Winning a World Series is the best feeling in the world in the Major Leagues. All of the hard work and long days that players put in finally pay off with that coveted World Series title. There are some of the greats that helped their franchises come away as World Series champions. Look at a guy like Derek Jeter. Jeter was one of the main catalysts that helped the New York Yankees win multiple championships in the late 1990's and during the 2000's as well. Of course, Jeter had some help with guys like Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, and others; so he wasn't doing everything on his own. But where there are the good players come the bad players that shouldn't even be on a World Series roster as well.
We've all been there before if we have played sports. We all have had teammates who might not have deserved to be coveting being on the team, let alone getting any playing time. But, who are some of the players in more recent history that have ridden on the coattails on their teammates and come away with a World Series ring when it is all said and done? That is what this list entails. We take a look at past World Series winners and see who are the lower level players who coasted through the season, only to end up as a champion. So why delay the inevitable? Let's look at 20 of the least deserving players to win a World Series since 2010.
20 Pablo Sandoval
The San Francisco Giants have had a nice run in the 2010 years by winning three World Series titles in 2010, 2012, and 2014. One of the biggest pieces for their title runs came in the postseason runs conducted by third baseman Pablo Sandoval.
Sandoval has not had any spectacular regular seasons and went money chasing by signing with the Red Sox for five years and $95 million.
That lasted two and a half seasons as the Red Sox released him as he proved he was still out of shape and had trouble in the field. He went back to San Francisco and has been there since. For someone with low regular season numbers, he doesn't deserve those three rings.
19 Ryan Rohlinger
The Giants had a loaded infield with guys like Aubrey Huff, Travis Ishikawa and Edgar Renteria in the fold. One guy they had in the fold that didn't deserve a World Series ring was Ryan Rohlinger. Rohlinger was a guy that got spot starts here and there during the Giants magical run in 2010. He only played in 12 games and had 15 at bats total, while compiling three total hits. Somebody that only plays for not even a quarter of the season should not be getting a World Series ring, even if they have an good post-season run. Rohlinger is not deserving of a ring, but being on the right team at the right time can help.
18 Pete Kozma
The St. Louis Cardinals were that team that always just found a way to win it all. They weren't the best or most talented, but they just put it all together once October hit. One of those pieces that probably doesn't deserve the luxury of a World Series ring is Pete Kozma. Kozma was the shortstop for the Cardinals and in 2011, he wasn't pulling his weight at the plate.
In 16 games for the Cardinals in 2011, he hit for a .176 average with a .333 OBP. It is also worth noting that Pete Kozma made the last out of the 2013 World Series vs. the Red Sox. But, he does have the ring at the end of the day.
17 Edwin Jackson
It wasn't just a middle infielder that didn't deserve that 2011 World Series ring that the Cardinals were fortunate enough to win. What every baseball fan realizes is that you need top of the line starters to get anywhere in the postseason. One pitcher that should not be wearing that World Series ring is Edwin Jackson.
Jackson is a journeyman pitcher who has consistently had ERA's in the fours and fives.
With the Cardinals in half of a season in 2011, Jackson was 5-2, but had a 3.58 to show for it. Jackson has only been a one time All-Star and wasn't even dominant in his brief time with the Cardinals. It goes to show that sometimes, getting traded isn't the worst thing ever.
16 Allen Craig
This next pick might not deserve the scrutiny he is going to get, considering he was an All-Star with the Cardinals in 2013 and hit .300 in two previous seasons as well. But the last few years of his career have just been that brutal. Allen Craig was one of the unsung heroes for the Cardinals in their magical World Series run in 2011. He also hit .375 in the NLCS of that same year. So why doesn't he deserve a ring? He was a flash in the pan type of player. He proved he couldn't handle the AL when he was traded to the Red Sox in the middle of 2014. He proved he could only hit in the National League and couldn't hack it when he switched.
15 Brad Penny
The San Francisco Giants had an unbelieveable starting rotation in 2012 when they had Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, and Matt Cain at the front end of it. One pitcher they really didn't need and didn't make much of an impact was Brad Penny. Penny's better days were behind him at that point as he was an All-Star for two seasons for the Dodgers and had already won a World Series with the Marlins in 2003. He appeared in 22 games for the Giants in 2012 and was 0-1 with a 6.11 ERA. He certainly didn't pull his weight, but he still ended up with a World Series ring. Isn't it funny how that ends up working?
14 Barry Zito
The Oakland Athletics were a force to not be messed with as they had the electric trio of Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, and Mark Mulder leading the way. They all eventually moved on from Oakland and Zito found himself in San Francisco as a part of the Giants World Series run in 2012.
However, in his seven seasons with the Giants, he had a winning record in only one season and had ERAs in the fours and fives in every season.
Zito was not what he once was, but he ended up raising a World Series trophy up for sticking it out long in San Francisco.
13 Gregor Blanco
But it wasn't just the pitching that got the San Francisco Giants their second World Series title in three years. They had contributions from a number of different guys in their lineup. One guy that didn't need to be there for it all was outfielder Gregor Blanco. During the 2012 season, Blanco hit a very mediocre .244 average along with only five homeruns and 34 RBI's. Keep in mind, that was with playing 141 games total during that season. The Giants had other better options in the outfield like Melky Cabrera, Angel Pagan, and Hunter Pence that they would have been fine with. Blanco didn't deserve a ring with a regular season like that.
12 Quintin Berry
The Boston Red Sox had one of the most unlikely seasons in the history of the MLB in 2013. The Red Sox seemingly didn't have more than a handful of big impact guys, but still found a way to deliver a World Series title. One guy they could have done without that didn't deserve a World Series ring was Quintin Berry.
Berry was mainly a guy off the bench to pinch run while the Red Sox had guys like Johnny Gomes, Shane Victorino, and Jacoby Ellsbury to patrol the outfield.
It was nice to see Quintin Berry get a ring, but he didn't necessarily earn it.
11 John McDonald
The thing people seem to forget about that magical 2013 World Series run is that the Red Sox had a very good infield. With guys like Mike Napoli, a healthy Dustin Pedroia, and a young shortstop in Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox had a lot to be excited about. One addition they didn't really need to add was John McDonald. He had nine plate appearance and went 2-8 with the Red Sox. He didn't make any memorable contributions in the playoffs which adds to the case of why he didn't deserve a ring. The reason for not making any contributions? He didn't play in the playoffs, but got a free ring.
10 Ryan Lavarnway
The Red Sox catchers do not get enough credit for the way they handled the pitching staff. The Red Sox seemed comfortable with David Ross doing the majority of the catching for Jon Lester and Jarrod Saltalamacchia handling the rest of the staff. One guy they didn't need to be there was Ryan Lavarnway. Lavarnway was a guy that didn't need to be with the Red Sox really at all as they would have been just fine with the two catchers mentioned above. At the end of the day, he has a World Series ring for being almost too good for Triple A and not good enough for the majors.
9 Stephen Drew
The Red Sox had an up and coming All-Star caliber shortstop in Xander Bogaerts. But for the time being, they had to deal with Stephen Drew being a part of the infield and in the lineup.
Drew was certainly the weak link in the lineup and struggled mightily at the plate, especially during the playoffs.
Drew hit below .200 in each playoff series during the 2013 season. People even made a big deal out of an infield pop-up that Drew hit that the Cardinals didn't catch, that's how bad it got for him. With Stephen Drew's bat, he didn't deserve a ring.
8 Adam Duvall
In 2014, the San Francisco Giants once again found a way to be on top of the baseball world again, winning their third World Series title in five years. The Giants had their outfield of Hunter Pence, Angel Pagan, and Michael Morse. They also had a majority of their infield back as well. One guy they didn't really need for either position was Adam Duvall. Duvall is now with the Atlanta Braves after spending three and a half seasons with the Cincinnati Reds.
For that one season in San Francisco in 2014, he hit .192 in 28 games. That doesn't get the job done and he shouldn't have received that 2014 World Series ring.
7 Dan Uggla
Usually when athletes are at the tail end of their careers, they try to jump onto a contender to get one last chance at a ring. One guy that the Giants went out and got at the 2014 trade deadline was Dan Uggla. Uggla had a reputation of striking out a lot in his Major League career. He came to the Giants and he lived up to his reputation, but not in a good way. Uggla had 12 at bats, 11 official, and didn't have a hit while recording six strikeouts. The bottom line is Uggla was done at the end of his career and did not deserve to get a World Series ring when the season ended.
6 Francisco Pena
Being a catcher is tough enough day to day. But, being a part of the Kansas City Royals in 2015 made it a little bit easier when they won the whole thing.
The Royals had their catcher in Salvador Perez.
They also had a catcher named Francisco Pena that definitely didn't contribute much to that World Series run. Pena only appeared in one game during that 2015 season and did not even get an at bat. When you do not make a contribution of any kind, you should not be getting a ring. Pena apparently did not get that message as he celebrated greatly back in October of 2015.
5 Johnny Cueto
The Kansas City Royals were looking to be active at the 2015 MLB trade deadline and wanted to add for a chance at a World Series. They went out and traded for right handed starting pitcher Johnny Cueto. Cueto was an All-Star the year before with the Reds in 2014. He came to Kansas City for half of the season in 2015 and didn't do what they thought he would. He was 4-7 with a 4.76 ERA, proving he couldn't pitch well in the American League. He signed on with the Giants the next year and was gone.
For what he should have been with Kansas City, Cueto definitely didn't deserve that ring based on his regular season pitching statistics.
4 Chris Coghlan
This next player was extremely fortunate to be in a position where he was traded by the Cubs before the 2016 season began, but then was traded back to the Cubs mid-season. That guy was Chris Coghlan. The Cubs did not really need Coghlan to come back considering all of the other pieces they had in place. Just in the outfield alone, the Cubs had Dexter Fowler, Jorge Soler, and Kyle Schwarber that could hold down the outfield and brought production to the table. Coghlan hit .252 in the regular season and didn't record a hit in the playoffs. Coghlan did not deserve to be part of the Cubs team that broke the Curse of the Billy Goat after 108 long years.
3 Jason Heyward
The Cubs went out and got one of the biggest pieces in the free agent market during the 2015-2016 off-season in Jason Heyward. He was a one time All-Star with the Braves and had a good season with the Cardinals in 2015. The Cubs added Heyward as a piece to help them reach the next level in being contenders.
The Cubs became contenders, but Heyward didn't help much.
Heyward hit .230 with seven home runs and 49 RBIs during the 2016 regular season. In the playoffs, he hit below .200 in all three playoff series that season. Heyward got his ring and his money, but he didn't deserve either of those luxuries.
2 Cameron Maybin
The Houston Astros finally put it all together in 2017 and won their first World Series title in franchise history. The Astros had a plethora of talent in the rotation, in the field, and in the lineup. One guy they could have done it without was Cameron Maybin. Maybin came in for half of the season in 2017 and was considered a guy with plus speed in the outfield.
The Astros had other good outfield pieces in place such as Carlos Beltran, George Springer, and Josh Reddick that helped a lot in the post-season. Maybin hit .186 in 21 games with the Astros during the regular season. He was one of the lesser talented guys on that Astros team to win the World Series.
1 Luke Gregerson
The Astros also had a solid bullpen that they did not want to mess with. Having Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson in the playoffs was a significant positive for the Astros in their World Series run. However, Gregerson was not the same in the regular season. During the regular season in 65 relief appearances, Gregerson had a 4.57 ERA. That isn't exactly what you want to see out of a reliever, especially if he is your set-up man or closer. Gregerson is now with the Cardinals, while his ERA is up even more to a 7.11 total. Gregerson did not deserve a ring based on his regular season numbers, no matter how good of a postseason he might have had.