Friday, November 9, 2007

Lowest OPS by a C in a Season Since 1920

I want to start to looking at some of the worst seasons by position since 1920. The reason I choose that year is because it's considered the start of the "live ball" era, a time in which home runs and hitting for power became an integral part of baseball and offense took off. Since baseball before 1920 was less focused on hitting for power and more on moving runners over, there's not much point in making a list of poor hitting position players from the early 1900's to compare to players today.

With that in mind, here's the lowest seasons by catchers with 350+ plate appearances in a season since 1920. I chose 350 because it's roughly the 3.1 PA/G necessary to qualify for the current league batting title scaled down to roughly 113 games, a number that accommodates the numerous days off full-time catchers require:

Jerry Grote1967NYM367.
Bob Boone1984CAL468.
Mickey Grasso1952WSH394.
Barry Foote1975MON410.
Jim Sundberg1983TEX423.
Matt Walbeck1994MIN359.
Paul Casanova1969WSA408.
Buck Rodgers1965CAL461.
Mickey O'Neil1924BSN382.
Alan Ashby1979HOU370.
Jim Sundberg1975TEX540.
Einar Diaz2002CLE351.
Sammy White1957BOS370.
Jake Gibbs1968NYY460.
Al Lopez1937BSN378.
Randy Hundley1972CHC387.
Ed Herrmann1976CAL/HOU352.
Mike Ryan1966BOS400.
Joe Azcue1965CLE371.
Jake Early1942WSH394.

That's the twenty lowest OPS seasons for catchers with 350+ PA. There are seventy-four such seasons with an OPS below .600, nine of which have occurred since 2000:
  • Einar Diaz, 2002, .542
  • Mike Matheny, 2001, .580
  • Brad Ausmus, 2006, .593
  • Brad Ausmus, 2003, .594
  • Yadier Molina, 2006, .595
  • Bengie Molina, 2000, .596
  • Chris Snyder, 2005, .598
  • Brandon Inge, 2002, .599

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