It’s never fun or easy compiling a “worst player” list and that’s especially true in baseball since the game lives and dies according to statistics. Baseball relies on stats and numbers like no other sport and they can often ruin a player's career. However, the sport keeps so many statistics on players that it can sometimes become quite confusing. One of the most-popular and used stats by baseball people these days is the WAR, which stands for "wins above replacement" and is meant to show how valuable a player is to his team.
The individual WAR numbers are calculated by combining a player’s performance in several aspects of the game such as batting, fielding, base running, and pitching where it’s applicable. The higher the WAR, the more he contributes to the success of the squad. Those with lower WAR numbers or negative numbers are deemed to be easily replaceable players. Of course, a player could have a low WAR number, but still excel in a certain part of the game such as homeruns and RBI’s. However, the stat is meant to even things out by combining the player’s all-round attributes. This list consists of 15 of the worst players in MLB since the decade started back in 2010.
The main judging points were their WAR averages as well as their batting averages, on-base percentage, and run production. For the pitchers, it was their win-loss record and ERA. In addition, the number of teams a player has appeared with is also a factor. In general, if a player has moved around from team to team since 2010 then there’s usually a good reason for it. But there are a couple of exceptions. All of these players made their MLB debuts in 2010 or later as this list will consist of 10 outfield players and five pitchers. Each outfield player has appeared in a minimum of 200 games while the pitchers have played in at least 55. These players could all turn things around with a couple of straight solid seasons under their belts which will hopefully be the case.
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15 Chris Hatcher
Chris Hatcher is good pitcher who hasn’t had much luck statistically since making his MLB debut in 2010. The 30-year-old, right-hander has a decent career ERA of 4.48 in 130 games, but his WAR is -0.32. Hatcher broke in with Florida and joined the Los Angeles Dodgers last season. He’s put together a couple of decent seasons in the last two years, but has gone 3-8 in that time and is 3-9 in his career. Hatcher is a fine pitcher who should be nowhere near this list next season if he keeps up his current pace. However, he got off to a rough start and is paying the price for it now with his WAR.
14 Hector Noesi
Pitcher Hector Noesi played with the Chicago White Sox last season after breaking into the league with the Yankees in 2011 and playing in Seattle in 2012 and 2013 while also serving a short stint with the Texas Rangers. The 28-year-old right-hander has a record of 12-31 in 107 games with one complete game and no shutouts. His career earned-run average currently stands at 5.30 and is WAR is – 0.28. His worst year win-wise came in 2012 when he went 2-12 with Seattle and posted a 5.82 ERA with 21 home runs allowed.
13 Dylan Axelrod
Pitcher Dylan Axelrod has a WAR of 0.17 in his 59 career games with the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds. He has a 5.27 ERA to go along with a record of 9-15. The 30-year-old right-hander was recently invited to tryout with the Miami Marlins at this year’s spring training. He’s been up and down between the Majors and Minors and while he doesn’t give up too many home runs, Axelrod doesn’t have much in the way of velocity and isn’t known as a strikeout pitcher.
12 Brad Hand
Pitcher Brad Hand is a left-hander who broke into the league in 2011 with Florida and has remained with the franchise ever since. He has a poor win-loss record of 9-25 though along with an ERA of 4.71. He went 4-7 last year with an ERA of 5.30 and a WAR of – 0.69. He’s not the worst pitcher out there, but he hasn’t had much in the way of good luck. The 25-year-old owns a career WAR of 0.44 in 90 contests. However, he’s still young enough to turn things around in a hurry. He’s struck out 190 batters so far and walked 120.
11 Brian Schlitter
Brian Schlitter is a 29-year-old right-handed pitcher with a career ERA of 5.40 and a record of 3-6 in 78 games. He broke in with the Cubs in 2010 and posted an ERA of 12.38 in seven games. Schlitter didn’t pitch in the Majors again until 2012. Things got better though that year as he played 61 games and went 2-3 with a 4.15 ERA with the White Sox. He played with the Cubs again last season, but had an ERA of 7.36 and appeared in just 10 outings. Schlitter has just 42 strikeouts in 71.2 innings and has a career WAR of -0.94. He’ll have a chance to improve that this year as a member of the Colorado Rockies organization.
10 Pedro Florimon
Shortstop Pedro Florimon is a 28-year-old switch hitter who has a career batting average of .199 and an on-base percentage of .262 in a total of 238 games. He broke into the league with Baltimore in 2011 and then moved to Minnesota in 2012 and Pittsburgh last season. His career WAR is 2.28 and he’s managed to hit 10 homeruns and 58 RBIs. Florimon has 129 hits to his name along with 185 strikeouts. His batting average over the past two seasons was .087 and .092 in 33 and 24 games respectively.
9 Logan Schafer
Centre fielder Logan Schafer has been with the Milwaukee Brewers since making his MLB debut back in 2011. The 29-year-old has a career WAR of – 0.51 along with a batting average of just .211. He’s added five homers and 52 RBIs in his 291 games and possesses an on-base percentage of .280. He’s struck out 120 times while managing 118 hits. His most active season came back in 2013 when he played 134 games, but posted a .211 average and a .279 on-base percentage with four homers and 33 RBIs. Schafer will be starting the 2016 campaign as a member of the Washington Nationals organization.
8 Michael Martinez
Thirty-three-year-old Michael Martinez is a currently a switch-hitting second baseman with the Cleveland Indians. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had much success from either side of the plate. Martinez has five homers and 38 RBIs in 204 games with a career WAR of -107. He’s now with his third MLB team as he debuted with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011 and was sent to Pittsburgh in 2014 where he lasted a year before heading to the Indians. Martinez has a career batting average of just .184 along with an on-base percentage of .235. He’s batted above the .200 mark just once, which was last year when he reached .267 in only 16 games. Martinez is now a free agent after Cleveland released him. He has 83 hits and 93 strikeouts so far in the Majors.
7 Tony Cruz
Tony Cruz broke into the league with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011 and has struggled at the plate over his 258 games. He was recently traded to the Kansas City Royals and signed a one-year deal. The 29-year-old catcher has a career WAR of -234, an on-base percentage of .265, and a batting average of .220. He also lacks power since he’s chipped in with just five homers and 58 RBIs. Cruz' career started out on a decent note as he batted .262 and .254 in his first two seasons, but those numbers fell to .203, .205, and .204 over the last three campaigns.
6 J.P. Arencibia
Catcher J.P. Arencibia has played 466 games since 2010 with Toronto, Texas, and Tampa and has a career WAR of 2.71 go to along with a batting average of just .212 as well as a poor on-base percentage of .258. However, he has managed 80 homers and 245 RBIs up to now. Arencibia has batted lower than .200 three times in his career and has reached the .300 mark in on-base percentage once, which was last season at .315. Things may be looking up for the 29-year-old as he hit .310 last year, but played in only 24 games. He has 333 hits and 488 strikeouts for his career so far. Arencibia recently signed a minor-league deal with Philadelphia.
5 Chris Carter
First-baseman Chris Carter could be a surprise on this list, but other than his power, he doesn’t offer much at the plate. Carter’s batting average since breaking into the league in 2010 is just .217 and his career WAR is 2.44. He spent his first three years with Oakland and has played the past three with Houston, but recently signed with the Milwaukee Brewers as a free agent. Carter has belted 109 home runs and 280 RBIs, but he’s batted above .200 just three times with his best being .239 in 2012. His other three seasons resulted in averages of .186, .136, and .199. The 28-year-old Carter has 377 career hits along with 669 strikeouts in 528 games.
4 Justin Smoak
It may be hard for fans to accept the fact that first-baseman Justin Smoak is an all or nothing player for the Toronto Blue Jays. Smoak has good power with 92 homers and 292 RBIs in 698 games, but has a career batting average of just .224 with 578 strikeouts compared to 506 hits. Smoak broke into the Majors with Texas in 2010 and has also played with Seattle. Smoak’s power helped the Jays reach the playoffs last season, but he then went 0 for 8 in the postseason. Smoak has signed for another year with Toronto and will hope to improve on his career WAR of 2.36.
3 Domonic Brown
Twenty-eight-year-old right fielder Domonic Brown has basically had one good season since breaking into the league with the Philadelphia Phillies back in 2010. He batted .272 in the 2013 campaign with 27 homers and 87 RBIs and was named to the All-Star game. However, his average fell to .237 in 2014 and was .228 last year. His career average is .246 with 54 homers and 229 RBIs in 492 games. His career WAR is -103 and the Phillies out-righted him from their 40-man roster in October. Brown’s OPS was .650 from the 2013 All-Star game through the 2015 season which ranked him 289th out of a total of 339 qualified hitters in MLB. Brown was also ranked 16th worst out of 133 outfielders.
2 Brian Bogusevic
Right fielder Brian Bogusevic of the Philadelphia Phillies is with his third team now and has played 321 games. He broke into the league in 2010 with Houston and has also played with the Chicago Cubs. The 31-year old has a career WAR of 2.23 and has a batting average of just .238. He has some power though with 19 homers and 67 RBI with a slugging percentage of .373. His on-base percentage isn’t the worst either at .311. Bogusevic got his best chance at the plate in 2012 with Houston when he played in 146 games, but he hit just .203 with seven homers and 28 RBIs. The Phillies have released him and Bogusevic has elected for free agency.
1 Drew Butera
Catcher Drew Butera of the Kansas City Royals broke into the league in 2010 with Minnesota. He’s now playing for his fourth team as he also had stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels. Unfortunately for the 32-year-old he has a -1.7 WAR after 305 games. Butera has a career batting average of just .185 to go along with nine home runs and 62 RBIs. His on-base percentage is a paltry .241 and his career slugging percentage is .266. Butera’s highest batting average for a season is .198, which he achieved in 2012. Butera batted just .196 last season, which was split between Kansas and the Angels. He’s also played about a dozen games at first base and has been charged with 25 past balls in 291 games as a catcher.
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