FanPost

Low OBP + Young Player = What Kind of Career?

With all the talk about the newest Brewer's poor hitting, I thought it would be interesting to look at some players who once found themselves in a similar position.  Specifically, players in the last twenty years who had 1000+ plate appearances through their age-23 seasons and a very low on base percentage.  Below is the list of the bottom fifteen such players by OBP (fifteen was a convenient break-off point between guys at .305 and .310).  Below that is a table showing how each of those players' careers turned out after age 23.  I think there are some pretty interesting names involved.

 

Cnt Player Pos Teams From To Ages PA AB H HR BB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Cesar Izturis SS TOR/LAD 2001 2003 21-23 1201 1131 278 4 41 124 25 13 .246 .270 .319 .590
2 Alex Gonzalez SS FLA 1998 2000 21-23 1096 1031 245 24 37 220 10 6 .238 .273 .376 .649
3 Sammy Sosa RF TEX/CHW/CHC 1989 1992 20-23 1411 1293 303 37 77
358 67 34
.234 .282 .380 .662
4 Yadier Molina C STL 2004 2006 21-23 1033 937 223 16 62 91 3 6 .238 .291 .342 .632
5 Omar Infante IF DET 2002 2005 20-23 1309 1202 296 26 77 232 27 11 .246 .291 .384 .676
6 Carlos Gomez CF NYM/MIN 2007 2009 21-23 1102 1017 250 12 55 241 59 21 .246 .292 .346 .638
7 Corey Patterson CF CHC 2000 2003 20-23 1167 1094 284 33 43 266 39 9 .260 .293 .419 .712
8 Jose Lopez 2B SEA 2004 2007 20-23 1637 1524 397 28 60 200 11 8 .260 .295 .379 .674
9 Juan Uribe SS COL 2001 2003 21-23 1244 1155 298 24 59 235 19 4 .258 .298 .408 .706
10 Andujar Cedeno SS HOU 1990 1993 20-23 1074 984 242 22 71 247 15 10 .246 .299 .380 .679
11 Cristian Guzman SS MIN 1999 2001 21-23 1673 1544 400 19 89 269 62 25 .259 .302 .386 .688
12 Jose Guillen RF PIT/TBD 1997 1999 21-23 1449 1359 359 31 58 245 5 7 .264 .303 .397 .700
13 Peter Bergeron CF MON 1999 2001 21-23 1063 938 217 8 95 192 21 20 .231 .305 .321 .626
14 Mike Caruso SS CHW 1998 1999 21-22 1119 1052 292 7 34 74 34 20 .278 .305 .343 .649
15 Alex Gonzalez SS TOR 1994 1996 21-23 1071 947 221 24 93 258 23 10 .233 .305 .385 .690

 

Once again, the table below is how each player's career turned out after age 23:

Cnt Player Pos Teams From To Ages PA AB H HR BB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Cesar Izturis SS 5 Tms 2004 2009 24-29 2617 2421 643 10 146 218 73 34 .266 .311 .336 .647
2 Alex Gonzalez SS FLA/CIN/BOS 2001 2009 24-32 3680 3362 842 90 199 659 16 13 .250 .300 .401 .701
3 Sammy Sosa RF CHC/BAL/TEX 1993 2007 24-38 8485 7520 2105 572 852 1948 167 73 .280 .354 .560 .914
4 Yadier Molina C STL 2007 2009 24-26 1425 1278 373 19 116 111 10 6 .292 .353 .382 .735
5 Omar Infante IF DET/ATL 2006 2009 24-27 1000 910 262 11 64 146 9 4 .288 .335 .399 .734
6 Carlos Gomez CF MIL 2010 ? 24-? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
7 Corey Patterson CF 5 Tms 2004 2009 24-29 2591 2401 595 71 126 515 145 42 .248 .289 .397 .686
8 Jose Lopez 2B SEA 2008 2009 24-25 1340 1257 358 42 51 136 9 6 .285 .313 .453 .765
9 Juan Uribe SS CHW/SFG 2004 2009 24-29 2936 2681 687 103 160 513 19 31 .256 .299 .440 .739
10 Andujar Cedeno SS HOU/SDP/DET 1994 1996 24-26 1159 1067 243 25 72 241 11 7 .228 .285 .352 .637
11 Cristian Guzman SS MIN/WSN 2002 2009 24-31 3716 3473 962 41 156 451 59 41 .277 .309 .386 .696
12 Jose Guillen RF 8 Tms 2000 2009 24-33 4389 4005 1097 164 231 745 25 19 .274 .329 .457 .785
13 Peter Bergeron CF MON 2002 2004 24-26 193 165 32 0 24 60 10 4 .194 .296 .236 .533
14 Mike Caruso IF KCR 2002 2002 25 21 20 2 0 1 2 0 0 .100 .143 .100 .243
15 Alex Gonzalez SS 6 Tms 1997 2006 24-33 4457 4030 988 113 299 907 74 38 .245 .302 .393 .694

Obviously Sammy Sosa had by far the best career offensively.  Journeyman Jose Guillen has had the second-best career.  (Gee, I wonder how that happened.)  Yadier Molina is a budding star and Jose Lopez is beginning to realize his power potential.  Christian Guzman, Juan Uribe, and (each) Alex Gonzalez have had lengthy careers and aren't bad players, but they're hardly stars.  I'm not going to touch Cesar Izturis or Corey Patterson.

Andujar Cedeno is interesting because he actually peaked at age 23.  He hit well in 1993 and 1994, especially for a shortstop, but fell off a cliff following the players' strike. He was out of the majors by 27 and died in a car accident at age 31.  Mike Caruso was the guy the Giants hoped Brian Bocock could be.  He made the 1998 White Sox after spending 1997 in High A ball.  All he did was hit .306 with 22 steals in his rookie year.  He too suffered a sharp decline.  You might remember Peter Bergeron's name from his time with AAA Indianapolis in 2004.

In any event, it's certainly possible for a young player to overcome a poor start offensively and turn into a decent player.  Certainly good defenders get plenty of opportunities to do so.  The chances of such a player turning into a star?  Not very good.

I, for one, certainly wouldn't mind being surprised.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Brew Crew Ball

You must be a member of Brew Crew Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Brew Crew Ball. You should read them.

Join Brew Crew Ball

You must be a member of Brew Crew Ball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Brew Crew Ball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker