Five Worst Hitters of 2019
With wRC+ as our measuring stick, these five hitters separated themselves from the pack in the worst way possible (we’ve included a few other statistics for good measure).
Orlando Arcia has appeared in the big leagues for the Milwaukee Brewers in four different seasons (three full years). He’s produced a wRC+ higher than 65 and a positive fWAR just once, both of which came in the same year (86 wRC+ and 1.4 fWAR in 2017). His power did return after disappearing in 2018 by tying his career high with 15 homers. Arcia likely made this possible by posting career-best marks in ground-ball rate (51.4%), soft-hit rate (19.6%), and hard-hit rate (33.1%).
After proving to be a difference maker for the Tampa Bay Rays last year with a 118 wRC+ and 3.5 fWAR, Mallex Smith struggled mightily in Seattle with marks of 74 and 0.0, respectively. And it’s not that his first-half performance was particularly great (81 wRC+ with a 24.5% soft-hit rate and 30.1% hard-hit rate), but his second-half performance was that much worse (65 wRC+ with a 25.6% soft-hit rate and 21.2% hard-hit rate).
Brandon Crawford‘s career arc is looking like someone who is approaching their mid-30s. Here are his yearly fWAR numbers since debuting in 2011: 0.4, 1.9, 2.2, 2.7, 4.3, 5.2, 2.2, 2.0, 0.4. His wRC+ progression almost mirrors that, with the 74 he ended up with in 2019 being his worst since becoming a full-time player in 2012. The struggle of hitting by the Bay is real, too — his road wRC+ (92) and OPS (.748), while not extraordinary, are much better than what he produced at home this past year (56 and .561, respectively).
The Chicago White Sox saw a handful of their players take a step forward in on-field development, but Yolmer Sanchez wasn’t one of them. His .069 ISO (nice) is actually the lowest it’s been since he posted a .050 mark through 104 plate appearances as a rookie in 2014. When looking at pitch splits, Sanchez had a tough time with four-seamers. Between 2015 and 2018, he produced at least a 130 wRC+ and a .120 ISO against that pitch three times. This year, those numbers settled in at 78 and .075, respectively.
Elvis Andrus‘ 31 stolen bases were the most he’s collected since 2013 when he swiped 42 bags, but it was the getting on base part that was a problem. He finished with a 76 wRC+ for the second straight year, which is unfortunate for many reasons, but also because he started the year so hot. After one month of play, he owned a 159 wRC+ and 1.008 OPS. His monthly wRC+ numbers from May to the end of the regular season were as follows, though: 37, 89, 15, 67, and 63.
About Matt Musico
Matt Musico currently manages Chin Music Baseball and contributes to The Sports Daily. His past work has been featured at numberFire, Yahoo! Sports and Bleacher Report. He’s also written a book and created an online class about how to get started as a sports blogger. Check those out and more helpful tips on sports blogging at his website.