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Moose Milligan

Orioles Biggest One Hit Wonder of all time...

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3 hours ago, rudyrooster said:

My pick is Jim Traber.

Jim Traber had a .949 OPS in his first five weeks in the majors in '86.  Outside of that his MLB OPS was about .550.

He hit about .150 in Earl's last forgettable month as a major league manager.

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On 3/31/2020 at 12:51 PM, InsideCoroner said:

What about Rich Coggins in '73? He hit .319 with an .831 OPS, worth nearly 4 WAR, had a disappointing sophomore season for the Birds (0.2 WAR),  bounced around three teams and was out of baseball by '77.  

Fortunately, the Expos apparently still thought highly enough of him and a by-then ineffective Dave McNally to trade us Ken Singleton and Mike Torrez for them on my birthday! That has to rank as one of the best Oriole trades ever.

After Don Buford spoiled us during the three consecutive World Series seasons,  Bumbry (26 years old then) and Coggins (22) providing tremendous excitement at the top of the lineup in our division-winning '73 season. Not only were they constantly on base, they banged out plenty of extra-base hits, and were threats to steal. I remember the triples (20 in only 745 combined ABs) being especially fun.

Bumbry: 356 ABs, 73 runs, 15 doubles, 11 triples, 7 HRs, 23 SBs, 34 BBs--.337/.398/.500/.898, 154 OPS+.

Coggins: 389 ABs, 54 runs, 19 doubles, 9 triples. 7 HRs, 17 SBs, 28 BBs--.319/.363/.468/.831, 134 OPS+.

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19 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Worthington was the 1988 IL MVP.  He hit .244/.303/.419 with 16 homers and 73 RBI.   That was a pitcher's league, but that has to be one of the weakest MVP lines I've ever seen.  He was 32nd in the league in OPS.  The voters must have thought he was Brooks with the glove.

It was a little like Mountcastle's MVP where he wasn't nearly the best player in AAA. He just was the (one of the) best real prospect(s) who wasn't called up after a couple hundred ABs.

But an uncannily similar batting line the next year with the Os (15 homers, 70 RBIs, .247/.334/.384) was good enough for a 106 OPS+ and a fourth-place RoY finish a mere 4 points behind Ken Griffey, Jr. (the O's Gregg Olson won, it was the "Why Not?" season). Despite 20 errors and a negative dWAR, I do indeed remember him being a slick fielder at third.

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10 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

If not for the ridiculously high attrition rate among pitchers they would have to change the rules.  If 90% of pitchers got through their careers healthy the league ERA would be a run or run-and-a-half lower.  The strike zone would have to go back to the belt, or they'd have to juice the ball.

Although I think Wally Bunker wasn't destined for a long and successful career in any case.  His 19-5, 2.69 season came with four K/9.  Even in '64 that was only 2/3rds of league average.  Almost no one is successful starting out striking out 2/3rds of average.  His BABIP was .216.  Completely, utterly unsustainable.  The same year Koufax had a BABIP 30 points higher.

In my book, Wally Bunker has another claim to Oriole immortality: It wasn't Koufax (who had lost to Palmer the game before), but Bunker did beat Claude Osteen with a 1-0 complete-game shutout in the third game of the '66 World Series. With a sore-armed 4.29 regular season ERA and only 142 innings pitched, Bunker was definitely the weak link in the WS rotation, but he delivered an utter gem.

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21 hours ago, DocJJ said:

Love this topic.   So many to choose from.

I'd vote for Larry Sheets who tricked people into thinking he could hit by clubbing 31 HR one season.  May have been a juiced ball that year, as a lot of guys had huge years.   But then he completely vanished.

Jeff Ballard was a nice 1 year sensation.

Ryan Kohlmeier tricked people into thinking he could be a closer by pitching to a 2.39 ERA with 13 saves one season.   (His 15 walks with 17 strikeouts in 26 innings pitched should have convinced people otherwise.)

 

Jim Johnson was a "two hit wonder" earning back-to-back 50 save seasons before dissipating...

Chito Martinez hit 13 hr and an .800 OPS one season.   

JJ doesn’t really belong IMO.    He also had a great year in 2011 playing a 6-8th inning fireman role.    Frankly that was a better year for him than 2013.     He just wasn’t the closer. 

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When I saw this thread, I immediately thought of Craig Worthington. Not sure he was a one-hit wonder like some of the guys mentioned earlier whose star burned bright for a period and then flamed out incredibly fast.  I can think of multiple disappointing prospects who were injured (Matt Riley) or not as good as advertised at the pro level (Craig Pennington), but Worthington was an incredible disappointment IMO.  He wasn't projected to be a star, but he was supposed to be good and good for a decent period of time.  He just never got better and wasn't good enough as a pro.

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On 4/1/2020 at 1:24 PM, DrungoHazewood said:

Kevin Hickey.

Good one, thx. He's the one--and of course, also in 1989. Why Not?
Not quite a one-hit wonder, but an interesting career. Three years with the White Sox, then out of MLB for five years before the O's picked him up for a flash of decency. In between, was he lobbing softballs then?

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9 hours ago, now said:

Good one, thx. He's the one--and of course, also in 1989. Why Not?
Not quite a one-hit wonder, but an interesting career. Three years with the White Sox, then out of MLB for five years before the O's picked him up for a flash of decency. In between, was he lobbing softballs then?

According to bb-ref he was just in the minors during that gap.  Wikipedia says he was signed by the Sox in '78 at an open tryout after he'd been playing 16" softball.  I have no idea what 16" softball is.

Edit: Okay, now I do.

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2 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

According to bb-ref he was just in the minors during that gap.  Wikipedia says he was signed by the Sox in '78 at an open tryout after he'd been playing 16" softball.  I have no idea what 16" softball is.

Edit: Okay, now I do.

Cool, thanks for the research. Just think, a near championship season featuring a bus driver (starting the biggest game of the year) and a cabbageball pitcher... "Why not?" stretched to the limit! It so happens, Hickey relieved Johnson in the 8th in that game after a leadoff walk, and gave up another walk. Those proved the tying runs as Williamson came on to cough up the game.

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3 minutes ago, now said:

Cool, thanks for the research. Just think, a near championship season featuring a bus driver (starting the biggest game of the year) and a cabbageball pitcher... "Why not?" stretched to the limit! It so happens, Hickey relieved Johnson in the 8th in that game after a leadoff walk, and gave up another walk. Those proved the tying runs as Williamson came on to cough up the game.

If only the Orioles and Ben McDonald hadn't been quibbling over $750k maybe they'd have had access to someone who wasn't a fantastically ridiculous underdog...  In '89 the Orioles' initial offer to McDonald was $255k as a clear, consensus 1/1 pick who would almost immediately be MLB-ready.

For context, in 1989 the MLB minimum salary was $68,000.  Today it's about $500k, so... that bonus offer was kind of the equivalent of about $2M today.  Rutschman got $8.1M.  McDonald was asking for Bo Jackson money (about $1M).

He eventually signed in August for a $350k bonus and a 3-year MLB deal that paid $1.1M.  His 1990 FIP of 3.68 was better than any '89 O's starter except Jay Tibbs.

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2 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

If only the Orioles and Ben McDonald hadn't been quibbling over $750k maybe they'd have had access to someone who wasn't a fantastically ridiculous underdog...  In '89 the Orioles' initial offer to McDonald was $255k as a clear, consensus 1/1 pick who would almost immediately be MLB-ready.

For context, in 1989 the MLB minimum salary was $68,000.  Today it's about $500k, so... that bonus offer was kind of the equivalent of about $2M today.  Rutschman got $8.1M.  McDonald was asking for Bo Jackson money (about $1M).

He eventually signed in August for a $350k bonus and a 3-year MLB deal that paid $1.1M.  His 1990 FIP of 3.68 was better than any '89 O's starter except Jay Tibbs.

Oh, the minefield of tragic "what-ifs" (and just plain stupid whiffs) that litter Orioles [email protected]#$%^&*

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3 hours ago, now said:

Oh, the minefield of tragic "what-ifs" (and just plain stupid whiffs) that litter Orioles [email protected]#$%^&*

LSU killed Ben's arm. I'm going to assume colleges are better now and not riding their best pitchers like rented mules to win the College World Series. 

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19 minutes ago, OsFanSinceThe80s said:

LSU killed Ben's arm. I'm going to assume colleges are better now and not riding their best pitchers like rented mules to win the College World Series. 

Cody Sedlock had a HUGE inning jump his junior year and had a number of alarming pitch counts.

https://247sports.com/mlb/scouting/Article/2016-MLB-Draft-Full-Count-Trends-425-105504508/

Quote

On Friday, he went 10.2 innings and threw 132 pitches while facing Ohio State.

I found a broke tweet in the Sedlock draft thread,

" Sedlock's last 5 starts: 10.2 IP, 6.2 IP, 9 IP, 9.1 IP, 9 IP.</p>— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36)"

I'd say that's riding him like a rented mule.  Was the reason I was against the pick at the time.

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