Mendoza Line


Almost a month ago, Toledo Free Press columnist and editor of The Futon Report Matt Sussman invited me to partake in a version of fantasy baseball called Two Eighty. The object was simple: Choose one player from each Major League team that you thought would come closest to hitting .280 over the course of the season. The team that, as a whole, comes closes to that average wins.

There was no dealing with draft orders or the thought of picking players you completely despise but know you have to because of the numbers they are going to put up. The most commonly picked player you wonder? Hank Blalock, who is currently hitting .275.

Nope, there’s no Sheffield’s or Bonds’ in this league. (Actually there might be, but certainly not on my second place team.)

Completely jacking Matt’s idea, I came up with my own version of the game. I decided to try and piece together a team of players (one from each position) that might be able to produce and team batting average closest to .200.

Call it, Mendoza Line.
(Note) To qualify currently, a player must have over 40 atbats.

Mike Matheny, SFG. A career .238 hitter, Matheny has never had more than 111 hits in a season. He doesn’t draw walks either, so he’ll have plenty of chance to ground out all year. While he’s never hit worse than .218 in a full season, he’s also never been 35 before.

First base
Mike Jacobs, FLA. The Mets were smart in not holding on to him and overvaluing his potential after doing well for them down the stretch last season. He did hit a bunch of homeruns, but I remember him more for being completely unable to hit a breaking ball. Jacobs is going to strike out 150 times if he gets the at bats.

Second base
Aaron Hill, TOR. Players who can’t hit yet still swing at everything are the ones that are most likely to fail to hit their body weight. Hill has yet walk in 48 at bats and is hitting just .208.

Third base
Adrian Beltre, SEA. Two years ago, Beltre watched his homerun total explode and he almost won the MVP. Then he left Los Angeles and got paid. Coincidentally, at the same time baseball started testing for steroids, his numbers deflated. We might be looking at another Brady Anderson here.

Khalil Greene, SDP. Hitting just .208 right now, I don’t exactly think Greene will hit .200 but he may come closest among all players at his position. Greene was hyped as this great player, but he doesn’t hit much and strikes out a ton.

Brad Wilkerson, TEX. Obviously Wilkerson doesn’t like his new home. He’s hitting just .188 in Arlington and I think he will struggle to adjust to American League pitching this season.

Chris Duffy, PIT. Like the rest of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Duffy was looking forward to success this season after hitting .341 in limited action last year. Just like the rest of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Duffy has stunk it up this year, batting just .193.

Jason Lane, HOU. Lane is in the same boat as the rest of these players. Off to a bad start that, for the sake of my game, I hope they don’t recover from. There’s no reason why he won’t hit somewhere around the .267 he hit last season, but maybe he’ll he completely flop. We can always hope.


Sussman 5:51 PM, April 20, 2006  

FWIW you're a dirty thief and Sal picked Sheffield.

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