Worst Padres Hitters Ever

I’m mostly a positive guy (trying to make up for my youth, LOL), but how can I resist anything called “suckage index”? Introduced by the Batter’s Box as a way to identify lousy pitchers, and tweaked by Billfer at Detroit Tigers Weblog for use with hitters, suckage index simply multiplies how bad a guy was by how much he played. The formula is (80 – OPS+) * PA.

Reader Pat has taken it upon himself to run numbers for the Padres, and he has generously shared them with us:

Ten Worst Padres Hitters Ever
Player Year Age OPS+ PA Suckage
Ozzie Smith 1979 24 47 649 21417
Dave Roberts 1974 23 42 358 13604
Garry Templeton 1987 31 56 561 13464
Enzo Hernandez 1972 23 45 369 12915
Mike Champion 1977 22 57 546 12558
Enzo Hernandez 1971 22 61 618 11742
Tommy Dean 1969 23 42 308 11704
Enzo Hernandez 1974 25 61 563 10697
Andujar Cedeno 1995 25 55 424 10600
Fred Kendall 1975 26 47 314 10362
A spreadsheet listing the 50 worst single-season batting performances in Padres history is also available.

As Pat notes, the above list goes a long way in explaining folks’ hopes for Khalil Greene. Some incredibly weak hitting shortstops have passed through San Diego over the years.

Here’s a quick breakdown of our bottom 50 by decade:

  • 1969: 5
  • 1970s: 20
  • 1980s: 11
  • 1990s: 9
  • 2000s: 5 (so far)

The current decade is represented by Gary Bennett ’03 (26th), Sean Burroughs ’05 (33rd), Wiki Gonzalez ’00 (40th), D’Angelo Jimenez (43rd), and Damian Jackson ’01 (50th). No Vinny Castilla? Sorry, his 269 plate appearances left him just shy of the 300 needed to qualify.

Here are the repeat offenders:

  • Enzo Hernandez: 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975
  • Garry Templeton: 1983, 1986, 1987, 1990
  • Ozzie Smith: 1979, 1980, 1981
  • Derrel Thomas: 1972, 1973, 1978
  • Tim Flannery: 1980, 1987
  • Fernando Gonzalez: 1978, 1979
  • Ricky Gutierrez: 1993, 1994
  • Damian Jackson: 1999, 2001
  • Fred Kendall: 1975, 1976
  • Dave Roberts: 1972, 1974

Just a little something to ponder on a Thursday…

14 Responses »

  1. Wow, you’ve got to be really good to suck as much as Ozzie did.

  2. GY … what’s the point of “300 needed to qualify”? Since PA is part of the formula, if you “suck” enough, any number of PAs should “qualify”!!!

    ps. Baseball Prospectus has been doing this for years … their “stat” is ESPN (Exuded Stiff Points, Net) … For hitters, ESPN is 0.800, minus his OBP, minus his SLG, and multiplied by plate appearances – i.e., (.8-OPS)*PA. For pitchers, the formula is the pitcher’s ERA, minus 4.00 4.5, times his innings pitched, divided by three, or (ERA-4.5)*IP/3. This results in similar Stiffness scores for the firmest hitters and pitchers. And they’ve been running an annual contest to predict the best/worst players called “HACKING MASS” (= Huckabay’s Annual Call to Keep Immobility Next to Godliness: Maximus Aggregatus Stiffisimus Sensire) … it’s a riot … here’s results from 2006 … http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=5673 :-)

  3. LM: Good question; I assume a PA floor was used to avoid overburdening the B-R database. FWIW, I ran Vinny’s from last year and he checks in at a a sparkling 14177.

    Thanks for the Prospectus link. Their formula is pretty similar, although I prefer OPS+ for better comparison across eras. Those acronyms are classic.

  4. wow Vinny is 2nd all time, what is belhorns #

  5. Bellhorn gets a big boost for his OBP: he is at 4032.

  6. GY … Vinny’s 2006 clearly needs to be on the list … if not, I’m not sure what the definition of “qualify” is :-)

  7. BTW, the Padres signed some minor league FA’s:

    LHP Jan Granado, OF Christian Prieto, OF Juan Senreiso and C Shawn Wooten

  8. Andujar Cedeno…one of my most hated Pads players. I was young at the time, but all i can remember is the ball rolling past his glove under his legs. He has to have one of the worst fielding %’s of all time, and now I remember not the best batter either.

  9. A thought…Michael Young (TX) will be a free agent at the end of the 2008 season…he is a very consistant hitter, can play SS, and, by all accounts, is a great guy.

    How about the Padres send Khalil Greene and Clay Hensley to the Rangers…we might have to give a good prospect in that deal as well….

    How off base is that idea?

  10. Giving up Clay is tough for someone who may not be here in 08

  11. X Nady has an inflamed intestine and is expected to be released from the hospital within the next day … hmm, that’s a bit off the usual cliche …

  12. I think that means he might need Tommy John. ;-)

  13. #9
    O No way you give up your #4 starter when your replacement is Tim Stauffer without some assurance -i.e., the ability to sign Young long-term which might not be a very good idea anyway: Young is entering his age 30 season, and his numbers dropped last season, in a way that would give one pause. (His OPS + in 2005 was 133, last year it was 106, which makes him, basically, average offensively). With the defense he might be worth it, of course, but I get nervous about players hitting their age-30 season who have declining numbers and aren’t fast or athletic.

    And here’s an interesting stat. Greene actually scored more runs, per plate appearance, than Young last season, despite the fact that Young batted at the top of the order for a team that had far better offensive stats than the Padres. (Young – 1 run every 7.43 AB/ Greene – 1 run every 7.35 AB).

    Also, in 280 less ABs, Greene hit more home runs than Young, and would have hit 25 homers given the same number of at-bats (in a far inferior hitter’s park than the one in Texas, which is the Coors field of the AL).

    Which brings me to my most salient point about the two: Their home and road stats from last year – Young plays in an extreme hitter’s park, Greene plays in an extreme pitcher’s park. Here are their away numbers from 2006:

    Young: 290/332/417
    Greene: 280/356/507

    Put them in a neutral park, and give Greene a healthy season (admittedly a big question mark) and Greene is as good as – or better than – Young offensively. The defense is an advantage for Young for sure, but does it really cover 90 points of slugging percentage? Is a slight defensive upgrade worth a starting pitcher, a prospect and a young shortstop? I don’t think so.

    Regarding this article: It’s nice to finally see some proof of how bad Garry Templeton really was with the stick. We think of him as great because he was the Pads SS on their first WS team, but he really stunk as a Padre.

  14. Holy Cow! Vinny makes #2 in less than 300 PA’s? I’ll have to run the query again and see who else comes up. Thanks for the idea LM.