Recently (you know, on the only other real post I’ve written on the new blog so far) a couple of readers mentioned Brad Hawpe’s awful 2008, which was worth -41 Fielding Runs. That is, in fact, the worst defensive season of all time as measured by Baseball-Reference.com’s data set. Click through for a full list, including a number of other fascinating seasons.
Ahh, yes. Hawpe and Jason Bay joined the club at the top in 2008.
Some other observations:
- Ryan Braun and Adam Dunn in their respective years are sort of the classic slugger–huge offensive contributions (over +30 Batting Runs) with little regard to what they are doing with their gloves. Hard to believe that looking at just batting/fielding plus/minus, both guys were worth about nothing in those years.
- Four of these top 24 players changed teams during the seasons listed. It’s an extremely small sample, of course, but I can’t help but wonder if there’s a correlation there (of a poor defender being more likely to switch teams.)
- Herein lies the difference between Kirby Puckett and Joe Carter–both make the top 10 with a -29 fielding run season, but Puckett provided 14 with the bat while Carter cost another 14.
- Trevor Plouffe made the list last year, but he deserves a bit of extra credit for playing all over the field. Of course, maybe that’s why his defense was so bad, or maybe his bad defense is why he played all over the field…
- Dante Bichette in 1999…yup. I recall reading recently that he’s one of the most overrated players of all time.
- I hadn’t heard of Billy Urbanski before. With -56 runs between offense and defense, I guess we know why.