunn has received have benched him? May? July? And how long would they have left him there? The next 3.5 seasons?

  59. @56, Michael.

    Agree on Brosius. See comments @6 and @33. :)

  60. Garrett was only a rookie(21 yrs old) and he was pretty good after that.He could get on base.

  61. I think it was fine for Ozzie to leave Dunn in the lineup as Dunn has probably been the most reliable player stat-wise since 2004. He's going to walk 100+ times, strike out 160+ times, hit 38+ HR, and bat around .250.

    I think it was even more justified when Uggla turned it on after having a Dunn-esque 1st half. Its just that Dunn has not found it. I'm not sure what I would do now. Guess I start over next year and bat him 6th or 7th and if he starts slow again, bench him.

  62. what about Enzo Hernandez OPS.545... 137 total bases...
    Brooks had money troubles so he stayed on longer than he should have...
    Weaver liked him to the point where Doug DeCinces progress was
    impeded big time.

  63. Johnny Twisto Says:

    It's hard for me to believe it could cause his complete collapse, but Dunn being affected by DHing has to be considered. Obviously he was never much of an outfielder, but a lousy outfielder who hits like Dunn is worth more than a DH who hits like Dunn 2011. I guess it's been a few years since he played the OF regularly but I don't think he's appreciably bigger or in worse shape.

    It's possible that he's just suddenly finished, but I think it's more likely he's got some production left, and the Sox need to figure out how to salvage it.

  64. Enzo knocked in 12 runs as a full time player that year (1970)...
    He had other bad seasons.. in the era of defense being the main reason
    for playing short... he was the worst...

  65. Dunn's contract effectively mandated that he be played in his first year with Sox.

    Wondering why C, 2B, SS were excluded from the list; Maybe the bulk of low OPS+ comes at those positions? I'd immediately thought of Tigers' Ray Oyler of late 60s - career OPS+ of 48 on 1200+ AB... and that was compared to league averages in a pitcher's era.

  66. I think it was Oyler who, in "Ball Four," as the team was about to get off a plane after a long road trip where all their wives were waiting to greet them, said:

    "Okay you guys, everybody act horny."

  67. Does Guillen have a soft spot weak offensive players because he too was a weak offensive player? He also gave guys like Beckham, Morel and Vizquel a lot of AB's this year, which makes the .500 record even more amazing. This isn't 1965, and the Sox aren't the Dodgers.

  68. I was kind of surprised Dunn was only 20th.

    If you exclude SS, 2B, and C, why not exclude CF? There are several on this list, including Rios, Patterson, Lewis, Taveras, Bourne, etc. Hernandez is interesting from a defensive perspective because he could play several defensive positions. There are a couple of others on this list like that--guys who were valuable as super subs at various points, like Brosius.

    If you only included DH, and corner infielders and outfielders, Dunn's season stands out even more. Vince Coleman also stands out, as he was a corner outfielder.

  69. Last year Mark Reynolds had 211 k's and hit .198. Can any of you statheads out there verify that that was the only time a guy had more k's than his batting average? Dunn should get there this year as well.

  70. I think Ozzie is making a mistake with Dunn. He has three years and $42 million left, and he's completely un-tradeable. But there's not much historical precedent for a 31 year old power hitter to just completely lose it. The season is over: you have to play this guy. If he shows some life in his bat, at least you go into next year with someone you think might be able to perform, or a commodity that might be traded if you eat a significant part of his contract. Right now you have a black hole-what does it hurt to try to find something out?

  71. If anything, that list might be a strike against Ozzie Guillen. As in why the heck does he keep putting those 2 guys out there?

  72. @67. In 1965 (and during most of the second half of the 1960s) I believe the White Sox was one of the poorer offensive teams even for that era. They kept Smoky Burgess around for 3 years in the mid-60s, just to pinch-hit and then they put in a pinch runner for him (Burgess in his White Sox seasons scored exactly as many runs as he had HRs if I remember)

  73. Chone Figgins is already 33?

    Where have I been?

  74. @70 - I don't really follow the White Sox and all their drama, but before the Tigers really turned it on they actually had an outside shot at the Central despite Dunn and Rios.

    I understand your logic about playing Dunn now that they are eliminated, but they are also trying to find out what they have in some of their younger guys now. I wonder what took them so long to call up Viciedo and de Aza from Charlotte. Viciedo is the Cuban defector signed to a 4yr, $10MM deal and de Aza is the Marlins flame out. Looks like both are in the fold for 2012 after performing pretty well with the big club.

    But you are right, 2 terrible seasons by 2 guys making a lot of money. I'll tell you what though GM of the past couple years is Alex Anthopolous...to get rid of Wells and Rios and not eat any money??? Unbelievable...

  75. @1, Dunn has the most SO in a non-qualified season (assuming he won't reach 503 PA, which appears likely since he is at 448 now and not playing regularly). I say play him every day so he can get off of this list! 14 games at 4 PA per game and he just qualifies for rate stat titles.

    Second place is a tie between Melvin Nieves in 1996 (158 SO in 484 PA) and Bo Jackson in 1987 (158 SO in 434 PA). Next was Nieves again with 157 SO in 1997.

  76. Burgess in his White Sox seasons scored exactly as many runs as he had HRs if I remember

    That's a claim I had to check. (-;þ You're right, GB — five and five. In 243 games for the White Sox from late '64 to the end of the '67 season, Burgess had 252 plate appearances, 51 RBI, and 31 innings in the field (all of them behind the plate).

    during most of the second half of the 1960s . . . the White Sox was one of the poorer offensive teams even for that era.

    Those Sox were the modern-day Hitless Wonders. Here’s a mind-bender: In 1968, the Year of the Pitcher, the AL was the worse-hitting league, and the White Sox had an OPS+ of 76 relative to the league. The team’s cleanup hitters (mostly Tommy Davis and Pete Ward) hit nine home runs, with 28 XBH, 62 RBI and a .625 OPS for the whole season. The sixth- and seventh-place hitters drove in 39 and 38 runs, respectively. The leadoff hitters scored 61 runs. White Sox pitchers allowed 3.25 R/G (2.75 team ERA), but the offense was so weak that the club lost 95 games and finished tied for eighth.

  77. [...] on a comment from another thread here are the players since 1901 to score all of their runs on home runs, minimum 3 [...]

  78. Follow-up note on the 1968 White Sox: The game where the pitcher batted sixth.

    To be fair, Gary Peters was a very good hitter. He and Bob Gibson are the only two pitchers I've found who never had a season OPS+ below zero.

  79. Having watch Dunn and Rios all year, they had the two worst years I've seen by any players in over 45 years of watching baseball. What's missing in the analysis is how many runners they stranded, especially in make or break situations for the Sox. Had they even had mediocre years, the effect would have been at least 15 more wins.

  80. @78 When the game was played. Peters had a higher BA than all the regulars but one (0.259) and he hit a grand slam HR the previous time he faced the Yankees. He also PH in the 2nd game of the double header. Peters took his hitting seriously andworked hard in batting practice. After the 2nd game, he was batting 0.233, 25 points higher than the team.

    In his career he was 16 for 68 as a PH with 4 HRs.

    He was 3 for 4 in the ist inning in his career with 6 RBIs, 2b, 3b, no runs