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Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Chat leftovers: The worst hitter of 2012

By David Schoenfield

While discussing the value of defense in Tuesday's chat, I pointed out the defensive metrics suggest the best fielders are worth about 20-plus runs over an average defender at their position. Somebody asked what the worst hitters -- like Mark Belanger, the Gold Glove shortstop for the Orioles in the 1970s -- are then worth. In Belanger's worst season, he was 24 runs below an average hitter, according to Baseball-Reference.com; he actually had some not-awful seasons at the plate, mainly because he drew some walks and had respectable on-base percentages in his best years.

I said I'd look up the worst hitters of 2012. So here goes:
Overall, I give the honor of least valuable hitter of 2012 to Stubbs. He hit .213/.277/.333 in a good hitter's park -- and that doesn't even factor in that he got to play a large percentage of his games against the Astros and Cubs.

By the way, the Reds gave a lot of playing time last year to Stubbs and Wilson Valdez. Baseball-Reference has Valdez at -18 runs in just over 200 PAs. One reason to like the Reds again in 2013: No Stubbs and no Valdez chewing up outs in the lineup.