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Baseball's Worst Hitter vs. Right Handed Pitchers

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Scooter Gennett looks to be rebounding from a career of historic impotence as a LHB vs. LHP. Who's the worst on the other side of the plate?

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

One of the feel-good stories to come out of the Brewers' opening series loss to the Giants was Scooter Gennett's impressive performance against left-handed pitching. By his standards, the performance was downright miraculous. In four plate appearances against lefties in the series, Gennett walked twice and homered off of Madison Bumgarner in a two strike count.

Gennett, entering 2016, sported the absolute worst OPS (.297) and wOBA (.234) vs. LHP for any major leaguer with north of 100 PA. His 0.7 BB% was second worse only to Eliezer Alfonzo. The empirical evidence backed up mountains of anecdotal declarations from Brewers fans across the nation: Scooter Gennett is the worst hitter vs. left handed pitchers any of us had ever seen.

Name PA BB% K% OBP SLG OPS wOBA
Scooter Gennett 119 0.8% 28.6% .147 .150 .297 .135
Ramiro Pena 128 3.9% 23.4% .197 .190 .386 .178
Brian Bogusevic 113 4.4% 34.5% .195 .189 .383 .178
Reid Brignac 148 6.8% 31.8% .219 .179 .398 .189
Leury Garcia 100 2.0% 22.0% .208 .226 .434 .193
Juan Francisco 150 4.0% 38.7% .213 .210 .423 .196
Andy Fox 118 6.8% 30.5% .222 .204 .426 .199
Michael Martinez 140 2.1% 17.9% .210 .239 .449 .199
Tony Cruz 177 5.1% 16.9% .224 .230 .454 .203
Omar Quintanilla 243 5.8% 23.9% .235 .215 .451 .205

Note: The only qualified batter here to beat Juan Francisco in K% is—you guessed it—Russell Branyan.

Fortunately, he's off to a great start in 2016. This could wind up being a significant turning point in his career.

It got me wondering. Who's the league's worst right handed hitter vs. right handed pitchers?

Jesus Sucre, current AAA catcher in the Seattle Mariners organization. He's basically the defense-first backup catcher you're already assuming him to be, if you didn't know him already. He played a good chunk of the final two months of last season for the Mariners. Sucre finished with a slash line of .157/.195/.228. For his career? .178/.206/.229.

He's not quite as bad vs. RHP as Gennett has been bad vs. LHP, but he's still awfully damn bad. Like Gennett, he's got the league's worst overall wOBA and OPS vs. pitchers of the same bat-edness(?). This followerboard is, fortunately, less Brewers-y.

Name PA BB% K% OBP SLG OPS wOBA
Jesus Sucre 158 1.9% 18.4% .160 .185 .345 .153
Taylor Featherston 114 1.8% 24.6% .170 .231 .401 .177
Pat Borders 176 2.3% 22.7% .197 .231 .413 .182
Matt Wallbeck 183 2.7% 16.9% .203 .216 .419 .189
Steve Tolleson 130 5.4% 30.8% .211 .200 .411 .190
Chase d'Arnaud 110 3.6% 22.7% .213 .223 .436 .196
Leury Garcia 181 6.1% 37.0% .223 .210 .433 .197
Yamaico Navarro 108 6.5% 34.3% .222 .212 .434 .199
Brian Bixler 216 5.1% 37.5% .212 .249 .461 .207
Josh Bell 205 3.4% 32.2% .224 .242 .467 .208

You'll notice Leury Garcia cracks the bottom 10 in both categories, making him one of the worst overall hitters in major league history in an admittedly small sample size. Like Gennett, he's got plenty of time to turn things around. But he's off to a brutal start.

Sucre, on the other hand, broke his leg in January in winter ball. He'll be out another few months at least rehabilitating, and Seattle has three catchers on the depth chart in front of him (Chris Ianetta, Steve Clevenger, Mike Zunino). It's hard to imagine him getting another shot with the Mariners without a flood of injuries. The good news is catchers who you never think you'll see again seem to wind up with a cup of coffee every now and again, so maybe Sucre can make a splash at some point later in his career and give Taylor Featherston a new tattered feather in his cap.

As for Gennett, a still slight sample size means his dire statistical straits can still dramatically widen with a modest turnaround. A few more games like opening day, and he'll be out from behind Juan Francisco's vast shadow in no time.