jose lopez mariners 2.jpg
The Mariners already have the worst starting pitcher in baseball . But throwing the baseball only accounts for, um...hold on a second...half! That's right! Pitching

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Jose Lopez Is the Worst Hitter in Baseball

jose lopez mariners 2.jpg
The Mariners already have the worst starting pitcher in baseball. But throwing the baseball only accounts for, um...hold on a second...half! That's right! Pitching is only half of the game. There's also that hitting thing. Thank goodness then that we also have Jose Lopez, the worst hitter in baseball.

Yesterday, Sports Illustrated's Joe Posnanski tried to identify the worst everyday player in baseball. Everyday implying not a pitcher, and also factoring in the player's defense.

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This is what happens when you make a kid watch Jose Lopez go first-to-third.
Using Posnanski's criteria, it's hard to argue Lopez is the worst worst. Even though his continued presence at the hot corner means that Chone Figgins -- one of baseball's best third basemen -- has to play out of position at second, he's still decent with the glove.

But take out defense and all you've got left is hitting. And based on that alone, Lopez is both statistically and, if you ask me, anecdotally, the worst hitter in baseball.

What's worse: it doesn't have to be this way. Lopez isn't a Jack Wilson-type. A scrawny, middling prospect who only made it to the league because of his heart and moxie the grittiness of said heart and moxie. No, at one time Lopez actually had talent.

As U.S.S. Mariner's Dave Cameron wrote in this blistering post in July, Lopez isn't just an awful hitter. He's also an awful hitter who shouldn't be awful, yet manages to "succeed" thanks to his unparalleled gifts for apathy and ignoring that part of your brain that tells you when you're full.

At 17 years of age, he was voted the best defensive shortstop in the Northwest League. Two years later, he was being mentioned as a defensive liability and a guy with limited range because he had put on so much weight. At 19, Lopez was already showing that he cared more about Doritos than about his career. The organization tried to get him to work on his conditioning, and he lost enough weight to not be an embarrassment as a second baseman (though shortstop was permanently out the window), and eventually made his way to the big leagues thanks to his offensive abilities.

He came up as a 20-year-old who swung at everything, but had some decent pull power. Seven years later, he is exactly the same hitter he was when he got the majors. He hasn't improved at all. Not one bit, from 20 to 26. He's the same easy out he's always been, and he relies on getting a fastball up and in that he can turn on. Any other pitch, he can't hit. He doesn't bother to learn why, or to figure out if he can do something to get better. He just tries the same thing over and over again.

And may I add: Lopez may also be the worst baserunner in baseball.

Now all the Mariners need to complete the trifecta of terrible is the worst general manager in baseball. Which, after Brandon Morrow's 17-strikeout near-no hitter yesterday, isn't as far-fetched as it might seem.

 
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