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Great Hitters—but not so good at anything else

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Kind of building on my earlier post about guys who were good at everything, I decided to search for guys who could hit the ball—but kinda stunk at every other aspect of the game. The search criteria was:

  • greater than 100 Batting Runs
  • less than 0 Baserunning, Avoiding Double Play, and Total Zone Runs
  • less than or equal to 0 Infield Double Play, Outfield Arm, or Catching Runs

I kept guys who played premium positions (positional adjustment greater than zero) on the list since this was more about individual skills than overall value. Plus, I found it interesting to see some catchers ranking highly.

Here is the list (numbers from Rally's WAR database):

Name PlApp Bat BSrun DP TZ IFDP OFarm catcher Pos WAR TotalNeg
Frank Thomas 9953 766 -26 -27 -63 -4 0 0 -195 75.9 -120
Fred McGriff 10101 420 -20 -13 -28 -6 0 0 -160 50.5 -67
Ted Simmons 9574 208 -13 -27 -21 0 -4 -8 70 50.4 -73
Ken Singleton 8469 350 -9 -25 -42 0 -20 0 -122 40.6 -96
Albert Belle 6591 358 -3 -26 -53 0 -10 0 -84 37.4 -92
Harold Baines 10984 283 -12 -20 -6 0 -7 0 -215 37.0 -45
Magglio Ordonez 6958 277 -7 -24 -26 0 -11 0 -82 34.9 -68
Ken Caminiti 7044 144 -1 -7 -7 -2 0 0 11 33.0 -17
Bobby Bonilla 8153 249 -4 -10 -112 0 -9 0 -43 32.2 -135
Mickey Tettleton 5677 158 -18 -3 -24 0 -4 -26 3 27.8 -75
Travis Hafner 3361 167 -6 -2 -1 0 0 0 -74 18.9 -9
Prince Fielder 2772 136 -16 -1 -29 -3 0 0 -43 12.0 -49

TotalNeg is the combined total of everything besides Batting Runs and Positional Adjustment. We range from just barely below average (Travis Hafner's total is just -9) to greatly below average (Bobby Bonilla comes in at a whopping -135).

Ted Simmons (70), Ken Caminiti (11), and Mickey Tettleton (3) are the three players who have positive position value. Caminti has the closest TotalNeg (-17) to average of this trio, so he probably least deserves to be on this list. Simmons (-73 TotalNeg) and Tettleton (-75 TotalNeg) certainly deserve it.

Ordonez, Hafner, and Fielder are the active players who make it. If you, like I did, wonder how David Ortiz missed the list, it's because he entered 2010 with a DP of exactly zero. Baseball-Reference still has him at 0 for 2010 so far, so he's still toeing the line.

Personally, I find this kind of simple search interesting. Anything else in particular you'd like to see?