We have moved to our new permanent home at HighHeatStats.com!

All existing content will remain, but all new content is posted at our new location.

Jeff Mathis: the worst active major-league player

Posted by Andy
Jeff Mathis is the worst active baseball player. Below, I make my case about that, but first let me say a few things:
  • He's the worst player good enough to get significant playing time. There are lots of other players who don't get much playing time, or don't stick in the majors, or don't make the majors at all, and Mathis is probably better than the vast majority of them.
  • The fact that Mathis has stuck around in the big leagues so long and had no trouble finding a new team this off-season means that he must be providing some value to his club beyond what can be derived from the numbers.
  • This post is meant to have nothing to do with Mathis' effort or attitude.
All that being said, here are the active players with the worst OPS+, minimum 1000 plate appearances:
Rk Player OPS+ PA Age G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Livan Hernandez 38 1108 21-36 493 969 215 38 2 10 85 9 129 .222 .231 .296 .528 *1
2 Jeff Mathis 50 1360 22-28 426 1201 233 48 1 26 139 95 361 .194 .257 .301 .557 *2/D
3 Juan Castro 55 2849 23-39 1103 2627 601 123 13 36 234 149 472 .229 .268 .327 .595 *654/37D
4 Humberto Quintero 58 1137 23-31 379 1075 252 44 2 15 94 37 235 .234 .268 .321 .589 *2/3
5 John McDonald 59 2270 24-36 884 2092 498 93 14 21 179 93 312 .238 .275 .326 .601 *645/D7
6 Josh Wilson 63 1012 24-30 356 930 211 46 6 9 67 47 201 .227 .279 .318 .597 *6/45317D
7 Cesar Izturis 64 4364 21-31 1185 4055 1036 162 32 15 290 214 405 .255 .295 .322 .618 *6/54D
8 Augie Ojeda 65 1236 25-35 502 1062 249 44 9 7 81 119 115 .234 .320 .313 .633 465/1
9 Benji Gil 65 1767 20-30 604 1610 381 75 12 32 171 102 448 .237 .283 .358 .641 *6/43D58
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/13/2011.

The only guy worse than Mathis is Livan Hernandez, and he's actually a very good-hitting pitcher. Mathis' hitting has been so bad that among non-pitchers since 1901, he's actually got one of the 25 worst careers with the stick.

In fairness to Mathis, though, he does seem to have done a good job behind the plate.

Here are the Angels' 2011 pitching splits by catcher:

Split G IP ERA PA 2B 3B HR SB CS SO/BB BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
Hank Conger 56 450.0 3.84 1914 86 8 42 53 12 1.83 .263 .332 .397 .730 .297 108
Jeff Mathis 91 698.0 3.25 2866 138 10 63 48 18 2.62 .242 .295 .374 .670 .276 91
Bobby Wilson 47 317.0 3.89 1344 63 2 37 25 10 2.14 .254 .322 .402 .724 .288 106
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/13/2011.

The stats are better across-the-board when Mathis was catching. Check out, too, the same numbers for 2010:

Split G IP ERA PA 2B 3B HR SB CS SO/BB BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
Ryan Budde 6 30.0 1.50 121 8 0 0 5 1 2.50 .176 .277 .255 .532 .261 48
Hank Conger 10 80.0 1.91 314 7 3 5 7 2 2.95 .216 .269 .314 .582 .258 60
Jeff Mathis 67 553.2 3.67 2370 116 8 48 43 11 2.08 .252 .320 .382 .703 .291 93
Mike Napoli 66 525.0 5.11 2328 140 18 65 52 19 1.89 .280 .349 .460 .809 .318 121
Bobby Wilson 38 260.2 3.63 1117 42 2 30 26 8 1.83 .233 .318 .371 .690 .266 89
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/13/2011.

Mathis was a lot better than Mike Napoli (although I still suspect the Angels regret trading Napoli.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment