The Major League Baseball season is a test of endurance because of the grueling 162-game schedule that each team has to endure for seven months. Aside from the All-Star break, the most time off any team gets is one day, for seven months. Every other day is a game day and it can get very difficult, especially for the hitters.
The greatest hitting average in the history of Major League Baseball was in 1894 when Hugh Duffy finished the year with a batting average of .440. That means that he only got a hit 4.4 out of every ten at-bats. The other 5.6 times he stepped to the plate, he was failing. Baseball is tough; hitting a baseball is even tougher.
There are going to be times when a player goes through a slump and it can last all year long. Every team in the Majors has at least one player in the lineup that simply can't hit the baseball effectively.
Let's take a look at every team's least effective hitter this season.
30 Arizona Diamondbacks: Alex Avila, C
The catcher position in Arizona has become a rotating door for the Diamondbacks in 2018 because they have decided to operate using a three catcher rotation. Jeff Mathis, John Ryan Murphy, and Alex Avila are rotated from behind home plate daily, and it shows.
Alex Avila has struggled to find a rhythm and is currently having his worst season of his 10-year MLB career. With over 200 plate appearances, and playing in more than 69 games, there is no excuse for hitting .161 and still having a job. He has become almost an automatic out when he is in the lineup this year.
29 Atlanta Braves: Dansby Swanson, SS
Last year was supposed to be the year Dansby Swanson went from future prospect to one of the Braves top hitters. But, after playing in 144 games, he showed signs of his ability to hit the ball consistently last year, with multiple stretches of games where he hit the ball well. That did not matter because he still finished 2017 with a horribly low .232 batting average.
This season, the Braves are having an amazing season and he has played in almost every single game, so he must be part of that amazing run, right?
Even with his improving numbers, he remains a liability at the plate, hitting .245 this year with over 100 strikeouts in 114 games.
28 Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis, 1B
When it comes to boom or bust, there is no one in Major League Baseball today that embodies that moniker than the Baltimore Orioles' Chris Davis.
The former All-Star once hit 53 home runs with 138 RBIs in a season while hitting .286, a great average for a power hitter putting up those kind of numbers. But he also struck out 199 times that year. However, the 53 home runs made everyone forget about the strike outs.
He no longer gets a pass because his power numbers have declined while his strikeouts have increased, leading the league in 2015 and 2016. This year, he is hitting the worst of his career, .173, and is not providing much help on offense either.
27 Boston Red Sox: Sandy Leon, C
The Boston Red Sox are tearing up the majors this year and it is because of their top-ranked pitching staff and their incredibly clutch hitting led by two MVP candidates, Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. Should they continue on this pace, they will break the single season wins record. It is that type of season.
So they have not needed Sandy Leon to be a big contributor on offense yet, and he has done what they asked by hitting below the Mendoza line for most of his career. But he has really become almost useless at the plate in 2018 as he continues to struggle hitting the ball.
26 Chicago Cubs: Ian Happ, OF
In his first season in the big leagues, Ian Happ went from highly touted prospect to legitimate starting outfielder for the Chicago Cubs thanks to his power hitting. He only played in 115 games last year and still managed 24 home runs with 68 runs batted in. He did struggle at times last year and finished with a .253 batting average.
This year, he has fallen off considerably so. He has already played in more games than last year but his statistics are almost cut in half while hitting a miserable .240 and striking out 147 times.
25 Chicago White Sox: Adam Engel, CF
It is never fun to pick apart a second year starter for a struggling Chicago White Sox team but Adam Engel is their least effective hitter this year and there is not much we can do to change that.
Since he is not a big home run hitter, Adam Engel must do everything else right, or he will end up losing his spot in the majors. His batting average is up from last year but he hit .166 last year so it is nothing to brag about.
24 Cincinnati Reds: Adam Duvall, LF
In 2016, Adam Duvall came virtually out of nowhere to crush 33 home runs, 103 runs batted in, 85 runs, and 31 doubles. He hit the cover off the ball in his first season as a starter for the Reds, but there were signs of a problem that the organization simply did not want to manage for long.
They ended up trading him to the Atlanta Braves after he spent 105 games this year with Cincy, hitting .205 in 331 at-bats. In other words, his power was beginning to fall behind the rest of his ability to hit a baseball and it was easy to spot.
23 Cleveland Indians: Brandon Guyer, RF
At 32 years old, it is apparent that Brandon Guyer is set in his current role, as an outfielder that fills in every other game or so. He is not an every day player anymore and it is likely because of his bat, or lack thereof.
He is either going to strikeout or get a single and that has no place in the Cleveland Indians lineup everyday. Defensively he can help secure the outfield but when he steps up to the plate, it gets ugly.
22 Colorado Rockies: Chris Iannetta, C
When he decided to rejoin his former team, the Colorado Rockies, this past season, Chris Iannetta knew what his role was going to be. He was brought in to be a veteran in the locker room that could play about 115 games behind home plate, as the catcher, and be a defensive stud.
His hitting was just plain extra and he seems to not care much about it as he continues to struggle all year long, hitting .220 while playing most of his games in Colorado. That is almost impossible to do in Denver but he has it all figured out.
21 Detroit Tigers: JaCoby Jones, LF
The former LSU Tigers, JaCoby Jones, only spent a couple seasons in the minors before getting called up in 2016 to help with an injury stricken Detroit Tigers team that had very few options in the outfield back then. He has since been able to hang onto the call up and is now their starting left fielder.
However, his hitting has taken a dive and he is battling to keep himself above .200 before he ends up finding himself being sent right back down to the minors, or until he learns to hit the ball.
20 Houston Astros: Jake Marisnick, CF
It is not easy being the worst hitter on one of the league's best hitting teams. Just ask Jake Marisnick, who has struggled mightily for the past year but continues to get into games, when healthy, due to his speed and defensive ability to cover center field better than anyone else on the roster.
If he can find a way out of the funk he has dug himself into this season, maybe he can recover. But the way it is looking now, there is no way he can come close to last season's production, at least not during the regular season.
19 Kansas City Royals: Alcides Escobar, SS
As far as defensive superstars that cannot hit a baseball go, Alcides Escobar is one of the few non-catchers to earn that type of title. That's mainly because he is 31 years old and has played in every single game for three of the past four seasons and is well on his way to do the same in 2018.
However, his hitting has dropped off tremendously this past year and so has his ability to produce runs to help his struggling Royals.
18 Los Angeles Angels: Luis Valbuena, 3B
At one point in time, Luis Valbuena was an elite superstar in the league; it did not last very long but when he is hitting the baseball, he is one of those rare talents that can do it all, including hit for power and steal bases.
That swing he was stroking back in the day has yet to make a return and it has caused him to become a tradable asset for many teams until he finds that amazing swing of his again.
17 Los Angeles Dodgers: Logan Forsythe, 2B
In 2016, it looked as though Logan Forsythe had broken through and become an everyday starter for the Tampa Bay Rays. He showed off power we had not seen before and crushed 20 home runs that year while hitting an average .264 at the plate.
He has not returned to his power hitting ways since and was recently sent to Minnesota where he has started to hit the ball better, just not as effective as in 2016 - not yet, that is.
16 Miami Marlins: Yadiel Rivera, IF
Now that he is in Miami, Yadiel Rivera has a chance to become a starter for the Marlins, somewhere in the infield. But, the 26 year old prospect has a ton of work ahead of himself because he is not only on a sinking ship, he is not getting the help he needs to be successful.
Right now, he is one of the worst hitters in this entire list and yet continues to get starts and pushes to get himself out of this whole by going harder and digging himself a bigger whole.
15 Milwaukee Brewers: Orlando Arcia, SS
Who could have seen the Milwaukee Brewers coming in 2018? There are not many pundits that were ready for their explosive offense built around veterans and young talented stars. But it is not their offense that is winning them games, it is their pitching and defense.
Orlando Arcia is one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball today and that makes up for his insanely terrible hitting numbers, which are far below the spot any manager would like from one of his best players.
14 Minnesota Twins: Logan Morrison, DH
The Minnesota Twins are doing some special things with very few resources this season and that includes losing Logan Morrison to a left hip impingement injury just a few days ago, which should sideline him for the rest of the year.
Before his injury, however, Logan Morrison was doing himself no favors, posting poor numbers by hitting .186 and struggling to avoid strikeouts. The Twins were hoping LoMo would add some power to their lineup, but unfortunately that wasn't the case this season.
13 New York Mets: Jay Bruce, RF
There are some players that are black and white when it comes to what they can provide an organization. Jay Bruce is one of them. He is going to hit between 25-30 home runs, close to 90 RBIs, and is going to strikeout so many times that his batting average is going to sink down to a horrible number around .240.
This year, however, he has been struggling to do anything at the plate and cannot even produce a double digit home run total, something he has done every single season of his entire career.
12 New York Yankees: Greg Bird, 1B
In 2015, everyone was excited to see what Greg Bird could do in the New York Yankees lineup. But after 46 games, his season ended and he was done until 2017, when he finally made his triumphant return, this time as the Yankees' season opening starting first baseman.
Injuries would derail that season as well, and now in 2018, he made his return, only to hit below .200 yet again. Maybe he just is not ready for the big leagues.
11 Oakland A's: Matt Joyce, LF
Last year, Matthew Joyce came out of nowhere to blast 25 home runs, the best single season total in his career, and he followed that up with some very big expectations heading into this season, 2018.
Unfortunately, the 33 year old has not been able to replicate his one year success and has found himself missing more games than he has played. In fact, he has lost his starting job in Oakland and probably will not be getting it back anytime soon.
10 Philadelphia Phillies: Scott Kingery, SS
The Philadelphia Phillies have arrived a little earlier than most analysts expected and with that, so have a lot of their future prospects.
Scott Kingery is one of their prized possessions who finally got himself a call-up to the big leagues and has not been able to do much with it. If not for his incredible ceiling, it would be tough to justify keeping him around the way he is hitting but at 24 years old, he has nothing but time.
9 Pittsburgh Pirates: Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
It was not too long ago that Adeiny Hechavarria was splattering the baseball all over the diamond in Miami. But then he had one bad season struggling at the plate and became a player on the move. Since his time in Miami, he has played for Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, and now the New York Yankees, where he continues to struggle at the plate in limited plate appearances.
8 San Diego Padres: Cory Spangenberg, IF
For the better part of a quarter of a decade, the San Diego Padres have not been much more than the bottom of the National League. The have spikes of success that tend not to last very long before they end up right back at the bottom.
Since 2014, Cory Spangenberg has been a widely used infielder that was great at filling in for injured players and pinch hitting at-bats. However, he has been nothing short of awful this year and is making it tough for anyone to put him in during the game.
7 Seattle Mariners: Mike Zunino, C
This might come as no surprise to most fans but, once again, the least effective hitter for the Seattle Mariners is Mike Zunino, their starting catcher since 2014 who tends to be a better defensive player than offensive. His best season was last year when he hit .251 and exploded for 25 home runs.
But he has since fallen back to earth and is now the same struggling hitter that he was the previous four seasons. The difference this year is that he is much worse, hitting .188 while Seattle fights for a playoff spot.
6 San Francisco Giants: Hunter Pence, LF
Did Hunter Pence retire already? Maybe he should have since his 2018 season has been nothing short of a waste, as he has had nothing but tough times at the plate. The only other time he hit as bad as he has hit this season was an injury shortened year back in 2012.
With almost nothing else going on in his stat line this year, it is tough to think he is doing much good for the Giants this year. When he gets to the plate, he is getting out eight out of ten times.
5 St. Louis Cardinals: Dexter Fowler, RF
After fracturing his left foot at the beginning of August, Dexter Fowler has been sidelined on the disabled list, which could end up being a good thing because he was not doing much before it happened. He was actually having his worst hitting season of his career and was almost sent to the bench before he got hurt.
He should return in October but will only see playing time if the Cardinals can make the playoffs, at which point it would be tough to play someone struggling like he has been this year.
4 Tampa Bay Rays: Kevin Kiermaier, CF
All season long, Kevin Kiermaier has been on and off the disabled list so much that he has only logged 74 games and has not been able to get his batting average up to his career average of .250 yet.
As the surprisingly talented Tampa Bay Rays fight their ways into the playoffs, during a season when no one expected them to emerge as the third best team behind the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, Kevin Kiermaier struggles at the plate. His struggles are so bad that even a healthy Kevin has been benched this year.
3 Texas Rangers: Joey Gallo, LF
Somewhere in Texas, there is a baseball that still has not hit the ground after it was belted from the hard-hitting Texas Rangers outfielder, Joey Gallo. He can hit the stripes off the ball when he really gets into a pitch. Last year, he landed 41 home runs and he is on pace this season to surpass that mark in 2018.
However, he is a free swinging monster at the plate that has a tendency to swing at bad pitches just as much as he does the good ones and that translates into a ton of strikeouts and a very poor batting average. He is the epitome of boom or bust. He is battling around the .200 mark this year, making him less effective by the game.
2 Toronto Blue Jays: Luke Maile, C
The 2018 season is not going to be the year of the Toronto Blue Jays, so they have been figuring out what they have for the future and giving players more at-bats to see what they can do. Luke Maile has been around for most of the year, however, as part of a catcher rotation that has never given him a chance to shine.
He is a great defensive catcher and will continue to get playing time because of it, but his bat will always be a liability as he has never been more than a .227 hitter, at best.
1 Washington Nationals: Michael A. Taylor, CF
Last year, in 118 games, Michael A. Taylor exploded onto the scene with a great season in Washington. He had a .271 batting average while hitting 19 home runs, 53 runs batted in, 55 runs, and 17 stolen bases. But that was an unusual spike in his numbers that have come back down to earth in 2018.
This season, in more games, he has only 6 home runs and is hitting nearly 30 points lower while producing about half as many runs batted in. His overall efficiency has decreased dramatically to the point that he is hurting their lineup with his inconsistency.