With the 2010 baseball season nearly half over, it's shocking to learn who some of the worst players in baseball have been this season.
From overpaid veterans to disappointing free agent signings, the worst baseball players of 2010 are a surprising group.
I'm going to use WAR as the strongest measuring tool in this list. WAR, or wins above replacement, measures all the factors of a players performance to compute the number of wins (or losses) he contributes to his team.
Here is a wonderful in-depth explanation of this great all-encompassing statistic http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/6063.
And somehow Jeff Francouer managed to not make the list!
Mr. Figgins was one of the bigger signings of the off-season. After 8 seasons in Anaheim, Figgins migrated up the coast to Seattle for 4 years and 36 million. His batting and fielding skills appear to be on a different migration schedule.
In 69 games he's produced a .236/.340/.285 line. That batting average is 50 points below his career average and his horrendous SLG is 100 points below his norm.
While never a professional slugger, Figgins has lived off his batting average hitting over .300 in two of the last three season and getting on base at a .390+ clip in those same two years. Still eleven extra-base hits in more than 300 plate appearances is pretty pathetic.
His 14 steals in 18 attempts do no come close to making up for his deficiencies at the plate this season.
After playing 3B for years in Anahiem, Seattle moved Figgins to 2B where he's had a difficult time adjusting. Figgins sports a -7.1 fielding WAR and -5.4 batting WAR for a total Wins Above Replacement of -0.2.
That's a far cry from his excellent 6.1 last year and is certainly not worth 9 million a year.
How exactly Skip Schumaker is an everyday major league player I'm not sure. With a career .349 OBP he has shown some ability to get on base, but he has almost no speed (16 career steals in 23 attempts) and less power (career slugging of .388).
This season he's bottomed out.
If the Cardinals want to repeat in the NL Central they have to get more out of Schumaker than his current .251/.313/.320 line. Thirteen extra base hits in more than 250 plate appearances is not going to get it done.
Like everybody else on this list, Schumaker has been just as bad in the field. His 10 errors in just 61 games already tops his 9 errors in 133 games at 2B last season.
Schumaker has a total WAR of -0.3.
It is difficult to believe the Colorado Rockies have a winning record when the the left side of their infield sports two of the worst players at their respective positions (more on other guy later in this list).
After spending much of his career as a platoon player, Barmes' excellent 2009 campaign, along with the departure of Garrett Atkins from the mile high city, opened the door for Barmes to be the Rockies everyday second baseman.
He has not responded well.
With a Chone Figgins-like .222/.282/.359 line Barmes has demonstrated his failure to both get on base and hit for power.
With a WAR of -0.3 Barmes may soon be back to being a role player instead of an everyday starter.
If they gave away first half MVP awards Ibanez would have one for the first half of 2009. He should have retired after that.
After getting off to a scorching start last season, Ibanez has fallen off a cliff.
Actually if he literally fell off a cliff that might explain his dreadful plunge. After posting a 1.035 OPS and becoming an All-Star in the first half of 2009, Ibanez followed that up with a .774 second half OPS. His radical downward trend continues into the 2010 season.
Ibanez's non-production at the plate (5 HR, .401 SLG) is made worse by the fact that he's a bad fielder with worse knees.
This season his fielding WAR is -6.5 which combined with his disastrous season at the plate gives him a -0.3 WAR in 2010. Ibanez is making a tad over 12.5 million for the third place Phillies.
After a fantastic bounce back year in 2009, Todd Helton has become the worst 1B in baseball this season. At 18 milliion dollars, the Rockies deserve more than 2 HRs and a .318 SLG percentage out of their highest paid player.
Helton's OPS of .659 is the lowest in his career by 120 points. Never a defensive specialist or base-stealer Helton's worth is produced from his bat. A bat that is been pathetically silent and may soon spell the end for the 36 year-old.
At number five we have our first pitcher—Randy Wolf. In the off-season the Milwaukee Brewers rewarded Wolf's excellent '09 season with a 3 year 27 million dollar deal. Since then Wolf has been awful.
Always a pitcher that struggled a bit with finding the strike zone, Wolf has reached new levels of wildness in 2010. Wolf's walk rate this season is 4.5 per nine, nearly as high as his strikeout per nine of 5.1.
He's had more walks then strikeouts in 6 of his starts this season and has been able to pitch past the 7th inning only once despite throwing an average of 105 pitches per start.
Somehow he's managed to keep his ERA at 4.79, which is still a far cry from the handsome 3.23 he sported for the Dodgers last season.
This free agent pitcher who was suppose to anchor the Brewers staff has a WAR of -0.6 this season.
It was only 2 years ago that White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin was a MVP candidate. How things have changed.
Quentin has posted a .216/.307/.394 thus far for the southsiders. Quentin is striking out almost 18 percent of the time. His awfulness is compounded by his fielding WAR of -13.8 the third worse in baseball.
For the season Quentin has (un)produced a WAR of -1.3. In the off-season he received a raise of 650 percent. That's not good for Chicago.
Sure he might be a future Hall of Famer, but he's presently a giant liability for the Brewers. The owner of the career saves record of 595 is a sad 5 for 10 in save chances this year. At present he sports an ERA of 9.00.
After saving 37 games and posting a 1.83 at age 41 last year, "it" has gone from Trevor Hoffman in a hurry.
Very few all-time greats go out on top, Hoffman is just the latest example.
Trevor Hoffman's 2010 WAR is -0.9 in only 22 innings of baseball.
Carlos Lee's 2010 season has been a disaster from the get-go. The perennial 30-100-.300 man got off to an ice cold start.
After posting a dreadful .453 OPS in April, Lee improved ever so slightly to a .666 in May. His lifelong batting skills may have departed the big man. The Astros are not getting 19 million dollar a year production from their left-fielder.
Lee seems to have lost his plate discipline as his walk rate has plummeted to a career-low 5 percent. Lee has always been a below average fielder and that is only amplified by his season long batting slump.
Carlos Lee has produced a WAR of -2.0 for the Astros this season and his OPS is nearly 30 percent below the league average.
A player from Triple-A making the major league minimum would likely be more productive (and certainly a better value) than Lee this season.
After 11 seasons in the major leagues and a World Series title with the Phillies in 2008, Pedro Feliz may have become the worst everyday player in the big leagues. The quick and dirty facts:
- His line: .221/.246/.296
- Walk rate: 3.3 percent (a career low)
- 12 x-base hits
- .944 fielding percentage
- OPS+ of 46 (meaning he has produced at a rate less than half the league average)
Feliz was once a 20 HR guy and an excellent glove man. Since moving to Houston in the off-season he has been neither.
Feliz currently sports a league worst -2.1 wins above replacement. He is earning 4.5 million dollars from the Astros this year.