The 5 Worst Players in MLB History

October 13, 2014

Baseball is often cited as ‘America’s national past time’ and for good reason too. It has been a huge part of the American culture and a source of enjoyment for millions of fans all around the world. An estimated forty percent of the U.S population is hooked to the game.

Since the inception of the Major League Baseball (MLB) in 1869, countless teams and players have made their mark on the sport. But, alas, for every Babe Ruth, there is a Mario Mendoza (more on him later). Players that make people wonder how it became so easy to become a professional player. Players that made you question the sanity of coaches, scouts and team managers in the league. And yet there they were. There have been players that did not merit their selection in a professional baseball team. There were quite a few people in the MLB like that and perhaps still are, but we are here to talk about the top five worst players in MLB history to “grace” the game with their mediocrity.

Alex Sanchez

Alex Sanchez is perhaps the only baseball player in the league, whose life was more eventful before he joined the MLB. He came to America on a raft from Cuba and was caught and detained at Guantanamo Bay for sixteen months, before he was allowed to leave.

Within a few years, Sanchez enrolled himself in college and in the 1996 draft, was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He did not play for the first team throughout the five years he spent with them and was transferred to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2001.  He spent two years with the Brewers before his dreadful defensive record for the team and his attitude problems in the dressing room forced him out.

He then moved to the Detroit Tigers in 2003 but only managed to stay there for two seasons before he was dropped from the squad. Alex then signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays once again but this time he was guaranteed first team opportunities.

In 2005, while still in his first season for the Devil Rays, Sanchez became the first MLB player to be suspended for using performance enhancing drugs. He was reprimanded for his role in the scandal and fined a heavy amount of money. Shortly afterwards he was dropped by the Rays and he signed with the San Francisco Giants later that year. After playing only nineteen games for the Giants, Sanchez found himself being dropped once again. He went on to play in Mexico and a few minor league teams before finally retiring from the sport.

In his entire career in the MLB, Sanchez played 427 games with 1527 at bats. He only managed 6 home runs and had 233 strikeouts in the same period. He only had a 111 RBIs and he was caught stealing almost fifty percent of the time. As central fielder, he had a terrible defensive record and it is a surprise that he spent the time he did in the MLB. His Rtot was -14 and his Rdrs was -22. Sanchez could truly do nothing right.

Bill Bergen

Bill Bergen joined professional baseball in 1898 when he signed with Pawtucket, who were affiliated with the New England League. Working on his catching skills that his brother had taught him, Bergen began showing his abilities as a receiver and catcher in 1900. In 1901 he joined his first major league baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds. Due to his atrocious batting averages, he was not preferred in the catching role that he had been hired to do and had to start most games on the bench. He was sold to Brooklyn in 1904, a team that needed an alternate backstop to the one they already had, Lew Ritter.

His batting was just terrible. Bergen is considered among the worst hitters in baseball history. In his entire career he hit a grand total of two home runs and had a wRC+ of sixteen and an OPS+ of 21. The extra base hits he had in his entire career were 354 times less than the times he was struck out. His career’s best season was in 1903 with the Cincinnati Reds. That year, Bergen managed a batting average above the .200 mark and had a wRC+ of 37 and OPS+ of 41. In 1909 his OPS+ had dropped to 1 and his wRC+ had dropped to -1 but Brooklyn still managed to play him in a hundred and twelve games that season. He batted at .139 for that season and went on a hitless run of forty six games in a row.

Bergen had a career batting average of .170, even though he had more than 2500 at bats. This was a record in itself as every other player managed at least an average of .210 with 2500 at bats. He hit two home runs after 3028 at bats which is truly astonishing. He also managed to have an on base percentage of .194 and a career slugging percentage of .201.

Bergen’s career in the major leagues was finished after he was released by Brooklyn and he spent quite a few years trying to play baseball in alternate leagues before officially retiring in 1917. No matter how good his catching abilities were, his offensive game play was deplorable for somebody playing in the major leagues.

Neifi Perez

Neifi Perez was a shortstop who was lucky to have a professional baseball career as he was quite poor as a player. He started his career with the Colorado Rockies who shipped him off to their minor league affiliates where Neifi thrived and showed some potential that he might turn out to be a good ball player.

The Rockies believed that Perez was going to be the next big star. He proved them wrong. The Rockies signed him in 1992 at the age of eighteen, but it was not until 1998 that Perez made the step up to the first team. He played there for three seasons in which his batting average remained around the .280 mark but his defensive work was very good. He even managed to win the Golden Glove in 2000.

Perez moved around a lot after he left the Rockies. He first moved to the Kansas City Royals from 2001 to 2002, followed by the San Francisco Giants from 2003 to 2004, the Chicago Cubs from 2004 to 2006 and then the Detroit Tigers from 2006 to 2007.

The questions about his exact contribution to each side made him an increasingly unpopular figure in the sport. His move to Kansas came as a three way player exchange between the Royals, the Rockies and the Oakland Athletics in which the Royals let go of their fan favorite, Jermaine Dye. Dye went on to become an All-Star and an MVP while Perez just moved from one team to another. By the time he moved to the Cubs, he had only seven home runs to his name in 1400 at bats.

All the fame that Perez had garnered in the minor leagues, he lost it as a professional baseball player. Regarded as one of the worst player in baseball by numerous people, Neifi’s reputation was shot by the time he left the Cubs. He had a -3.5 WAR in his 2002 season and had a season OPS of .627 where he was caught stealing forty four percent of the time. He was a hitter with a .267 batting average and his defensive abilities had also started to fade after his move to Kansas. Sports writer King Kaufman even came up with the “Neifi Index,” to check the contribution of a player to his team by not playing. This index bases a player’s detrimental effect on a team when he plays and the positive effect when he is benched.

Neifi Perez ended his career with the Detroit Tigers and was released from the franchise when he was suspended for more than a hundred games, for his use of performance enhancing drugs.

Mario Mendoza

The names of people like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig will live long in our memories because of their incredible contributions to the game. However there is another name as well that baseball fans won’t forget too easily, for all the wrong reasons of course. The name is that of Mario Mendoza, the former Pittsburgh Pirates’ shortstop.

He was spotted by the Pirates when he was playing for the Diablos Rojos del México in the Mexican Baseball League. They decided he would be a good addition. The Pittsburgh Pirates signed him to one of their minor league teams in 1970, to be used as a defensive replacement when needed. It took him four years before he made his debut for the first team in 1974.

He stayed with the Pirates for five years, playing mainly as a replacement player. He even made an appearance in the 1974 National League Championship Series in his rookie year. In his five years with the Pirates, Mendoza had batting averages of .221, .180, .185, .198, and .218. He did not manage to cement a place in the Pirates squad and asked the team for a trade in hope of a better opportunity elsewhere.

He was transferred to the Seattle Mariners in 1979 and spent two years with the team. The Mariners provided him with the first team opportunities that he had lacked at the Pirates. Mendoza managed to make 401 appearances on the plate in his first season. He did this while playing 148 games of which 132 were at his preferred position as a shortstop. However, his hitting was atrocious with an average of .198. He became one of only four people who didn’t make it to the .200 mark after playing 148 games. His second season was slightly better, averaging at .245 but not good enough and he was sent to the Texas Rangers.

He made a much better start at the Rangers than his two previous teams, recording an average of .231. But it all went downhill the very next season. Playing with an average of .118, Mendoza was released by the Rangers at the end of the season.

During his entire career, Mendoza skirted the .200 average, mostly remaining a few points above or below it. During his time with the Mariners, his team mates started calling the .200 average the “Mendoza Line” just for fun. What started out as a joke, turned in to a national phenomenon when the term received huge publicity from Chris Berman, a presenter for ESPN and the Mendoza Line became a part of popular and baseball culture.

Kevin Jarvis

Kevin Jarvis has played for some of the best teams in the MLB. He transferred from one team to the next twelve times in as many years, sometimes switching sides twice a year. That should tell you all you want to know about Kevin Jarvis.

Jarvis was a player with potential during his school and college days. That is what made the Cincinnati Reds draft him in 1991. He had to wait three years before making his Major League debut, getting his chance in 1994.

He played with the Reds for a further three years before moving to the Detroit Tigers in 1997. He then moved to the Minnesota Twins in 1997 and the Chunichi Dragons in 1998. He returned  to the United States to play for the Oakland Athletics in 1999 before moving to the Colorado Rockies in 2000. His next stint was with the San Diego Padres from 2001 to 2003 which was followed by a transfer to the Seattle Mariners in 2004. The Colorado Rockies signed him up in 2004 and the St. Louis Cardinals did the same in 2005. The year 2006 saw him move to two teams, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Boston Red Sox.

Considered one of the worst pitchers in baseball history, team after team tried to kick start his career but it didn’t work out for him. Jarvis had an AERA of 73, a PW of -11.6 and a WARP3 of 3.6. He also had a  WARP of -6.5, a WAR of -5.6 and a WHIP that exceeded 1.5. His translated ERA was six and a half in the 780 innings he pitched.

Jarvis recorded ten seasons with a negative WARP3 and he never once managed to be a league average pitcher. He had untranslated ERA of over 10.00 and he only managed to win more games than he lost only twice. He gave up fewer hits than innings pitched in only two seasons his entire career. He conceded a total of 63 home runs in little more than 200 innings in the 2001 season.

Statistically speaking, Kevin Jarvis was one of the worst pitchers in baseball history. He is now a scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks, entrusted with finding new and talented baseball players. We wonder if he would ever have scouted himself if given the chance.

These were in our opinion, the worst players in baseball’s long and illustrious history. You might disagree with some choices but that is natural although we seriously doubt you can, once you go through the list.

Feel free to agree or disagree by giving us your feedback.


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