Gustavo Molina has been around the block but isn’t even a rookie yet!

Thanks to reader John Williams for posting this idea on the suggestions page.

Gustavo Molina / Icon SMI

Gustavo Molina has been in the majors since 2007, playing for the White Sox, Orioles, Mets, Red Sox, and Yankees. However, he hasn’t yet accumulated the 130 at bats needed to officially qualify as a rookie. At his current rate of just 47 at bat in 5 years, he needs to play for 9 more years to finally have his rookie season. Crazy but true.

Here are other players who didn’t amass 130 at bats in the majors, sorts by the most teams played for:

Rk Player PA From To Age G AB HR SH BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Gustavo Molina 5 51 2007 2011 25-29 26 47 0 1 .128 .160 .170 .330 /*2 CHW-BAL-NYM-BOS-NYY
2 Jermaine Clark 5 92 2001 2005 24-28 46 78 0 2 .154 .244 .192 .437 /749D8 DET-SDP-TEX-CIN-OAK
3 Hank Schreiber 5 96 1914 1926 22-34 36 91 0 4 .198 .207 .253 .459 /*5647 CHW-BSN-CIN-NYG-CHC
4 Julio Ramirez 4 103 1999 2005 21-27 84 96 1 1 .167 .216 .229 .445 /*89D7 FLA-CHW-ANA-SFG
5 Chris Tremie 4 46 1995 2004 25-34 22 41 0 1 .146 .222 .171 .393 /*2D CHW-TEX-PIT-HOU
6 Charlie Greene 4 83 1996 2000 25-29 55 75 0 2 .173 .222 .200 .422 /*2 NYM-BAL-MIL-TOR
7 Eddie Zosky 4 53 1991 2000 23-32 44 50 0 1 .160 .173 .260 .433 /*654 TOR-FLA-MIL-HOU
8 Marlan Coughtry 4 65 1960 1962 25-27 35 54 0 1 .185 .313 .185 .498 /45 BOS-LAA-KCA-CLE
9 Pat Veltman 4 42 1926 1934 20-28 23 38 0 0 .132 .214 .184 .398 /*286 CHW-NYG-BSN-PIT
10 Herb Hunter 4 52 1916 1921 20-25 39 49 1 1 .163 .196 .224 .421 /53784 NYG-CHC-BOS-STL
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/25/2012.

Eddie Zosky popped out at me–he was a first-round draft pick and that cache may have helped him stick around longer than his talent merited. It’s also not too surprising to see a few other catchers in this group, as backup catchers tend to change teams a lot, and not play a lot.

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Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
10 years ago

Perhaps no one is giving him much of a chance because he’s not rotund enough. When someone doesn’t fit the “Molina” type, maybe people are reluctant to give him a chance.

p.s. I wrote this as a joke, but while I was typing, I found myself a little bit convinced by my own joke theory. Scary.

Doug
Doug
10 years ago

Here are the leaders for a first season with fewer than 130 AB.

4 teams
Jose Bautista, 88 AB, 2004, PIT-TBD-KCR-BAL

3 teams
Bob Meyer, 21 AB, 1964, NYY-LAA-KCA
Tom McCarthy, 41 AB, 1908, PIT-CIN-BSN
Harry Wolter, 63 AB, 1907, STL-PIT-CIN
Doc Marshall, 80 AB, 1904, PHI-NYG-BSN

Ed
Ed
10 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Bautista was also on the Mets roster that year but they traded him the same day they acquired him.

Mark
Mark
10 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Couldn’t help but notice, in those 88 AB for Bautista: 0 HR (nor in 28 AB in 2005, all with PIT)!

Ed
Ed
10 years ago

Andy: Did you set the criteria at 130 at bats or 100? The reason I ask is I was looking at Marlan Coughtry’s page and he was traded straight up for Gordie Windhorn. Windhorn played for 4 teams (Yankees, Dodgers, A’s, Angels) and has 108 at bats (122 PAs).

Doug
Doug
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

Also missed Derrick White, 116 AB for four teams (MON-DET-COL-CHC).

Luis Gomez
Luis Gomez
10 years ago
Reply to  Doug

He became a Mexican League star. Awesome power, but couldn’t handle big ol’ number two.

John Autin
Editor
10 years ago
Reply to  Luis Gomez

That’s interesting, Luis. I trust your scouting report. But Derrick White’s SO totals don’t look like a guy who flails at the curveball.

Luis Gomez
Luis Gomez
10 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

This are the only stas I could came up with: Derrick White’s 2008 Winter League stas (his last season with Mexicali), 237 AB, 15 HR, .278 AVG, .882 OPS, 54 SO. Maybe somewhere in between what I saw and what you read.

BTW, I love reading about former Mexican League Winter League players 🙂

Max
Max
10 years ago
Reply to  Luis Gomez

Are you saying Jesus Christ can’t hit a curve ball?

Doug
Doug
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

And Chad Mottola, 125 AB for four teams (CIN-TOR-FLA-BAL).

Doug
Doug
10 years ago
Reply to  Ed

And Floyd Wicker, 113 AB for four teams (STL-MON-MIL-SFG).

Seems that P-I can give you some unexpected results depending on how you exclude pitchers from the searches. Finally went with “Played At Most 0 Games At” and checked off only Pitcher.

Doug
Doug
10 years ago

More backup catchers.

Matt Sinatro (4 teams) and Corky Miller (5 teams) both had 10 season careers, without ever having 130 AB in a season.

Charlie Silvera (Yogi’s backup) also had a 10 season career, getting 130 AB just once, with exactly 130 in his second season.

Tom Prince had a 17-season career with 5 teams, getting 130 AB just twice, with a high of 196 at age 36.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
10 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Ralph Houk (Charlie Silvera’s back-up) had 8 seasons with never more than 104 AB.

Doug
Doug
10 years ago

Most seasons under 130 AB for a non-catcher? 9 by Mick Kelleher.

Kelleher reached 130 AB only twice, including a lone season as the regular shortstop for the 1976 Cubs. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to do much with his opportunity, posting just 48 OPS+ with -0.2 dWAR.

John Autin
Editor
10 years ago

Spoiler alert! 🙁 I’m pretty sure that Gustavo Molina has actually lost his rookie status. There’s a requirement beyond that of less than 130 ABs or less than 50 IP: no more than 45 days on the MLB roster during the time of the 25-man limit (i.e, before rosters are expanded on Sept. 1). I think Molina has more than 45 such days — in fact, I think he got 45 days in his very first MLB stint. In 2007, he made the White Sox’ opening day roster as a replacement for injured backup Toby Hall. Molina played 10 games… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
10 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

John A, I was having a pretty good day until I read this. “Molinagate”
I’d be inclined to ask for a Congressional investigation.

John Autin
Editor
10 years ago
Reply to  Mike L

Better he should ask for an arbitration panel.

(Now let’s see how long until that crack gets me in trouble.)

John Nacca
John Nacca
10 years ago
Reply to  John Autin

Molina DEFINITELY is not considered a rookie, due to the 45 day rule

Thomas
Thomas
10 years ago

Is the rule that you are a rookie if you start a season with less than 130 at bats? Or just that you’ve never had a season with 130 at bats and you could be over 130 for your career?

John Autin
Editor
10 years ago
Reply to  Thomas

Thomas — It’s cumulative. If you begin the year with 130 career AB, 50 career IP or 45 days on an active roster (pre-Sept. 1), you’re no longer a rookie.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/about_mlb/rules_regulations.jsp

Mike A.
Mike A.
10 years ago

Note Todd Worrell, who won Rookie of the Year in 1986, after pitching in the 1985 World Series (but not meeting any of the criteria removing him from the rookie rolls).

John Williams
John Williams
10 years ago

A guy like Tom Prince brings into question the other extreme of service time; getting a Pension with the least games played. I found this article that was pretty interesting and how just a short time in majors can be worth it. I guess this is way “overage” minor leaguers stick around into there late 20’s and early 30’s. Getting a cup of coffee in the majors can have alot more that just bragging rites (MLB Players Earn A Pension After Just 43 Days In The Majors) http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-01-26/sports/29955208_1_nfl-players-lifetime-healthcare-major-leagues

Read more: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-01-26/sports/29955208_1_nfl-players-lifetime-healthcare-major-leagues#ixzz1o55rpPOV

TheGoof
TheGoof
10 years ago

Only three teams, but Dennis Lewallyn takes the cake for never really getting a chance despite getting lots of chances. Between 1 and 7 games each year from 1975 to 1982.

John Williams
John Williams
10 years ago
Reply to  TheGoof

Thanks for the name. He is about the strangest “major” league career. Talk about never getting a break. Was his stuff just not good enough? His minors numbers look like a control guy with a slow fastball.