Posted by Andy on November 27, 2009
Most Baseball-Reference.com users are aware of the site's inclusion of Similarity Scores for each player.
By way of example, here are the players tto whom Mark Teixeira is currently most similar:
- Kevin Mitchell (913)
- Miguel Cabrera (905)
- Tony Clark (883)
- Dick Stuart (868)
- Geoff Jenkins (861)
- Gus Zernial (856)
- Aubrey Huff (855)
- Richie Sexson (853)
- Richie Zisk (853)
- Ripper Collins (853)
This is the similar batter list for career totals. (Each player's page also lists similar players through the current age of the player as well as similar players at past ages for the player.)
So at this point in time, Mark Teixeira's career totals are most similar to Kevin Mitchell's career totals, which is not bad considering that Tex will just be turning 30 around the beginning of the 2010 season. For an explanation of how similarity scores are calculated, see here. I really like the system although I admit I'd prefer if it didn't consider the defensive position of each player so that we could compare based on offensive performance alone.
Anyway, I'd like to try to identify the players who are least similar to any other players.
Here's what I meant. If you look at Teixeira's list above, his top similarity score is 913. However, there are other players whose stats are so unusual that they have a top similarity score that is much lower. Barry Bonds, for example, has Willie Mays as his most similar player but with a score of just 762. By comparison, the guy most similar to Mays himself is Frank Robinson with a score of 830.
I want to find the player with the lowest #1 similarity score. I already know of one star player with such a score much lower than Bonds' but I'll let you, the readers, figure it out.
Let's also create a few categories: lowest similarity score for 1) retired players with at least 1000 games played, 2) retired players with under 1000 games played, 3) active players with at least 1000 games played, and 4) active players with under 1000 games played. I'm talking about only positional players here, not pitchers (or pitchers' similarity scores as batters.)
Go ahead and post whatever you find in the comments. I'll check back on this post at the end of the year (Dec 31) and see who posted the earliest comments with the best answers. Comment as many times as you like.
What are the prizes? As of now, there are none beyond bragging rights. However I am going to add some next week so stay tuned.