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The Anti-All-Stars
Tim Crothers
July 14, 1997
Our roster of the biggest flops so far in 1997, A Giant grows up, Higginson blasts, and Juden rocks
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July 14, 1997

The Anti-all-stars

Our roster of the biggest flops so far in 1997, A Giant grows up, Higginson blasts, and Juden rocks

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Hold the Ribs
Fans who eagerly scan the box scores every morning to see whether Ken Griffey Jr. or Mark McGwire has hit another homer or whether Tony Gwynn and Larry Walker are still around the .400 mark might want to add Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo to their checklists. Castillo is quietly--and we mean quietly--having a potentially historic season. With 248 plate appearances at the All-Star break, Castillo had only six RBIs. If he keeps up this anemic pace and gets enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title, Castillo could join this list of the worst run producers since the 162-game schedule was introduced in 1961.*

YEAR

PLAYER/TEAM

PLATE APPEARANCES

RBIS

1971

ENZO HERNANDEZ, PADRES

618

12

1989

GARY PETTIS, TIGERS

536

18

1972

RON HUNT, EXPOS

531

18

1980

BILLY NORTH, GIANTS

500

19

1983

WAYNE TOLLESON, RANGERS

521

20

*Does not include strike years.
Source: Elias Sports Bureau

All-Star week, when so much attention is showered on the game's elite, is also a good time to scrape the bottom of the statistical barrel for the Anti-All-Stars. This is our lineup of the players, regardless of the league they play in, who have most conspicuously underachieved during the first half of 1997.

CATCHER

Benito Santiago, Blue Jays. After hitting 30 homers for the Phillies last season, he signed a two-year, $6.5 million free-agent contract, but at the All-Star break he was batting .197 with just three homers and had lost his job to Charlie O'Brien.

Dishonorable Mention: Rick Wilkins, Giants.

FIRST BASE

Mark Johnson, Pirates. He cracked 13 home runs in only 343 at bats in 1996 and then hit seven homers in spring training this year, which tied him for the major league lead. But once the regular season started he hit .214 with four homers before being shipped off to Triple A Calgary on June 24.

Dishonorable Mention: Hal Morris, Reds.

SECOND BASE

Bret Boone, Reds. Once a promising hitter who hit 12 homers and knocked in 69 runs last season, Boone was briefly demoted to Triple A in June. At the break he was in a 3-for-45 swoon that had dropped his average to .190, and he had two home runs and 24 runs batted in.

Dishonorable Mention: Carlos Garcia, Blue Jays.

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