FanPost

Shortstops Worse Than Yuni

I've been a pretty big critic of Yuniesky Betancourt over the years, having a good time poking fun at Yuni's tendency to swing at the first pitch, his nonchalant wave at ground balls just outside arm's reach, and his apparent attitude that there is never a situation with such high leverage that it requires any more concentration or effort than it takes to peel a banana.

So in contrast to the 50 Better Shortstops Than Yuni, I provide the worse players we could have on our team instead of Yuni. For one reason or another, these players are all people who would probably bother the BCB fanbase even more than YunE-6.

Shortstops that can't hit

Yuni is frustrating at the plate. He makes a lot of contact, usually on the first pitch, which means that by pure chance he gets a lot of sac flies. But it also means he kills a lot of rallies, gives the opposing pitcher a lot of cheap outs, and rarely gets on base via the walk. However, there are worse hitters than Yuni.

Bobby Wine - A terrible hitter (.264 career OB%) and average fielder, he is probably best known as the starting SS for the inaugural season of the Montreal Expos, who managed to lose 110 games. In addition to not being able to hit or draw walks, Wine also had no power and couldn't steal bases. By 1972 the Expos had Tim Foli, and Wine was shown the way to retirement.

Doug Flynn - In 1980, this Mets SS had a positive WAR season - It was all uphill to there, and all downhill after. He was a career .238 hitter who averaged 19 walks per 162 games, and also had no power or speed. When George Bamberger took over the Mets in 1982 Flynn was quickly run out of a job, and he moved on to suck with the Rangers, Expos, and Tigers.

Joe DeMaestri - Aside from eventually being a decent fielder, Joe's claim to fame was being part of the trade that sent Roger Maris to the Yankees. His hitting was so bad that he was once traded from the White Sox to the Browns, and after one season St. Louis asked to trade him back.

Shortstops that can't field

Yuni is criticized for his lackluster defense, but he is occasionally capable of making a slick play or two, when he decides to. As troubling as his defense is, there are worse examples.

Frank Fennelly - By age 26 every tool Fennelly had was rusted out, and he stopped hitting well, which caused people to notice how bad his fielding was. 125 years later, Fennelly remains the only player in Major League history to commit over 100 errors in two different seasons.

Sam Wise - Wise was ahead of his time, proving before it was popular that strikeouts didn't matter. Nicknamed "Modoc", this Akron fireman-turned-horrible-shortstop played all over the infield, but he was especially bad at short, managing a career .859 fielding percentage. He finished in the top 3 in errors by SS four years running, especially impressive since he never played a full season at short.

Tony Womack - Tony would have been especially frustrating to watch on defense. Despite having a relatively good glove and possessing exceptional speed (led NL in SB three times) he was a statue at short, posting an abysmal career RF/9 of 4.05.

Shortstops that can't hit OR field

Johnnie LeMaster - Johnnie was consistent. He was consistently bad at the plate, and consistently below average in the field. The Giants fans recognized his lack of productivity and nicknamed him "Johnny Disaster." He had a sense of humor and a strong throwing arm, but he had pretty bad luck - in 1985 he played for the Giants, Indians, and Pirates, who combined to finish 127 games under .500.

Bill Gleason - His career OPS of .640 and fielding percentage of .860 should speak for itself. His claim to fame was that he would sometimes take the field as a base coach and would get so close to razz the opposing catcher that the rules were changed to add chalk lines for coaching boxes because he was so annoying.

Stephen Drew - Once upon a time he could hit and field with proficiency, but those days are gone. Don't tell the Red Sox, because they're starting him and paying him $9.5MM to do neither very well. Now that he's 30, you can expect his skills to decline even further, and a body racked by injuries will become even more fragile.

Shortstops you can dislike for other reasons

Gary Sheffield - The cousin of famed cocaine user Dwight Gooden, Gary has become synonymous with the phrase "throwing games away" due to his occasional intentional toss of a routine ball over his teammate's head into the stands behind first base. Moody, lazy, and dissatisfied with being forced to play for his salary, he eventually played for the Brewers, Padres, Marlins, Dodgers, Braves, Yankees, Tigers, and Mets, all of whom did not love him very much. Also, 'roids.

Derek Jeter - Good thing he can hit, because if you are by far the worst fielding shortstop to ever play the game, you want to earn your $20 million/year. Despite having another $20MM shortstop on the roster, the Yankees have played him 2,531 games at SS over which time he has a TZR of -150 and a stupendously bad career RF/9 of 4.08.

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