Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
The Not List
2006-04-27 09:00
by Mark T.R. Donohue

Lowest OPS totals among batting title qualifiers, April 27th

156. Jose Reyes, .659
157. Lance Niekro, .658
158. Jhonny Peralta, .656
159. Doug Mientkiewicz, .653
160. Orlando Hudson, .653

No surprises among this group, except for Peralta. You could call it a sophomore slump, except he played in the majors for half of 2003 before coming up for good in '05. Hudson isn't a great hitter, but what's been really surprising about his season so far is how poor his defense has been, as a recent (free) Prospectus notebook pointed out.

161. Ichiro Suzuki, .649
162. Russ Adams, .646
163. Jeromy Burnitz, .638
164. Kevin Millar, .637
165. Preston Wilson, .631
166. Yuniesky Betancourt, .625
167. Juan Pierre, .620
168. Joey Gathright, .613
169. Mark Loretta, .613
170. Emil Brown, .613

A lot of "old player skills" types in this group. Kevin Millar's career sure fell off the table, huh? Not to mention former Rockies Wilson and Burnitz. The other trend is fast guys who don't walk: Pierre, Ichiro, "potential superstar" Gathright. At the time I thought Boston's deal sending Doug Mirabelli to San Diego for Mark Loretta was a huge steal, but look at Loretta's numbers. Then consider that Boston has absolutely nobody now who can catch Tim Wakefield -- Josh Bard has 10 passed balls.

171. Rickie Weeks, .608
172. Placido Polanco, .604
173. Mike Sweeney, .601
174. Jeff Kent, .601
175. Brady Clark, .596
176. Brad Wilkerson, .595
177. Cliff Floyd, .588
178. Jason Kendall, .578
179. Scott Podsednik, .573
180. Jason Michaels, .572

Some more usual suspects in Kendall and Podsednik, but some big stars, too. I could have sworn Wilkerson was going to take to Texas like a duck to water. Maybe his shoes are too tight. Jason Michaels is one of those guys with stats that you look at and say, "Geez, why has this guy never been an everyday player?" Then every time he gets an opportunity to be one, this happens. I don't know why. Regular readers of the site know I always have plenty of unkind things to say about Jeff Kent, but I'm not feeling it this morning. I want to save my "A" material for the first Dodgers series in Denver May 15-17.

181. Royce Clayton, .566
182. Juan Encarnacion, .566
183. Mike Matheny, .551
184. Pedro Feliz, .544
185. Jeff Francoeur, .540
186. Alex (Boston) Gonzalez, .540
187. Rafael Furcal, .535
188. Chris Duffy, .533
189. Ray Durham, .528
190. Mark Ellis, .498

My God, Royce Clayton is playing every day for the Nationals? Oh, the humanity. When you get down this low it takes a certain special kind of player to continue getting at bats while playing this badly -- guys like Encarnacion, Feliz, Gonzalez, and Matheny have it down to a science. I guess we know why the Dodgers haven't run away with their division yet. But how are the Giants possibly tied for first with Feliz, Matheny, Durham, and Niekro? I think Durham must be hurt, he's usually a pretty reliable performer. Obviously Ryan Howard and not Francoeur was the right choice for NL Rookie of the Year last season. Ellis takes the accustomed place of his teammate Eric Chavez, who hasn't started the season ice cold for the first time in recent memory. What is it with the A's and the first half of the season?

191. Aaron Hill, .479
192. Adrian Beltre, .462
193. Brian Schneider, .461
194. Yadier Molina, .406
195. Rondell White, .314

Three glove guys plus White and Beltre. Wow, look at Rondell White -- that's some separation. .147/.154/.160, impressive. He'll get every chance to play out of it as it's not as if the Twins are flush with options. Then there's Adrian Beltre. Of the many things in baseball for which I am glad, the excruciating obsolescence of Adrian Beltre is perhaps the one for which I most often give thanks. Why, you ask? Well, let me answer your question with a question. What's the worst free agent signing in history? At the moment, you might say it was the Rockies' deal with Mike Hampton, and you would probably be right. But Beltre and Seattle are gaining. Quickly. Keep up the "good" work, Adrian.

2006-04-27 14:17:48
1.   Bob Timmermann
You forgot the L.A. Times party line that Adrian Beltre would play better if he were only in L.A.

Because he "meant more" to L.A.

2006-04-27 15:51:40
2.   Bob Timmermann
And we should give a tip of the hat to the First Place Colorado Rockies.
2006-04-28 12:18:45
3.   Voxter
It's going to be extremely difficult to top the Darren Dreifort Contract. At least Beltre consistently provides good defense. Dreifort couldn't even take the hill for most of his gozillion-dollar debacle, and when he did, he wasn't much good. I think we should amend the Classic Blunders:

1) Never get involved in a land war in Asia.

2) Never enter into a battle of wits with a Sicilian when death is on the line. (Having known some people of Sicilian extraction, this one is debatable, if you ask me.)

3) Never give any money to Darren Dreifort.

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