Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Why Mark Sweeney Is Underappreciated

I think we can all agree that the degree to which Mark Sweeney powered the Dodger offensive has only truly come to light since he went on the DL.

OK, maybe not quite, but as we stand at the symbolic half-way point of the season, I urge you to fully appreciate the enormity of his accomplishments. He is traversing truly rarefied air, perhaps heading to where no man has gone before. Take, for example:

  • He can follow a 1 for 5 day with an 0 for 5 day and actually raise his batting average (but let's pray he's never given 5 at-bats in a game, much less in two consecutive games).
  • His batting average (0.094) and slugging % (0.125) are lower than the collective batting average and slugging % of not just pitchers, but of American League pitchers (0.113 and 0.172, respectively).
  • And my favorite: he has a shot at putting up the worst offensive performance in MLB history (not one of the worst, but the worst). If Sweeney can get just 30 more at-bats this season, and if he stays on his current pace hitting-wise, he will end with the lowest batting average in baseball history for a non-pitcher with at least 94 at-bats. Here's the current leaderboard:
Player
Year
At Bats
Average
Mark Sweeney*
2008
64
0.094
Antonio Perez
2006
98
0.102
Rick Gedman
1991
94
0.106
Ben Egan
1915
120
0.108
Jose Gonzalez
1991
117
0.111
Gus Gil
1967
96
0.115
Tom Egan
1974
94
0.117
Ace Parker
1937
94
0.117

*Sweeney is 30 at-bats short of qualifying

So in a twisted way, I'm rooting for Sweeney to make it back into the lineup for at least 30 more at-bats to get to the magic 94 (94 at-bats and .094 average). His all-time record would go quite well in the Dodger trophy case next to Hideo Nomo's 2004 record for worst ERA in baseball history (8.25) for a player with at least 15 decisions.

5 comments:

Orel said...

Are Ben Egan and Tom Egan related?

DanGarion said...

Wow nice company. He's there with Jose "The Curl" Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Dodgers!

http://www.dangarion.com/gallery/albums/misc/jose_gonzalez_autograph.jpg

Dusto Magnifico said...

Which trophy is bigger, the LVP trophy for Jones or the WEP (worst ever player) for Sweeney?

Eric Karros said...

Orel, I don't know - I was wondering the same thing.

Steve Sax said...

dusto, if the trophies are based on 1:8 scale references of their respective honorees, we can easily figure out which trophy is bigger.