Matched Pairs: Batters

I’m addicted to Baseball-Reference’s PI tool. For grins I ran a search on everyone who has accumulated 1500 or more career plate appearances with the Padres (39 in total) and ordered them from top (Fred McGriff) to bottom (Enzo Hernandez) according to OPS+. Then I looked for “matched pairs” — guys who have the same OPS+ (give or take a point). The rankings referenced in each entry are from the upcoming Ducksnorts 2008 Baseball Annual. Let the fun begin:

Another Retired Number?
Player Years PA BA OBP SLG OPS+
Ryan Klesko 2000-2006 3333 .279 .381 .491 134
Dave Winfield 1973-1980 4512 .284 .357 .464 134

I’ve got Klesko as the best first baseman in club history and #6 left fielder. Winfield is the #2 right fielder and tied for 10th in left field.

Logjam in Center Field
Player Years PA BA OBP SLG OPS+
Mark Kotsay 2001-2003 1647 .283 .355 .426 112
Steve Finley 1995-1998 2640 .276 .334 .458 112
Kevin McReynolds 1983-1986 1983 .263 .319 .438 111

It’s amazing to me how qualitatively similar these guys were. Kotsay is #5 at the position, Finley is #1, and McReynolds is #3.

Marshmallows Downtown?
Player Years PA BA OBP SLG OPS+
Carmelo Martinez 1984-1989 2694 .248 .341 .408 109
Ollie Brown 1969-1972 1816 .272 .327 .413 109

Martinez is the #2 left fielder in Padres history, while Brown checks in at #5 among right fielders.

Hare and Tortoise
Player Years PA BA OBP SLG OPS+
Bip Roberts 1986-1995 2521 .298 .361 .387 106
Terry Kennedy 1981-1986 3239 .274 .319 .407 105

Roberts stole 148 bases, Kennedy swiped 3. Roberts is the #4 second baseman and #5 left fielder — very underrated career, IMHO; Kennedy is the best catcher in Padres history.

One That Got Away
Player Years PA BA OBP SLG OPS+
Roberto Alomar 1988-1990 1959 .283 .339 .379 103
Jerry Turner 1974-1983 1686 .259 .321 .390 103

Alomar left San Diego at age 22 and still is the #2 second baseman in club history. Turner is the #8 left fielder.

The Three Gees
Player Years PA BA OBP SLG OPS+
Khalil Greene 2003-2007 2219 .254 .312 .444 101
Steve Garvey 1983-1987 2439 .275 .309 .409 100
Cito Gaston 1969-1974 2787 .257 .298 .403 99

Greene is the best shortstop in Padres history, Garvey is the #7 first baseman, and Gaston checks in at #9 among center fielders and #8 among right fielders.

Nothing in Common
Player Years PA BA OBP SLG OPS+
Quilvio Veras 1997-1999 1788 .270 .366 .353 95
Benito Santiago 1986-1992 3065 .264 .298 .406 95

Veras is the #3 second baseman in club history; Santiago is the #2 catcher. He also had a 34-game hitting streak as a rookie, which inspired this sweet baseball card.

Not-So-Hot Corner
Player Years PA BA OBP SLG OPS+
Sean Burroughs 2002-2005 1665 .282 .340 .360 91
Luis Salazar 1980-1989 2383 .267 .298 .375 90

Burroughs is the #7 third baseman in Padres history, while Salazar checks in at #5. Bar bet winner: Who is the all-time leader in games played for the Padres at third base? Salazar. (Burroughs is fourth.)

Random Infielders
Player Years PA BA OBP SLG OPS+
Tim Flannery 1979-1989 2838 .255 .335 .317 85
Alan Wiggins 1981-1985 1606 .260 .335 .316 85
Dave Roberts 1972-1978 1750 .240 .287 .354 84

Flannery is #5 among second basemen in Padres history, Wiggins is #7 at second base and in left field, and Roberts (not the guy who now plays in San Francisco) is the #8 third baseman.

Weak-Hitting Shortstops
Player Years PA BA OBP SLG OPS+
Garry Templeton 1982-1991 4860 .252 .293 .339 77
Derrel Thomas 1972-1978 1985 .236 .301 .302 76

Templeton is the #2 shortstop in Padres history. Thomas played several positions and doesn’t crack the top 10 at any of them.

Incredibly Weak-Hitting Shortstops
Player Years PA BA OBP SLG OPS+
Ozzie Smith 1978-1981 2536 .231 .295 .278 66
Enzo Hernandez 1971-1977 2609 .225 .283 .267 61

Okay, I fudged a little here. Still, who knew that one of these guys would end up in the Hall of Fame? Smith is the #4 shortstop in Padres history; Hernandez checks in at #7.

We’ll look at pitchers next week…

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32 Responses »

  1. The line on #11 Enzo Hernandez is extraordinary.

  2. Pretty interesting comps, Geoff. I’m surprised at how great Kotsay and Klesko were for us. That’s pretty stunning.

  3. 1 … I’m most amazed by the 2609 PAs … ouch!

  4. I’ve always been amused by the fact that the Padres have had three different players named Dave Roberts – and also two Bob Davises.

  5. Maybe I’m wrong on the Davises. I could have sworn there were two of them, but Googling around doesn’t confirm, and I’m away from my books.

  6. 5 … I’m just seeing 1 Bob Davis for Padres …

    re: Salazar … ouch … I like Luis … sure did not know his OBP was sub-.300!!! :-(

  7. “Downtown” Ollie Brown, might have had the strongest arm of any Padre outfielder I ever saw. He had power and speed as well. I think a far better player than Carmelo.

  8. 3: Yes, that’s exactly what I was struck by. Lots of players have been that bad at the plate, but how many were able to accumulate that many PA’s while being that bad?

  9. 7: Jonathan (may I call you Jon? ;-) ), stronger than Winfield? I wasn’t around to see Brown, but I was always amazed at Winfield’s arm. Ollie must have been incredible if he had a better gun than Big Dave’s!

  10. 7: I think he and Winfield had comparable arms. I used the word “might” thinking about comparing him and Winfield. Winfield had a slightly better assist numbers, but the way the park played in those days (with the old 18 foot walls all the way out) it may have made assists tougher. Besides there was no reason to take risks against the Padres in those days..:-)

  11. I was intrigued so I searched for anyone with at least 2,600 career PA’s and an OPS+ of 61 or lower. Oddly it didn’t pop up Enzo, but the only other player it did find was:

    Wow, just wow! Check out that 1979 season with Cleveland. They gave him 501 PA’s and he produced an OPS+ of just 45! Even Enzo was never that bad with his “best” being a 46 in only 369 PA’s. I guess he was as bad, but at least he had 132 fewer PA’s to do his damage with.

  12. 11: Cool. It’s fun hearing about Padres you haven’t had the chance to see yourself.

  13. 11 … “just wow” indeed … and that OPS+ of 30 in 350 ABs in 1977 is mind-boggling … Cleveland clearly knew what to expect :-)

  14. re: arms on Padre RF’ers … this list has to include Joe Lefebvre …

    … his was the best I remember …

  15. 11, 13: And he somehow managed to appear in 12 major league seasons! Starting, or close to it, for 5 of them!

    I need to write a macro that inserts his BR link. Anytime someone says “Who are we to judge what teams do, they’re the experts,” I’ll just pop old Tom Veryzer at them.

  16. I remember Veryzer. He and Duane Kuiper were epic up the middle. Look at what they did for the Indians in ’79:

  17. 16: And they had a winning record! I guess defense up the middle was a big key for them.

  18. I heart Bip Roberts. My favorite Padre of all time. He had it all…

  19. 14: I know what you mean about Joe. I was sitting down near the pen at the Murph when he played LF one day. He came way over to the line to field a ball and made a throw to 2B I was just amazed by. He was only about 20 or 30 yards away from me, iirc, and it was a seed going to second!

  20. #6

    I probably went to about 45-50 games between 1983 and 1985 and one of my fondest memories was watching Luis Salazar hit a double off of a ball that bounced a couple of feet in front of the plate. The man would swing at anything that he thought he could reach, regardless of location. He also had great range to his left, no range to his right, and a cannon for an arm. I used to love to watch him play.

  21. Veryzer, Kuiper & the Indians:

    Yes, it is amazing Veryzer was run out there as often as he was year after year.

    1979 Indian’s double play combo are epic! I wonder if they might not be the worst all time.

    81-80 is over .500, barely, but did you check out there Pythag? 76-85, so they outperformed big time. Must have been all those DP’s turned up the middle. :-)

  22. The best throw from OF I witnessed in San Diego was at the first MLB game I ever saw in person. I was 8. It was 1972. Padres were playing the Pirates with Roberto Clemente in RF. I don’t know which Padre hit the ball, but it was a sharp liner down the line into right that bounced around in the corner. Clemente fielded it cleanly and threw a rocket, on a line, in the air, to third that beat the runner by so much the third baseman could have begun playing a game of jacks with the ball waiting for the runner to arrive. That’s the way I remember it, anyway ;-p

  23. 23 … that memory would make a nice youtube entry … thanks for sharing it with us!!!

  24. My Padre “best” memory is “the play” by Ozzie Smith. I was one of the 10K there that day.

    It was voted by Baseball Weekly as the best play of all time. It was stunning to see someone twist their body in the air in that way…

  25. OT … this blog entry …

    … lists Jason Jennings as still an available FA … who “might” be able to produce as high as a #3-level starter … which, at this point, I’d think the Padres should still be interested in …

  26. Not particularly interested in Jennings. He was good at beating the Padres and that’s it. I’d rather start Justin Hampson. At this point, Jennings is not going to be a #3 or #4.

  27. Wow a reference! Awesome.

    Anyways, Didi, Hampson is definitely a quality idea, however there is never anything wrong with veteran experience if it is affordable, which I think Jennings will come as.

    As far as him not being a #3, I’ll admit that was a stretch, that would be if he had as good of a season as you could imagine in a pitchers ballpark. But a #4 starter is not really all that good, in terms of league average.

    Also, if you keep in mind depth, if anyone is absolutely terrible for the Padres, they don’t have to keep him in the rotation for long because of a guy like Jennings.

  28. Pat, I wrote about the Enzo at the dormant “Friar Faithful” blog that Richard wade and I ran way back when:

    I’m considering coming out of blog-retirement for the ’08 season, but I’d definitely want a partner or two. Any of you folks up for posting a few times a week?

  29. Re: blogging for the ’08 season… I can be contacted at:

    Folks with more tech skills than me (which would probably be all of you) are especially welcome.

  30. 27: Hampson would make a good entrant into the fifth starter battle to the death. His K rate as a reliever was about league average (which you’d have to adjust down if he starts), his BB rate is below league average, and his groundball rate is slightly above league average. I’m not sure about his stamina after a year of relieving, but that looks like he could be an average starter, which would be great.

    As for Jennings, it sounds like he has already reached a deal with the Rangers. I don’t think terms have been released for it yet. The third paragraph of the link talks about the deal.

  31. Ben,
    Yea, I was replying to the comment made earlier. My article was written a day or so before the Rangers and Jennings had apparently come to their agreement.
    I received my gift pack in the mail for being all-knowing.