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Worst OPS+ in a 100-RBI season

Posted by Andy on September 20, 2007

Reader vonhayes pointed out that Joe Carter had the worst all-time OPS+ for a season with 100 RBIs, and he's right. (I try not to assume that readers are male or female, despite the fact that our readership here is probably predominantly male, but seeing as he's named himself after a male baseball player, I am going to assume he's male.)

Here are all the guys to have an OPS+ under 100 with a season of 100 or more RBI:

  Cnt Player            **OPS+** RBI Year Age Tm  Lg  G   PA  AB  R   H  2B 3B HR  BB IBB  SO HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions
+----+-----------------+--------+---+----+---+---+--+---+---+---+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+
    1 Joe Carter            76   102 1997  37 TOR AL 157 668 612  76 143 30  4 21  40   5 105   7   0   9  12   8  2  .234  .284  .399  .683 D379
    2 Vinny Castilla        82   102 1999  31 COL NL 158 674 615  83 169 24  1 33  53   7  75   1   0   5  15   2  3  .275  .331  .478  .809 *5
    3 Ray Pepper            82   101 1934  28 SLB AL 148 598 564  71 168 24  6  7  29   0  67   1   4   0   0   1  4  .298  .333  .399  .732 *78/9
    4 Ruben Sierra          85   101 1993  27 OAK AL 158 692 630  77 147 23  5 22  52  16  97   0   0  10  17  25  5  .233  .288  .390  .678 *9D
    5 Joe Carter            85   115 1990  30 SDP NL 162 697 634  79 147 27  1 24  48  18  93   7   0   8  12  22  6  .232  .290  .391  .681 *873
    6 Tony Armas            85   107 1983  29 BOS AL 145 613 574  77 125 23  2 36  29   0 131   2   0   8  31   0  1  .218  .254  .453  .707 *8D
    7 Marv Owen             85   105 1936  30 DET AL 154 655 583  72 172 20  4  9  53   0  41   7  12   0   0   9  6  .295  .361  .389  .750 *5/3
    8 Glenn Wright          86   105 1927  26 PIT NL 143 626 570  78 160 26  4  9  39   0  46   1  16   0   0   4  0  .281  .328  .388  .716 *6
    9 Tony Batista          88   110 2004  30 MON NL 157 650 606  76 146 30  2 32  26   4  78   4   4  10  14  14  6  .241  .272  .455  .727 *5
   10 Jeff Francoeur        89   103 2006  22 ATL NL 162 686 651  83 169 24  6 29  23   6 132   9   0   3  16   1  6  .260  .293  .449  .742 *9/8
   11 Paul O'Neill          89   100 2000  37 NYY AL 142 628 566  79 160 26  0 18  51   2  90   0   0  11  17  14  9  .283  .336  .424  .760 *9/D
   12 Ray Jablonski         89   112 1953  26 STL NL 157 640 604  64 162 23  5 21  34   0  61   1   1   0  15   2  2  .268  .308  .427  .735 *5
   13 Joe Carter            90   107 1996  36 TOR AL 157 682 625  84 158 35  7 30  44   2 106   7   0   6  12   7  6  .253  .306  .475  .781 *73D
   14 Joe Pepitone          90   100 1964  23 NYY AL 160 647 613  71 154 12  3 28  24   7  63   3   2   5  17   2  1  .251  .281  .418  .699 *38/9
   15 George Kelly          91   103 1929  33 CIN NL 147 632 577  73 169 45  9  5  33   0  61   1  21   0   0   7  0  .293  .332  .428  .760 *3
   16 Ernie Banks           92   106 1969  38 CHC NL 155 629 565  60 143 19  2 23  42   7 101   7   8   7  15   0  0  .253  .309  .416  .725 *3
   17 Travis Fryman         93   100 1996  27 DET AL 157 688 616  90 165 32  3 22  57   2 118   4   1  10  18   4  3  .268  .329  .437  .766 *56
   18 Joe Randa             94   106 2000  30 KCR AL 158 665 612  88 186 29  4 15  36   3  66   6   1  10  19   6  3  .304  .343  .438  .781 *5/D
   19 Willie McGee          94   105 1987  28 STL NL 153 652 620  76 177 37 11 11  24   5  90   2   1   5  24  16  4  .285  .312  .434  .746 *8/6
   20 Eddie Robinson        94   102 1953  32 PHA AL 156 685 615  64 152 28  4 22  63   0  56   5   2   0  13   1  2  .247  .322  .413  .735 *3
   21 Gee Walker            94   111 1939  31 CHW AL 149 645 598  95 174 30 11 13  28   0  43   7  12   0  16  17  6  .291  .330  .443  .773 *7
   22 Moose Solters         94   134 1936  30 SLB AL 152 676 628 100 183 45  7 17  41   0  76   1   6   0   0   3  0  .291  .336  .467  .803 *7/8
   23 Pinky Higgins         95   106 1938  29 BOS AL 139 603 524  77 159 29  5  5  71   0  55   1   7   0   0  10  9  .303  .388  .406  .794 *5
   24 Wally Pipp            95   108 1923  30 NYY AL 144 634 569  79 173 19  8  6  36   0  28   6  23   0   0   6 13  .304  .352  .397  .749 *3
   25 Andruw Jones          96   104 2001  24 ATL NL 161 693 625 104 157 25  2 34  56   3 142   3   0   9  10  11  4  .251  .312  .461  .773 *8
+----+-----------------+--------+---+----+---+---+--+---+---+---+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+
  Cnt Player            **OPS+** RBI Year Age Tm  Lg  G   PA  AB  R   H  2B 3B HR  BB IBB  SO HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions
+----+-----------------+--------+---+----+---+---+--+---+---+---+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+
   26 Jeff Cirillo          96   115 2000  30 COL NL 157 684 598 111 195 53  2 11  67   4  72   6   1  12  19   3  4  .326  .392  .477  .869 *5
   27 Rico Brogna           96   102 1999  29 PHI NL 157 679 619  90 172 29  4 24  54   7 132   2   0   4  18   8  5  .278  .336  .454  .790 *3
   28 Glenn Wright          96   111 1924  23 PIT NL 153 662 616  80 177 28 18  7  27   0  52   1  18   0   0  14  6  .287  .318  .425  .743 *6
   29 Torii Hunter          97   102 2003  27 MIN AL 154 642 581  83 145 31  4 26  50   7 106   5   0   6  15   6  7  .250  .312  .451  .763 *8/D
   30 Rico Brogna           97   104 1998  28 PHI NL 153 624 565  77 150 36  3 20  49   8 125   0   0  10  12   7  7  .265  .319  .446  .765 *3
   31 Andres Galarraga      97   106 1995  34 COL NL 143 604 554  89 155 29  3 31  32   6 146  13   0   5  14  12  2  .280  .331  .511  .842 *3
   32 Del Ennis             97   119 1954  29 PHI NL 145 620 556  73 145 23  2 25  50   0  60   2   1  11  23   2  1  .261  .318  .444  .762 79/3
   33 Bill Brubaker         97   102 1936  25 PIT NL 145 620 554  77 160 27  4  6  50   0  96   4  12   0  17   5  0  .289  .352  .384  .736 *5
   34 Bing Miller           97   100 1930  35 PHA AL 154 654 585  89 177 38  7  9  47   0  22   3  19   0   0  13 13  .303  .357  .438  .795 *98
   35 Pinky Whitney         97   103 1928  23 PHI NL 151 636 585  73 176 35  4 10  36   0  30   1  14   0   0   3  0  .301  .342  .426  .768 *5
   36 Bill Buckner          98   102 1986  36 BOS AL 153 681 629  73 168 39  2 18  40   9  25   4   0   8  25   6  4  .267  .311  .421  .732 *3D
   37 Ray Jablonski         98   104 1954  27 STL NL 152 674 611  80 181 33  3 12  49   0  42   2   1  11  17   9  4  .296  .345  .419  .764 *5/3
   38 Maurice Van Robay     98   116 1940  25 PIT NL 145 609 572  82 156 27  7 11  33   0  58   3   1   0  16   2  0  .273  .316  .402  .718 *7/93
   39 Billy Rogell          98   100 1934  29 DET AL 154 679 592 114 175 32  8  3  74   0  36   0  13   0   0  13  3  .296  .374  .392  .766 *6
   40 Pinky Whitney         98   117 1930  25 PHI NL 149 662 606  87 207 41  5  8  40   0  41   1  15   0   0   3  0  .342  .383  .465  .848 *5
   41 Al Simmons            98   102 1924  22 PHA AL 152 644 594  69 183 31  9  8  30   0  60   2  18   0   0  16 15  .308  .343  .431  .774 *87
   42 Carlos Beltran        99   108 1999  22 KCR AL 156 723 663 112 194 27  7 22  46   2 123   4   0  10  17  27  8  .293  .337  .454  .791 *8/D
   43 Travis Fryman         99   102 1997  28 DET AL 154 657 595  90 163 27  3 22  46   5 113   5   0  11  15  16  3  .274  .326  .440  .766 *5
   44 Sammy Sosa            99   119 1997  28 CHC NL 162 694 642  90 161 31  4 36  45   9 174   2   0   5  16  22 12  .251  .300  .480  .780 *9
   45 Derek Bell            99   113 1996  27 HOU NL 158 684 627  84 165 40  3 17  40   8 123   8   0   9  18  29  3  .263  .311  .418  .729 *9/8
   46 Ed Sprague            99   101 1996  28 TOR AL 159 670 591  88 146 35  2 36  60   3 146  12   0   7   7   0  0  .247  .325  .496  .821 *5D
   47 George Bell           99   112 1992  32 CHW AL 155 670 627  74 160 27  0 25  31   8  97   6   0   6  29   5  2  .255  .294  .418  .712 *D7
   48 Frank Malzone         99   103 1957  27 BOS AL 153 672 634  82 185 31  5 15  31   1  41   1   1   5  15   2  1  .292  .323  .427  .750 *5
   49 Pinky Whitney         99   124 1932  27 PHI NL 154 678 624  93 186 33 11 13  35   0  66   0  19   0   0   6  0  .298  .335  .449  .784 *5/4

So it's been done 49 times, most recently (in the 2000's) by Tony Batista, Jeff Francoeur, Paul O'Neill, Joe Randa, Andruw Jones, Jeff Cirillo, and Torii Hunter. This is a nasty list to appear on, and makes it virtually certain that the player was overrated for at least that given year.

And here are the guys on the above list to do it more than once:

                   From  To   Ages Seasons Link to Individual Seasons
+-----------------+----+----+-----+-------+------------------------------+
 Joe Carter        1990 1997 30-37       3 Ind. Seasons
 Pinky Whitney     1928 1932 23-27       3 Ind. Seasons
 Rico Brogna       1998 1999 28-29       2 Ind. Seasons
 Travis Fryman     1996 1997 27-28       2 Ind. Seasons
 Ray Jablonski     1953 1954 26-27       2 Ind. Seasons
 Glenn Wright      1924 1927 23-26       2 Ind. Seasons

As Sky put it, Carter was a lemon. He looked bright & shiny, but when it came down to it, his fuel efficiency and performance were not quite as advertised.

Brogna is an interesting case, mainly because I think he was not overvalued. Despite consecutive 100-RBI seasons with the Phils, few people thought he was actually all that productive. (Never mind the second dumbest all-time baseball quote, made by one Terry Francona, saying that Brogna both drove in 100 runs with his bat and saved the team 100 runs defensively with his glove. The dumbest quote of all-time came from Joe Morgan during the pregame of a Sunday Night Baseball telecast when he said that he thought the key to the game was scoring runs, and that the team that scored more runs had the best chance to win that night. I'd have to say that the team that scored more runs had a damn good chance of winning.)

Some other notes about that list. One team, the 1996 Blue Jays, had two guys make the list (Carter and Ed Sprague.) The teams with the most seasons are the Phillies (6), the Tigers (4), and the Red Sox (4). A whole bunch of teams have never had a player do it.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2007 at 5:33 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.

11 Responses to “Worst OPS+ in a 100-RBI season”

  1. When I messed around with this, I expected to see more Cubs and Rockies than there are. Castilla's appearance is not surprising.

  2. Funny, I expected the same thing.

  3. Von Hayes- you're right, but the cutoff isn't high enough:
    http://www.bb-ref.com/pi/shareit/D394

    5 of the lowest 12 OPS+ seasons by players with at least 130 RBI (There 196 in history) were Rockies.

  4. Re Morgan's quote, I heard a sports-talker on ESPN (sadly, I didn't find out which one) say "The thing about the Yankees is, they're either going to outscore you, or they're going to lose."

  5. That sure sounds exactly like something Morgan would say.

    He's sort of the modern-day Yogi Berra. Only Berra was lovable.

  6. Oh, I'm male.

  7. Not only are you male, but you have the same name as me. (The wonders of Myspace...)

  8. I disagree with being on this list "makes it virtually certain that the player was overrated for at least that given year." I think being on this list can mean that although Carter didn't hit well in low-stress situations, he really came through with runners on - which is what you want out of a clean up hitter. In fact, a closer look at his 1997 reveals:
    *with the bases loaded, he was 6 for 10 with 20 RBIs!
    *with 2 outs and RISP, he batted .282 (not great but not awful)

  9. This list reminds me of an interesting fact I discovered a few years ago - in 1955, Ray Boone led the AL in RBIs (tied with Jensen) and Boone was not in the top ten in TB. Unfortunately, there is no gamelog for that year, because I'd love to see how he got all those RBIs!

    Has anyone else led the league in RBIs without being in the top ten in TBs? It seems so implausible, but it definitely happened once.

  10. I stand by my "over-rated" comment because of what the general population thinks, not what we folks who look at the stats more carefully think.

  11. [...] reader for a little while, you’ll know that I posted this already, along with some analysis, back here. These guys are almost all significantly [...]