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Karl Evers-Hillstrom: Could an MLB team win with you or I in the lineup?

BY KARL EVERS-HILLSTROM Daily Globe reporter What if an owner of a MLB team decided to go full nepotism mode, and forced the team to sign his son to play an entire season in the majors? No, my dad isn't the owner of an MLB team, but this got me t...

BY KARL EVERS-HILLSTROM

Daily Globe reporter

What if an owner of a MLB team decided to go full nepotism mode, and forced the team to sign his son to play an entire season in the majors?

 

No, my dad isn’t the owner of an MLB team, but this got me thinking: what would my stats look like in the major leagues? Obviously I’d be bad, but if the team around me was good enough, theoretically I could make the playoffs and win the World Series.

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I couldn’t hit Little League pitching, so my chances of hitting 98 mile-per-hour fastballs are probably not good.

 

Here’s how I project my stats:

 

Batting average: 0.036

OBP: 0.094

SLG: 0.036 (For reference, Bartolo Colon, considered the worst-hitting pitcher of all-time, slugged .111 for his career)

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Over 600 plate appearances, that’s 20 hits and 30 walks. No home runs. I figure there’s plenty of pitchers who couldn’t throw a strike if their life depended on it, and I’m sure I could get one lucky hit a week or lay down a bunt. Also, I get beaned five times, because some pitchers will probably take exception to the very concept of me actually getting playing time in the big leagues.

 

Advanced stats warning! For all the people who still think RBIs and wins are the best stats to evaluate players with.

Let’s say I play at right field all year, where managers often hide their worst fielder in youth leagues. These numbers, assuming I’m an awful defender and baserunner as well, would give me a WAR of -13.8 and a value of -$62.3 million per year compared to 2016 right fielders.

 

That means I would cost the team 14 wins alone. To put that into perspective, Babe Ruth, undoubtedly the greatest baseball player ever, only exceeded a WAR of 14 once in his career. No other position player has hit that mark in the modern era.

 

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The rest of the team would have to play like the best team in the league to even make the playoffs. So the question is: What stacked team could survive having me on their roster during an entire regular season and postseason run?

 

The 1939 Yankees are one possibility. Yes, I was born in 1994 but we’re being very hypothetical here. This loaded team went 106-45 and swept the World Series against the Reds. They scored 967 wins and only allowed 556, and they were only shut out once, all season.

 

I would probably play first. First base doesn’t seem that difficult - you just have to catch the ball. Of all the positions, I feel like the average Globe employee could play first without making half a dozen errors a game.

 

Not only that, but 1939 was Gehrig’s last season, and he was pretty much sick from the start. He benched himself in early May because of his poor play - ending his streak of 2,130 consecutive games played, and his career.

He was replaced by Babe “Not Ruth” Dahlgren, who was pretty bad by Yankees standards. He only hit .235 and slugged .377. I would be a massive downgrade, but I think that team could still win it all. Plus, even if I cost them 14 wins, they’d still finish first in the American League, thus qualifying for the World Series.

 

Maybe the 1984 Tigers. They won their division by 15 games and won the World Series 4-1. I could just play DH instead of Darrell Evans (.232, 16 home runs) and mitigate the damage done by my assuredly atrocious fielding.

 

Perhaps my best shot would be with a all-time great rotation. The 1998 Braves had a three-headed monster of a rotation that included Greg Maddux (18-9, 2.22), Tom Glavine (20-6, 2.47) and John Smoltz (17-3, 2.90). They also beat out the Mets for first in their division by 18 games … and with that kind of pitching, who needs me to get a hit?

 

Wait … I almost forgot. They lost to the Yankees in the World Series. Never mind.

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