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Who is the worst .300 hitter this year?

Posted by Andy on August 27, 2010

Every year, a few regulars hit .300 but don't actually contribute all that much to their team's success. This was especially true in 1998-2001 when even my grandma could have .300.

Who's the worst this year? I'll put out a few candidates and let you debate it.

Here are the 3 regulars hitting at least .300 with the lowest WAR totals:

1 Delmon Young 0.4 .308 .338 .497 123 24 MIN 119 470 439 60 135 36 1 15 88 19 51 4 3 .835
2 Starlin Castro 0.4 .315 .360 .440 107 20 CHC 97 392 359 41 113 26 5 3 38 24 53 6 6 .800
3 Scott Podsednik 1.1 .304 .350 .386 102 34 TOT 121 541 487 57 148 11 7 5 49 38 73 34 14 .736
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/26/2010.

Delmon Young is actually having a pretty good year with the bat. If he could up his walk total in future years, he'd be an absolute stud with the bat. What's really hurting Young's WAR is his fielding runs total, currently at -20 for the year. How accurate is this number? Well that's a subject for debate I guess.

As for Castro and Podsednik, they have done a lot less at the plate. Castro's also got a very low walk total and Podsednik's hitting nothing but singles. They both have pretty low OPS+ values. Castro also has a big negative in fielding runs, giving him that lower WAR value.

Here are the players hitting .300 with the lowest OBP (among players qualified for the batting title):

1 Delmon Young .338 123 .308 24 MIN 119 470 439 60 135 36 1 15 88 19 51 .497 .835
2 Vladimir Guerrero .347 123 .300 35 TEX 119 504 463 70 139 20 1 23 93 30 52 .497 .844
3 Scott Podsednik .350 102 .304 34 TOT 121 541 487 57 148 11 7 5 49 38 73 .386 .736
4 Placido Polanco .351 105 .317 34 PHI 99 450 417 61 132 23 1 6 42 21 36 .420 .771
5 Carlos Gonzalez .354 134 .320 24 COL 112 492 459 81 147 24 6 26 84 25 109 .569 .922
6 Austin Jackson .358 106 .306 23 DET 117 520 480 78 147 29 7 2 29 36 135 .408 .767
7 Starlin Castro .360 107 .315 20 CHC 97 392 359 41 113 26 5 3 38 24 53 .440 .800
8 Martin Prado .362 128 .318 26 ATL 110 520 475 86 151 33 3 14 50 34 67 .488 .850
9 Marlon Byrd .362 110 .303 32 CHC 123 511 465 69 141 31 2 11 55 27 69 .449 .811
10 Ichiro Suzuki .363 109 .310 36 SEA 127 573 525 58 163 24 2 5 34 41 71 .392 .756
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/26/2010.

Some of these guys are having very good seasons--Guerrero, Gonzalez, and Prado for sure. Placido Polanco sticks out as a guy hitting a pretty soft .317. He doesn't have many extra base hits and doesn't have particularly high RBI or R totals.

By the way, as of now, there are only 25 regulars hitting .300.

22 Responses to “Who is the worst .300 hitter this year?”

  1. Pick a Course and Go With It « Mike Scioscia's tragic illness Says:

    [...] to win if you’re playing Scott Podsednik (one of the three worst .300 hitters this year, according to baseball-reference) in left field instead of Manny, because that’s a huge dropoff in production. There’s [...]

  2. John DiFool Says:

    It's strange picking on Castro as the "worst" .300 hitter when he might very well have the most potential, by far, of anyone of your list (then again this is the Cubs we're talking about, whose young players very rarely seem to develop much). Plus UZR has him at a hardly-abysmal -1.7/150; maybe this should be limited to strictly offensive analysis? In which case, with positional adjustments, he blows the likes of Podsednik out of the water.

  3. jiffy Says:

    Re #2, not sure if errors factor into WAR, but Castro had 20 errors last I checked. He makes some amazing plays but botches the easy ones too often. Of course, he's not old enough to buy beer yet, either.

  4. David Says:

    Personally, having lived in Minnesota, Illnois, and Milwaukee (where Podsednik used to play) within the last few years, and having watched a lot of these players, I think I can speak to this fairly well. Castro obviously has a lot of potential, and while he isn't really putting the whole package together yet, he's doing a lot better than Alcides Escobar (sorry-- I'm a Brewers fan, and the success or failure of these two players will be forever linked in my mind), who the Brewers tagged as their SS of the future a while ago. Castro will probably never hit for a ton of power, but don't be surprised if the patience at the plate comes, and if the defense gets shored up in a year or two. As for Delmon, I know the numbers don't reflect this, but it appears to me that, in losing a lot of weight this offseason, he's been getting to more balls. I wonder if the spacious outfield in Target Field is driving his Rfield down this year as opposed to last. My college friends and I used to joke that Delmon played with a pivot foot in the outfield-- one foot remained stationary, and if he couldn't reach the ball without moving, he wasn't getting it. I actually think that he's improved A LOT in this area. Plus, as mentioned above, Delmon's actually been a stud with the bat this year, which has been really nice to see, since so far the trade for him has been disappointing. As for Podsednik, well... my vote's for him as this year's worst .300 hitter.

  5. Johnny Twisto Says:

    there are only 25 regulars hitting .300.

    In 1998-2001, there were about 29 per year. BAs were up a bit during that time, but not that much. The biggest difference was the increased power.

  6. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    It's a pleasant surprise not to be seeing Juan Pierre on either of these lists, but somewhat disappointing to catch Ichiro on it. But then, he's still a lot more athletic than I was at 36 -- or ever, for that matter {groan!}

  7. JeffW Says:

    Ichiro's numbers have dropped noticibly in several areas this season.

    Always considered a great hitter with runners in scoring position, he's currently 43 points below his career average of .336.

    I've also been looking at another stat recently: the percentage of runners who score during a given player's at bat. I was stunned to find that Ichiro is below the MLB average for his career, and well below the average over the past three seasons!

    According to the stats, the MLB average is at 15%, while Ichiro's career mark is 14%, and he's at 12% for the 2008-'09-'10 seasons.

    All those infield hits don't score many runs.

  8. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Yes Jeff, on a recent thread I was looking at Ichiro's 2001 numbers, and found that while he batted about .450 with RISP that season, his RBI per hit with RISP was quite low, and so he was actually not that much more productive than an average player in such situations.

  9. jason Says:

    #6 - pierre isn't on the list because he's not hitting .300. although he might make it there with the current roll he is on. i swear he was just hitting .245 and he's all the way up to .280 now.

    i wonder if pierre will get any hall votes when he comes up. he may be high on the steals list when he's done, and still have a .290 career average, which would look pretty good on paper.

  10. Thomas Says:

    I don't know that you can wonder about Pierre if Kenny Lofton doesn't get in!

  11. Will S. Says:

    @Jiffy: The fielding component of Rally's WAR is determined by TotalZone.

  12. Malcolm Says:

    Well, theoretically it shouldn't matter how effective Ichiro is at knocking in runs, because he's a leadoff hitter. However, that same theory also requires that the Mariners have run producers somewhere in the middle of their order...

  13. flyingelbowsmash Says:

    Those infield singles would produce runs if he had guys to drive him in behind him. Imagine him leading off for the Yankees. . .

  14. Biff Says:

    "Placido Polanco sticks out as a guy hitting a pretty soft .317. He doesn't have many extra base hits and doesn't have particularly high RBI or R totals."

    I'll take the *soft" 2010 Polanco season to be my 2 hole hitter anyday of the week. Hasn't been shabby with the glove this year either. If my favorite team could only be so lucky.

  15. jim vackner Says:

    They should call it the Matty Alou award... he'd hit .300 have an OBP of about .335 and would only be successful stealing about two thirds of the time....

  16. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Every time Polanco comes up to the plate, and his average flashes on the screen, I am amazed to see that it's over .300. He doesn't seem to come through when it counts, at least when I'm watching. I suspect he's come up a lot with two out and the bases empty (especially when Rollins was on the DL twice and not in front of him in the batting order), singled, and been stranded there (especially when Utley was on the DL and not after him in the batting order). His first time up, he may have singled with one out from the two-hole and either been stranded there or erased in a double play.

  17. Thomas Says:

    I love that thing where people believe the small number of games that they watch is good relative example of the season a player is having.

    Shoot, Alber Pujols has 32 games this year with 0 hits....

  18. Mr. Dave Says:

    This question is easy: it has to be Podsednik. The other two on the list are both developing and are showing potential to be good players over the span of a long career. Scotty Pods is a number four outfielder on a good team and is not going to get any better. He has the lowest OPS+ on the list, and provides absolutely nothing aside from the .300 batting average. Despite his speed (his one plus attribute), he is a negative on both the basepaths and in the field. He has no appreciable baseball instincts, and the fact that the Royals got anything of value for him is absolutely astounding.

    By the way, I actually don't hate Scotty Pods. He managed to save my fantasy baseball season after my entire outfield got hurt.

  19. Pageup Says:

    I wonder how Castro well stacks up against other 20 year old shortstops? The dude is slugging .440!

  20. Pageup Says:

    transpose those two words please!

  21. Joel Anderson Says:

    I'll speak up for Delmon Young. Yeah, he can be an challenged adventuror in left field and strikes out too much. Still, he leads a first place club in RBI's and he's proved himself to be a clutch hitter. I want him in the Twins line-up.

  22. Mike Felber Says:

    Productivity w/RISP also must take into account OBP. Both that & OBP lead to runs statistically. Though the Ichiro example is one where looking at 1 equation, whether BA or OBP w/RISP, shows how conventional measures of success are partial at best.