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Worst 1B Seasons since 1957

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Continuing with more of the worst. Now there are positions in baseball where clubs are very willing to sacrifice defense for offense, middle infielders being most common. If you have an excellent defensive shortstop or second baseman you can often overlook their offensive shortcomings. First base is not one of those positions. Sure a great defensive first baseman is nice to have but if they can't hit, it's not wise to keep them in the line up everyday if you have a better hitting alternative who isn't at least a complete butcher in the field.

 

The worst hitting season for a first baseman since 1901 was by Ivy Griffin in 1920 who posted a blistering hitting line of .238/.281/.274 for an OPS+ of 47 in 505 plate appearances, which means he'd qualify under the modern rules for the batting title. Now Griffin played on a horrific Philadelphia A's team that lost 106 games. On the other hand the man who posted the worst hitting season for a first baseman since 1957 played on a team who made it to the World Series and you might have heard of him too, no offense to Mr. Griffin. Actually there was a tie for first/worst so the tiebreak was who had more plate appearances.

 

Top 25 Worst Offensive First Baseman Seasons since 1957 (per OPS+)

 

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1. Pete Rose, 1983 - Philadelphia Phillies 69 OPS+ (.245/.316/.286)

 

2. Pete Runnels, 1957 - Washington Senators 69

3. Enos Cabell, 1981 - San Francisco Giants 72

4t. Kevin Young, 1993 - Pittsburgh Pirates 73

4t. Whitey Lockman, 1957 - New York Giants 73

6. Darin Erstad, 1999 - Anaheim Angels 74

7. Dave Stapleton, 1983 - Boston Red Sox 76

8t. Mike Squires, 1981 - Chicago White Sox 78

8t. Tony Taylor, 1967 - Philadelphia Phillies 78

8t. Lee Thomas, 1963 - Los Angeles Angels 78

11t. Kevin Young, 2001 - Pittsburgh Pirates 80

11t. Dale Murphy, 1978 - Atlanta Braves 80

13t. Ron Coomer, 2000 - Minnesota Twins 81

13t. J.T. Snow, 1996 - California Angels 81

13t. David Segui, 1994 - New York Mets 81

16. Bill Buckner, 1973 - Los Angeles Dodgers 82

17t. Cecil Cooper, 1986 - Milwaukee Brewers 83

17t. Vic Power, 1957 - Kansas City A's 83

19t. Ken Harvey, 2003 - Kansas City Royals 84

19t. Keith Moreland, 1988 - San Diego Padres 84

19t. Willie Montanez, 1979 - New York Mets/Texas Rangers 84

19t. Rusty Staub, 1963 - Houston Colt .45's 84

19t. Vic Power, 1961 - Cleveland Indians 84

24t. Pete O'Brien, 1983 - Texas Rangers 85

24t. Frank Thomas, 1960 - Chicago Cubs 85

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