Friday, October 15, 2010

Allergic to Bases

Only the Lord knows why this Fan is focusing so much on lousy play lately. Yesterday featured a post about the worst fielding players in MLB this season. Today, the Fan has the overwhelming urge to write a splurge about the eleven worst On Base Percentages in the majors for 2010. Why eleven? Because only eleven finished with an OBP under .300. Why only eleven? Oh, there were a lot more, but these particular eleven managed to get enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title despite the fact that they couldn't get on base. Look, without a homer, you can't score unless you have base runners. So the OBP is an extremely important number. That makes it all the more unfathomable that these guys got so many plate appearances. There were a few on this list that had good years in 2009 and 2010 might have been an outlier. For their career's sake, let's hope so.

Here are your bottom eleven players on the On Base Percentage totem pole:

  1. Jose Lopez - Seattle Mariners: .270. 622 plate appearances, 23 walks, 142 hits. 71 OPS+  Fugly season.
  2. Aaron Hill - Toronto Blue Jays: .271, 580 plate appearances, 41 walks, 108 hits. 79 OPS+. Hill did hit 26 homers but this was a year to forget for Hill. It's hard to understand compared to the year he had in 2009.
  3. Cezar Izturis - Baltimore Orioles: .277 513 plate appearances, 25 walks, 109 hits, only 15 extra base hits. With his 51 OPS+ for a full season, Izturis was easily the most ineffective batter in all the majors this season.
  4. Kevin Kouzmanoff - Oakland Athletics: .283. 586 plate appearances, 24 walks, 136 hits. Should change his name to Kouzmanoffthebases.
  5. Adam Lind - Toronto Blue Jays: .287. 613 plate appearances, 34 walks, 135 hits. With 144 strikeouts, Lind had almost as many whiffs as times on base. He did have a much better second half.
  6. Yuniesky Betancourt - Kansas City Royals: .288. 588 plate appearances, 23 walks, 144 hits. And this was a good year for him.
  7. Alcedes Escobar - Milwaukee Brewers: .288. 552 plate appearances, 36 walks, 119 hits. The Brewers should have kept J. J. Hardy. 67 OPS+. Brutal.
  8. Carlos Lee - Houston Astros: .291. 649 plate appearances, 37 walks, 149 hits. A real down year for the slugger.
  9. Ronny Cedeno - Pittsburgh Pirates: .293. 502 plate appearances, 23 walks, 120 hits. The worst of the Pirates' hitters.
  10. Alex Gonzalez: - Combined Braves and Blue Jays: .294. 640 plate appearances, 31 walks, 149 hits. Had a good slugging year and is the only one on this list that came close to a league average OPS+.
  11. Aramis Ramirez - Chicago Cubs: .294. 507 plate appearances, 34 walks, 112 hits. Better in the second half, but still a real down year for this long-time slugger.

There are several amazing things on this list. First, there are three players that played all or part of their seasons in Toronto. This shows that 18 year old boys are more patient in a whorehouse than the Blue Jays were at the plate. Second, Kouzmanoff, Lopez and Lee all hit into 20 double plays. So not only did they not get on base, they erased 20 others from the bases as well. So if you then take Jose Lopez and subtract twenty base runners from his On Base Percentage, then he would be down to .233!

Perhaps this Fan will get off this morbid negative stat kick. But for now, it's too much fun.

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