The Worst Phillies Hitters Ever in the History of All Time

"Hitter" Michael Martinez - Mike Stobe

Today you're voting for the least valuable Phillie for 2013. But who gets that award for the entire franchise's history? Funny how the answer to both may be the same exact guy.

Who are Pete Childs, Bert Adams, Michael Martinez, and Harry Pearce?  Yes, four people who have never been in my kitchen.  But they are so much more than that.

These four are the only four players in Phillies franchise history to amass more than 350 plate appearances while keeping their OPS under .500.  Now as most readers know, unlike golf scores, the higher the OPS the better, so this is not a good thing.

Here are the four sub-.500 Phillies in all their glory:

Player PA From To HR BB SO SB BA OBP SLG OPS
Pete Childs 447 1902 1902 0 34 31 6 0.194 0.256 0.206 0.462
Bert Adams 643 1915 1919 2 18 79 9 0.201 0.226 0.246 0.471
Michael Martinez 396 2011 2013 5 23 68 4 0.187 0.234 0.261 0.495
Harry Pearce 457 1917 1919 0 17 62 11 0.208 0.247 0.252 0.499

This is an incredibly bad group of hitters.  But who is the worst?  Adams was the least patient of the group (2.8% BB%); Childs had the least power (.012 ISO); Martinez is the worst hitter (.187 BA); Martinez is also the worst on the basepaths (just 4 SB); Martinez struck out in the highest percentage of his plate appearances (17%); but Childs has the lowest overall OPS (.462).

It can't be stated strongly enough - anyway you slice it, this is a horrendous group of hitters.  But the chart above doesn't fully capture who is the worst.  Maybe the next will.

How about we look at Michael Martinez, Chile Gomez, Joe Lonnett, and Bert Adams.  This group is slightly different but no less putrid.  These four are the only Phillies to come to the plate 350 or more times and have an OPS+ under 40.

Here's this list of anti-superstars:

Player PA From To HR BB SO SB BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
Michael Martinez 396 2011 2013 5 23 68 4 0.187 0.234 0.261 0.495 35
Chile Gomez 603 1935 1936 0 31 66 2 0.231 0.273 0.247 0.520 36
Joe Lonnett 377 1956 1959 6 40 74 0 0.166 0.259 0.246 0.505 37
Bert Adams 643 1915 1919 2 18 79 9 0.201 0.226 0.246 0.471 39

What this chart does is contextualize performance.  Pete Childs and Harry Pearce drop off the list of ignominy because of the times they played in.  When Childs played in 1902, the NL average for OPS was .631, so his OPS+ at 41 just missed this group.  Over the three years of Pearce's career, the NL average was .640.  His OPS+ in this context is a whopping 47.

That's a number the four in this second chart dream of.  Adams, along with Childs and Pearce, played in the dead-ball era (though 1919 is usually the year people say the dead-ball era ended).  Gomez and Lonnett played in an environment slightly more conducive to hitting than today - .719 NL average OPS for Gomez; .725 for Lonnett; .710 for Martinez.  All three though played in a much more offensive time than Childs, Pearce, or Adams, which is why the three of them "lead" this list.

What this list shows is that these four players were the worst Phillies in light of the offensive environment when they played.  And Martinez tops this list because his performance is on the all-time worst list yet he plays in the modern era when hitting is stronger than it was in the early 1900s.

Thus, this list proves it definitively.  Michael Martinez is the worst Phillie hitter to ever wear the uniform. His performance is, as an absolute matter, one of the three worst ever for a Phillies hitter.  But, relative to his MLB peers (which is a really awful and shameful (and maybe even libelous) thing to call the other MLB players over the past three years), no one in a Phillies uniform has performed worse than Michael Martinez.

For those interested, here's the list of the 25 worst Phillies hitters since expansion in 1961:

Player OPS+ From To BA OBP SLG OPS
Michael Martinez 35 2011 2013 0.187 0.234 0.261 0.495
Eric Bruntlett 45 2008 2009 0.202 0.273 0.278 0.55
Abraham Nunez 51 2006 2007 0.221 0.31 0.277 0.587
Mike Ryan 52 1968 1973 0.19 0.246 0.288 0.534
Kim Batiste 53 1991 1994 0.241 0.253 0.316 0.569
Bobby Wine 59 1962 1968 0.217 0.263 0.299 0.561
Wendell Magee 62 1996 1999 0.228 0.281 0.338 0.619
Bobby Malkmus 62 1961 1962 0.231 0.275 0.329 0.603
Steve Lake 64 1989 1992 0.242 0.272 0.307 0.579
Steve Jeltz 64 1983 1989 0.213 0.314 0.272 0.586
Desi Relaford 66 1996 2000 0.234 0.315 0.328 0.643
Denny Doyle 66 1970 1973 0.24 0.292 0.302 0.594
Brian Schneider 68 2010 2012 0.212 0.295 0.327 0.622
Bob Dernier 68 1980 1989 0.241 0.298 0.298 0.596
Kevin Jordan 69 1995 2001 0.258 0.297 0.363 0.66
Terry Harmon 69 1967 1977 0.233 0.311 0.292 0.604
Ted Sizemore 70 1977 1978 0.256 0.315 0.314 0.629
John Herrnstein 70 1962 1966 0.222 0.271 0.333 0.603
Larry Bowa 72 1970 1981 0.264 0.301 0.324 0.624
Mark Lewis 73 1998 1998 0.249 0.312 0.349 0.661
Dick Groat 73 1966 1967 0.254 0.308 0.311 0.619
Don Hoak 73 1963 1964 0.228 0.279 0.32 0.599
Freddy Galvis 74 2012 2013 0.23 0.269 0.375 0.644
Wilson Valdez 76 2010 2011 0.254 0.3 0.351 0.652
Tomas Perez 76 2000 2005 0.249 0.303 0.371 0.674
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