The Postseason’s Worst Hitters
Who are the weakest regular hitters on each team in the postseason? I want to exclude the Tigers and Twins for now, though I have hinted previously at a variety of weak Twins hitters.
New York Yankees – Melky Cabrera, CF – Has a .752 OPS and is at best an average center fielder. Unfortunately, his replacement Brett Gardner has an even worse bat.
Los Angeles Angels – Gary Matthews, Jr., CF – Has .697 OPS and is a subpar outfielder. Unlike Cabrera, the Angels run a variety of players through the outfield, so Matthews may not play much in the postseason.
Boston Red Sox – Jason Varitek, C – Has a .703 OPS, though he still has a decent OBP given a batting average of only .209. For the Red Sox sake, he needs to sit behind Victor Martinez as much as possible.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Russell Martin, C – OPS dropped 100 points from 2008 to 2009. Just .680 this season. The Dodgers must hope that the entire regular season was just an aberration.
Philadelphia Phillies – Pedro Feliz, 3B – OPS of .694, right in line with his career averages. The Phillies desperately need a better third basemen. Feliz’s one plus is that he is a good fielding third baseman.
St. Louis Cardinals – Colby Rasmus, CF – OPS of .714. Was on pace to be Rookie of the Year at the All Star break and then fell back in the second half. Certainly the most promising of the weak hitters on this list, and he is also playing well in center.
Colorado Rockies – Clint Barmes, 2B – OPS of .743 though a solid shortstop. Horrible home-road splits, with an .834 OPS at home and .631 on the road. What batting skill he has is purely a product of Coors Field.
The postseason is a very small sample. Despite the overall weaknesses of each of these hitters, you cannot conclude that they will be a drain on the postseason roster, though it is likely. In 1991, Mark Lemke posted an OPS of .617 while playing 2B for the Braves. However in the 1991 World Series, he posted an OPS of 1.170, dominating Twins pitching. Strange things can happen in a short series.
Who do you think will be surprisingly good (or bad) this postseason?