Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lowest OPS by a 2B in a Season Since 1920

As for all the positions: the explanation of why I chose to look at seasons since 1920 can be found here. The short story is I wanted to avoid the low-power years of the deadball era while compiling lists of poor-hitting position players.

Second baseman have traditionally hit very poorly. That means we should see some pretty bad numbers on the following list. Qualifiers remain the same: the player must have qualified for the batting title during the season while playing 75% or more of his games at second base.

Del Young1937PHI386.
Horace Clarke1968NYY607.
Billy Ripkin1988BAL559.
Sparky Anderson1959PHI527.
Freddie Maguire1931BSN544.
Roy Schalk1944CHW654.
Doug Flynn1981NYM343.
Rabbit Maranville1933BSN532.
Tommy Helms1970CIN605.
Jose Lind1992PIT506.
Hal Lanier1965SFG556.
Sandy Alomar1973CAL519.
Connie Ryan1943BSN531.212.301.249.550
Burgess Whitehead1941NYG429.
Jimmy Jordan1936BRO419.
Cookie Rojas1968PHI650.232.248.306.554
Mike Champion1977SDP546.
Rodney Scott1981MON402.205.308.250.558
Len Randle1976TEX597.
Rocky Bridges1953CIN477.

Those are some pretty bad seasons. Once again, there are a number of Boston Braves on the list. Boston's erstwhile National League team has seen three second basemen, five first basemen and two catchers on the three lists. So, out of the sixty players listed so far, ten of them played for Boston -- it's not hard to see why that team hardly ever had a good season.

Getting back to solely second basemen, players have put sixty seasons with an OPS under .600 since 1920. Only one player since 2000 has done it -- barely. Brent Abernathy put up a .599 OPS for Tampa Bay in 2002. Finally, the worst OPS by a qualifying second baseman in 2007 was Ray Durham's .638 for the Giants.

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