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Mark Belanger 4th Worst.......


olehippi

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This is an interesting article, although I don‘t necessarily agree with the position of certain players. I put it in the MLB section because it's basically not Oriole related.

In fact for the Orioles, there is only Mark Belanger, who the author says was the 4th worse hitter in MLB history….and he’s probably right. But……

…..even though Belanger seldom hit his weight, he stands as a testament to the importance of top notch defense. During Belanger’s 16 years with the Orioles, he won 8 Gold Gloves, and the Orioles won 6 AL Championships, and played in 5 World Series. Which in my mind proves that sometimes it’s not all about hitting….great defense is just as important.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/joe_posnanski/10/14/best.hitters/index.html

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Between 1968, Belanger's first full season, and his last (non-strike) with the Orioles in 1981, the Orioles scored:

579 (14th in the AL in 2009)

779 (8th) (AL Champ)

792 (7th) (WS Champ)

742 (11th) (AL Champ)

519 (14th)

754 (10th) (ALE Champ)

659 (14th) (ALE Champ)

682 (13th)

619 (14th)

719 (13th)

659 (14th)

757 (10th) (AL Champ)

805 (5th)

So while you are right that great defense IS important, all it shows is that the times were different.

Over the past five years, the fewest runs an American League playoff team scored in a season was 741 by the 2005 White Sox. The Orioles of that era scored less than that six of 13 seasons. And if you raise it to the next highest level, the 2005 Angels at 761, you'll notice four of their six playoff appearances fall lower than that.

EDIT: Or another way of putting it; his best year was 1976 when his OPS+ was 100, exactly league-average. His OPS that year was .661.

This season, a 101 OPS+ for a shortstop was .775, or Erick Aybar.

So in his absolutely best season, he was as good as an average hitter. His career OPS+, 68, would be just north of Yuniesky Betancourt 66, at a .625 OPS, and he's considered pretty much the worst everyday player in baseball (partly because his defense stinks, too).

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So while you are right that great defense IS important, all it shows is that the times were different.

Over the past five years, the fewest runs an American League playoff team scored in a season was 741 by the 2005 White Sox... The Orioles of that era scored less than that six of 13 seasons. And if you raise it to the next highest level, the 2005 Angels at 761, you'll notice four of their six playoff appearances fall lower than that.

Yeah, well, maybe teams are scoring like crazy because Belanger isn't playing. The guy quits and scoring goes through the roof.

If what you're trying to say is that we need another Belanger, I agree.

;-)

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This is why I'm very happy that the Orioles have Cesar. I can deal with the lack of power because he makes some tremendous plays in the field.

You know what's interesting? Of the shortstops with at least 400 PAs and 900 innings (his baselines, basically), he is the third-best in baseball defensively (UZR/150), and second-worst offensively (OPS).

I'd prefer someone more balanced, personally.

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Interesting that most of the time Belanger hit for a 742 OPS or better in years were the O's went to the post season. This was true in 5 out of 6 times they went to the post season. Most of the time when Belanger had less then a 742 OPS season the O's did not go to the post season.

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Interesting that most of the time Belanger hit for a 742 OPS or better in years were the O's went to the post season. This was true in 5 out of 6 times they went to the post season. Most of the time when Belanger had less then a 742 OPS season the O's did not go to the post season.

And 1980, the last year on the list, he had one of his best OPS's and we were the first team ever in divisional play to win 100 games and not make the playoffs.

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In fact for the Orioles, there is only Mark Belanger, who the author says was the 4th worse hitter in MLB history….and he’s probably right.

That's the 4th-worst hitter among players who got 6000 plate appearances. There have been over 15000 major league players, only 538 of them got to 6000.

I'd guess that there are thouands of people who've appeared in major league games whe were worse hitters than Mark Belanger. Mostly pitchers, but also guys like Jose Morban.

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