2006 All-OOPs Team
OOPs, here it is! The sequel. The most Overrated Offensive Players in the game.
Last December, we introduced criteria for identifying overrated offensive players (or OOPs). It is simple and straightforward:
1. Batting Average > League Norm
By definition, the players who meet the above criteria 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.
In order to make the all-OOPs team this year, an American League player had to hit higher than .275 with an OBP less than .342 and a SLG below .437, while a National Leaguer had to hit higher than .264 with an OBP less than .334 and a SLG below .427. No first basemen or third basemen qualified. As such, we picked the players who were the closest.
Ideally, the standards for making the all-OOPs team would be adjusted position-by-position. However, it was never our goal to get overly technical with what was intended to be both informative and fun.
The 2006 All-OOPs team is as follows:
AVG OBP SLG C: A.J. Pierzynski .295 .333 .436 1B: Shea Hillenbrand .277 .313 .451 2B: Mark Grudzielanek .297 .331 .409 3B: Melvin Mora .274 .342 .391 SS: Yuniesky Betancourt .289 .310 .403 LF: Garret Anderson .280 .323 .433 CF: Juan Pierre .292 .330 .388 RF: Jay Payton .296 .325 .418
A.J. Pierzynski walked a grand total of 22 times in 509 at-bats. Shea Hillenbrand drew 21 BB in 530 AB. Mark Grudzielanek had 28 BB and 7 HR in 548 AB. Yuniesky Betancourt walked 17 times and hit 8 HR in 558 AB. Garret Anderson had 38 BB and 17 HR in 543 AB, Juan Pierre, 32 BB and 3 HR in 699 AB, and Jay Payton, 22 BB, 10 HR, 557 AB.
Melvin Mora was 19th in OPS among 22 qualified third basemen. He will be 35 in February. His three-year, $25 million extension that includes a no-trade clause isn't looking too swift for the Orioles at this point. Similarly, the Angels are still choking on a $48 million, four-year contract extension given to Anderson during the 2004 season that lasts through 2008. The deal also includes a team option for 2009 with a $3 million buyout. Pierre led the NL with 204 hits, but he also topped the circuit in outs with a career-high 532 (the 11th most ever and the second-highest total since 1982).
Based on the precedent set last year, Grudzielanek has earned the Baseball Analysts' OOPs Player of the Year award by virtue of having the highest batting average among those who qualify. Congrats, Mark! He was deemed to be the Most Overrated Offensive Player among all active players last year.
Grudzielanek is also the only LOGGY (Low Offense, Gold Glove Yokel) on the 2006 team. Orlando Hudson was the lone LOGGY on last year's OOPs squad.
Honorable mentions for the all-OOPs team go out to second basemen Josh Barfield (.280/.318/.423), Ronnie Belliard (.272/.322/.403), Jose Lopez (.282/.319/.405), Placido Polanco (.295/.329/.364), and Brandon Phillips (.276/.324/.427); shortstops Orlando Cabrera (.282/.335/.404) and Jack Wilson (.273/.316/.370); and outfielders Mark Kotsay (.275/.332/.386) and Willy Taveras (.278/.333/.338).
Well, to steal last year's closing statement, that'll about rap it up. OOPs, there it is!