Guzman, Womack 'highlight' list of '05's worst players
Posted: Tuesday June 28, 2005 1:17PM; Updated: Tuesday June 28, 2005 2:51PM
The Nationals are in first place despite the efforts of shortstop Cristian Guzman.
David E. Klutho/SI
Tom Verducci will answer select questions from SI.com users in his Baseball Mailbag.
With the Midsummer Classic just around the corner, it's that time again to make selections. No, it's not about naming my All-Star team. Why should the midseason be all about the glory? It's the All-Disappointment team. These players might be able to run, but they can't hide from the truth of a poor first half:
C:Jason Kendall, Oakland. He's begun to show some signs of improvement, hitting .317 in June. But a catcher with no home runs and 20 RBIs who has thrown out only nine of 54 basestealers has earned his way onto this team. Dishonorable mention:Victor Martinez.
1B:Kevin Millar, Boston. Where is the power? Millar's slugging percentage has shrunk from .474 to .386 and he's no longer hooking doubles off the Green Monster; he has only 12 two-base hits or homers over it. Dishonorable mention:Jim Thome.
2B:Bret Boone, Seattle. Not a good season for the Boones (see 3B, below). Like Millar, Boone has lost the pop in his bat, hitting .237 with six homers and a tiny .389 slugging percentage. Dishonorable mention:Kaz Matsui, Mark Bellhorn, Orlando Hudson.
SS:Cristian Guzman, Washington. The worst offensive player in baseball, period. Roger Clemens is a better hitter. Among Guzman's highlights: He has the worst OPS in baseball (.522) and has hit .144 against lefties, .109 with runners in scoring position and .063 with runners in scoring position and two outs. Yes, he is a decent glove, but not nearly fabulous enough to justify carrying such a lame bat. Dishonorable mention:Jack Wilson, Rafael Furcal, Orlando Cabrera, Edgar Renteria.
3B:Mike Lowell, Florida. Lowell gets the nod over an equally bad Aaron Boone, who comes with a note from his doctor. (He missed last season due to knee surgery.) Lowell's slump is mystifyingly long and deep. A legit 25-homer guy, he has hit only three and driven in 29 runs. Dishonorable mention: Boone, Sean Burroughs, Adrian Beltre.
OF:Tony Womack, New York Yankees. Joe Torre must want to be fired as Yankees manager. What other reason could there be for putting Womack into the lineup repeatedly? I'll say it again: Womack is the worst outfielder in 99 years. Like Guzman, he can't hit, but Womack can't field very well, either. Since May 27, Womack has one RBI, zero extra-base hits and one walk. Pathetic. For the year, he has five extra-base hits and 11 RBIs. The last time he hit a double was April 26. Give me Bubba Crosby, Bubba Smith, Bubba Gump ... anybody else.
OF:Juan Pierre, Florida. At .252 with a .298 on-base percentage, Pierre has been far worse than his career norms (.306, .355, respectively). His glovework and throwing also have been questionable, giving pause to any club that might have considered signing him as a free agent this winter.
OF:Aubrey Huff, Tampa Bay. Rays GM Chuck Lamar couldn't pull the trigger on a Huff deal over the winter, and now Huff's value has shrunk to near zero as his slugging percentage has dropped from .493 to .362. He's hit only five home runs. Dishonorable mention:Steve Finley, Corey Patterson, Casey Blake, Carlos Beltran.
P:Eric Milton, Reds. Of the 332 batters to put the ball in play against him this year (excluding sac bunts), one out of every 11.9 hitters has hit a home run. Do the Reds keep sending him out there if he has a chance to break Bert Blyleven's record of 50 gopherballs in one season? Dishonorable mention:Carl Pavano, David Wells, Oliver Perez, Zack Greinke.