OOPs, Here It Is!
Who are the most Overrated Offensive Players in the game? Well, to answer that question, we developed the following simple equation:
(Batting Average > League Average) + (On-Base Percentage < League Average) + (Slugging Average < League Average) = Overrated Offensive Players
These Overrated Offensive Players are also known as OOPs. We're not in the business of adding more acronyms into the broth of alphabet soup that already exists. OOPs is different. It's not one of these newfangled stats. Instead, it's just a fun way to identify those players who aren't nearly as good as advertised.
By definition, the players who meet the above criterion are singles hitters who only walk on occasion and rarely slug home runs. In other words, batting average makes up the lion's share of their value. Put another way, the qualifying hitters have low Isolated Discipline (IsoD) and Isolated Power (IsoP). IsoD equals OBP minus AVG, and IsoP equals SLG minus AVG. These isolated stats tell you what's not a part of batting average.
Here are the players who met the above equation in 2005:
2005 SEASON: AVG > .264, OBA < .330, SLG < .419 w/ MIN 400 PA
YEAR AVG OBA SLG 1 Willy Taveras 2005 .291 .325 .341 2 So Taguchi 2005 .288 .322 .412 3 Toby Hall 2005 .287 .315 .368 4 Terrence Long 2005 .279 .321 .378 5 Edgardo Alfonzo 2005 .277 .327 .345 6 Juan Pierre 2005 .276 .326 .354 7 Neifi Perez 2005 .274 .298 .383 8 Shannon Stewart 2005 .274 .323 .388 9 Jose Reyes 2005 .273 .300 .386 10 Darin Erstad 2005 .273 .325 .371 11 Orlando Hudson 2005 .271 .315 .412 12 Royce Clayton 2005 .270 .320 .351 13 Aaron Rowand 2005 .270 .329 .407 14 Angel Berroa 2005 .270 .305 .375
The 2005 All-OOPs team is as follows:
C: Toby Hall 1B: Darin Erstad 2B: Orlando Hudson SS: Neifi Perez 3B: Edgardo Alfonzo OF: Willy Taveras OF: So Taguchi OF: Terrence Long
Although Darin Erstad is conspicuous by being the only first baseman in the table, Willy Taveras wins the Baseball Analysts' OOPs Player of the Year award by virtue of having the highest batting average among those who qualify. Earning the OOPs POY award does not equate to being the worst player in baseball. It just signifies the most overrated offensive player in the game.
The All-Active OOPs team (minimum of 2,500 PA):
C: Paul LoDuca 1B: Darin Erstad 2B: Mark Grudzielanek SS: Jimmy Rollins 3B: Joe Randa OF: Mark Kotsay OF: B.J. Surhoff OF: Quinton McCracken
I'm sorry to disappoint the Kansas City Royals but Mark Grudzielanek is the Most Overrated Offensive Player among those who are still active. The shortstop-turned-second baseman has a career AVG that is 6% above the league norm with an OBP and SLG that are 4% and 9% below the mean.
Erstad is the only player who made the 2005 and All-Active OOPs teams. In the comments section at 6-4-2 earlier this month, my son corrected another reader who called newly acquired Angels reliever J.C. Romero the team's LOGGY. Joe remarked that "Romero is a LOOGY, not a LOGGY. Erstad is the team's LOGGY (Low Offense, Gold Glove Yokel)."
The All-Time OOPs team (minimum of 5,000 PA):
C: B.J. Surhoff 1B: Lou Finney 2B: Glenn Beckert SS: Alvin Dark 3B: Enos Cabell OF: Lance Johnson OF: Willie Wilson OF: Doc Cramer
B.J. Surhoff made the All-Active team as an OF but was forced onto the All-Time team as a catcher, given that no other backstop qualified.
Based on the OOPs methodology, Glenn Beckert is the Most Overrated Offensive Player ever. Beckert had a career AVG that was 9% above the league norm with an OBP and SLG that were 2% and 10% below the mean. What is it about these former Chicago Cubs second basemen?
That'll about rap it up. OOPs, there it is!
Source: Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia
Update: I missed Terry Kennedy the first time through. He belongs as the catcher on the All-Time OOPs team. Surhoff can stake his claim as on OF on the All-Active OOPs team.
[Additional reader comments and retorts at Baseball Primer.]