I was bored after a long season of being bored by the M's offense, and I was thinking about the M's worst position. And it seemed obvious at first, because, well left field... Right?
So I did a quick check to see what position has been the worst in M's history (based on cumulative WAR, and peak WAR by any one player), and indeed it is... Left field... But that was boring. I mean like watching Brendan Ryan batting practice boring.
So, instead, I wanted to just look at the awesomeness of the mediocrity of this position over the history of the franchise.So, the first thing that you notice when looking at the position is JESUS CHRIST look at all those names... That might immediately be followed by who the hell is (insert name here)? Sure, there are a lot of names of guys who had a few games here and there. What is more interesting is the names that have hundreds of games played, with thousands of at bats, that have been virtually lost to history. I mean Dan Meyer was basically the every day LF for the M's for 5 years, and has the 3rd most at bats for a LF in M's history. Dan Meyer could walk up to me right now, and tell me he is Dan Meyer, and all his accolades (he once walked 10 times in 252 plate appearances, and in 1979 had 20 home runs and 29 walks) and I would have him arrested for being a creepy dude in my house.
So, anyways, back to the specific tangent... The names... 87 of them. 87 left fielders. By comparison the M's have had 31 center fielders, and 55 right fielders. By fairer comparison (given they expanded at the same time, so had similar conditions) the Blue Jays have had 60 left fielders in the same amount of time.
And what is also so impressive is just how mediocre the left fielders have been. None have ever exceeded a total WAR of 13.4 (Phil Bradley), but none have been below -1.8 (Brian Hunter). In CF you have the largest spread from Griffey at 72.2 and John Moses at -3.5 (who is probably the worst M's player of all time).
For those lazy stats-heads might be interested in mean/standard deviation comparisons.
LF: mean WAR: 1.1, std. dev: 2.8
CF: mean WAR: 4.3, std. dev: 13.4
RF: mean WAR: 2.1, std. dev: 8.2
Sure, there would be better comparisons to be made, but... nah, it's still early in the off-season.