It’s easy to breakdown the top players in the league, but what about the little guys (or larger than life guys who are currently struggling)? What about the forgotten few bringing up the rear in offensive categories? Those are the players we’ll take a look out in this article. It’s time to give a little love to the bottom rung.
The Sliver Slugger Award (Player with the smallest sliver of a batting average)
Adam Dunn – .165
After posting a .260/.356/.536 triple-slash last season, Adam Dunn forgot how to hit. He has exactly 60 hits in 363 at-bats. He will finish the season (hopefully) with more than 60 hits, but the only other time he has had this few knocks came in his rookie season. In 244 at-bats, Dunn had 64 hits. He still posted a .262/.371/.578. This season, though, he’s striking out more than ever. His 35.5% K Rate is the highest of his career.
Dunn is having one of the all-time bad seasons. A player known for his power and slugging percentage is barely hovering over a .290 slugging percentage. So we take our hats off to Adam Dunn and award him the Sliver Slugger Award.
The Triple Sombrero (Player with the most strikeouts)
Drew Stubbs – 170
If the silver sombrero is bad, and the golden sombrero is worse, and the platinum sombrero is downright embarrassing, the combination of all three must be reserved for season worsts. With only 41 more strikeouts to go, Stubbs is almost a lock to break Mark Reynolds all-time strikeout record. Through 129 games, Stubbs is averaging 3.9 at-bats per game. With 33 games to play, Stubbs will likely get about 128 more at-bats. With a K% of about 33%, Stubbs has a chance to strikeout 42 more times and set the all-time record.
At least Stubbs, unlike Adam Dunn, can boast a positive WAR. He currently sits on a 2.8 WAR. And while Stubbs strikes out a lot, he also gets hits. He has 126 hits. This is keeping him well above the Sliver Slugger Award. But, he has a tight grasp on the Triple Sombrero.
The Non-Base Percentage Award (Player with the lowest on-base percentage, minimum 300 at-bats)
Vernon Wells – .242
Wells has largely been a bust since coming to the Angels from the Blue Jays. But it may not be a complete reduction in talent. Wells’ BABIP is a terribly low .211. That means either Wells is incredibly unlucky when he makes contact or fielders are incredible lucky. With a ground ball percentage fourth lowest in his career, it doesn’t look like he is hitting the ball right at infielders. It would appear his fly ball hits are just dropping into fielders gloves more often than usual.
Vernon Wells isn’t let completely off the hook though. In analyzing his walks, Wells is on pace to take less walks than he ever has in his career. With only 17 walks this season, it would seem Wells is hacking at every pitch he sees. Clearly this contributes to the types of pitches he hits and the chance for making outs. So, Vernon Wells, with his lack of walks, lack of hits, and sheer inability to get on base wins the Non-Base Percentage Award.
The Ducksnorts Award (Player with the least amount of home runs, minimum 300 at-bats)
Jamey Carroll – 0 Home Runs, 378 at-bats
In basically a full season’s worth of games, Carroll has been unable to run into one. Carroll is one of only a few players in the league with over 300 at-bats without a home run. If pitchers can hit them, Carroll should have at least one.
Jamey Carroll does contribute elsewhere, though. He has a .291 batting average and a .360 on-base percentage. He’s scored 42 runs and boasts a 1.5 WAR. Not great but at least he’s contributing. Though Carroll isn’t one to hit the big fly, he collects hits any way he can. As his reward, he wins the Ducksnorts Award.
There you have it. We’ve covered just a few of the offensive categories out there, but we have a good representation of the best of the worst. Great players are easy to evaluate. It’s the mediocre to bad players that are fun to analyze. So enjoy the first annual Best of the Worst.