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Dustin Pedroia, Ichiro Suzuki, Rafael Furcal among worst hitters since May 15

Aug 3, 2012, 12:45 PM EDT

Dustin Pedroia Reuters Reuters

I wrote yesterday about how Albert Pujols has recovered from his awful start to lead the entire American League in homers, RBIs, slugging percentage, and OPS since May 15.

Based off that I thought it would also be interesting to look at the least productive hitters during that same span, which accounts for about 70 games.

Braves second baseman Dan Uggla has baseball’s lowest batting average since May 15 at .161, but because he’s hit seven homers and drawn a ton of walks his .647 OPS is only the 26th-worst mark during that period.

Here are the “trailers” in OPS among hitters with at least 200 plate appearances since May 15:

Tony Gwynn Jr.    .549
Clint Barmes      .550
Rafael Furcal     .561
Justin Smoak      .566
Jordan Schafer    .589
Cameron Maybin    .596
Ichiro Suzuki     .596
Dustin Pedroia    .597

Tony Gwynn Jr., Clint Barmes, and Jordan Schafer aren’t surprises, as they’ve never really hit. Justin Smoak has been such a big disappointment that the Mariners demoted him to Triple-A last month.

More noteworthy is the inclusion of former MVPs Dustin Pedroia and Ichiro Suzuki, although Pedroia hasn’t been at full strength health-wise for seemingly the entire season and Suzuki has been unproductive since last year. And while not a former MVP, Rafael Furcal started the All-Star game for the NL less than a month ago.

The standard “small sample size” and “arbitrary endpoints” caveats apply, of course.

  1. redguy12588 - Aug 3, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Since Clint Barmes OPS is actually around .520 for the season, you could argue that he’s been on a relative tear since May 15.

    F my life.

  2. manifunk - Aug 3, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Gotta love arbitrary end points. You can choose any time period and find that some supposedly great player isn’t so great and vice versa. This is what passes for “analysis” nowadays?

    • nategearhart - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      Didn’t read the whole piece, eh? This isn’t about claiming that these are bad players, it’s just merely an interesting look at how everyone’s doing over a certain period. No one is making grand claims here.

  3. kranepool - Aug 3, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Don’t worry about Ichiro now that he has donned the magic Yankees pinstripes he will morph back into the all star he was is the past. No it’s true Michale Kay said so on YES and YES never lies about the Yankees

    • sportsdrenched.com - Aug 3, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      What does this Michael Kay do in the off-season? Do you think he’d come work for us?

      Regards,

      Syrian Public Relations Minister

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        We’ll give you John Sterling. “You just can’t predict Syria.”

      • 18thstreet - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:55 PM

        John Sterling is the only thing about the Yankees that makes me, a life-long Red Sox fan, feel bad for. I can’t believe Yankee fan are stuck with that guy. If I were a Yankee fan, I’d gladly trade him to Syria for future considerations.

      • downsouthnow - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:25 PM

        Because Jerry Remy and Don Orsilo are anything to get a woody over?

      • bigharold - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:35 PM

        18th, .. I’ve heard the RS announcers on cable and radio. Clearly you’ve learned nothing from the proverb; “He who lives in glass houses…”.

        “John Sterling is the only thing about the Yankees that makes me, a life-long Red Sox fan, feel bad for.”

        That’s OK, .. as a life long RS fan you have so many other things to feel bad about. The Yankees can do without your condolences.

    • djpostl - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      Considering they only need him to play at the same level as Breet Gardner he doesn’t need to become an “all-star”. As bad as he was last year still had the same kind of year at the plate as Gardner. stole nearly as many bases (while being thrown out less) & plays great defense (though not quite at Gardner’s level right now)

      • djpostl - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        Brett*

      • djpostl - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:58 PM

        Gardner 2011= .259/.345/.369/.713, 49 SB &13 CS (for a net of +36 B), best defensive LF in game (robbed of GG)

        Ichiro 2011 = ..272/.310/.335/.645, 40 SB & 7 CS (for a net +33 SB), defensive metrics showed him as an elite OF

        All at the cost of 2 low-level prospects with middle relief/5th starter upside and a couple of million dollars.

      • mattyflex - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:38 PM

        Brett Gardner robbed of a Gold Glove in left field? Alex Gordon, who won the award, fielded at .991 percent with 20 assists. Brett Gardner fielded at .987 with 7 assists.

        Just… don’t.

      • tommyshih - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:40 PM

        @mattyflex

        By just about every metric Gardner was robbed. Fielding percentage, especially for outfielders, is a poor stat to base an argument for fielding prowess on. Due to his speed and instincts he has more range than any other left fielder in the game. He just gets to more balls than anybody else, and more than makes up for the great arm that Alex Gordon has.

        Take a look for yourself.

        http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=lf&stats=fld&lg=al&qual=y&type=1&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

      • djpostl - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        Gardner was flat out robbed indeed.

        He had a +22 in defensive runs saved, tied with Austin Jackson for the league lead. The next closest LF had +11, and that guy won the NL Golden Glove. Gordon had a +8.

        Gordon has a great arm, but then again Gardner has a strong & accurate one and with his speed, jumps on the ball he also threw out a ton of guys.

      • mkd - Aug 3, 2012 at 6:24 PM

        Did someone really just cite fielding percentage to make a point? 1987 called they want their outdated stats back.

      • djpostl - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:08 PM

        And as for using FLDG% as a defensive metric…

        Just…don’t.

        You’re an idiot if you think Gordon has half the defensive value of Gardner.

  4. temporarilyexiled - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    I’m surprised most of the Giants aren’t clogging up this list no matter what endpoints are plugged in.

  5. djpostl - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Considering OPS features on-base + slugging it’s no surprise a guy who has never been an OBP/SLG guy like Ichiro is on the list.

    Why don’t we just point out he has a terrible ERA too?

    • djpostl - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:10 PM

      Yup, OPS is so important for gauging Ichiro’s value. I mean, my God…he ranked 48th in MLB the year he won MVP.

  6. skeleteeth - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    I received a trade proposal of Ichiro and Justin Masterson for Aroldis Chapman the other day. Seriously.

    • djpostl - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      Meh, they were just playing the odds. Every league has one idiot that would pull the trigger on that lol.

  7. tfbuckfutter - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Give Pedroia a break. He’s had to split time between playing and managing.

  8. aaroncurryisbust - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    No wonder the Mariners became good overnight after they dumped Smoak and Ichiro.

  9. professor59 - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Both of these guys are better lately. Pedroia’s date range includes his injury time, which he seems to have finally come out of.

    • professor59 - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:50 PM

      I meant Ichiro and Pedroia. Not that either is burning up the league now anyway.

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