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2009 Inept Award


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Back in 2007, an idea struck me. One of the most phenomenal batting lines of all time occurred and a yearly award needed to occur to honor such ineptitude. Nick Punto of the Minnesota Twins batted an ungodly .210/.291/.271 (.562) in over 500 PA at predominantly 3B. This was remarkable. Remarkable to be that bad, and to be that bad and get so much playing time. The Minnesota Twins stubbornness in replacing him was amazing. He was clearly horrible, but they just didn't care. A new word was established in 2007 to describe this kind of player personnel move which is in a sense, "totally horribly awesome." That word is Puntolicious. And every year, a new Nick Punto must be crowned.


In 2008, we had two strong candidates to replace Punto. Michael Bourn qualified, and had a .588 OPS. But even more amazing, Willy Taveras had a .604 OPS and managed to steal more bases (68) than score runs (64), in Colorado. You can click HERE, or my signature, to see the write up of last years winner.


But all good things must come to an end, and Willy Taveras and his .559 OPS in 2009 did not qualify. He tapped out 80 PA below qualification, at 422. He surely would have repeated with such a performance, but we can't make exceptions to qualifying as a batter.


Now, there were a lot of bad players in 2009. A lot was expected out of BJ Upton, Alex Rios, and Russel Martin, and they all failed miserably with .680-.681 OPS marks and pathetic other peripherals. These were just bad starters though. Others, like Randy Winn, Jason Kendall, and the immortal David Eckstein, hustled there way to even more pathetic .630-.670 OPS, but still couldn't even finish in the top three of most puntolicious baseball players.


Former all star Edgar Renteria somehow forgot how to hit, and achieved a stellar .250/.307/.328 line. Good thing he signed that contract before 2009!


Yuniesky Betancourt hit .245/.274/.351. That wins lowest OBP of the year hands down and would in most years make him the winner, but someone was actually worse than him. Betancourt was not a liability on the base paths, stealing 3, getting caught 3 times, and getting picked off once. He also on the intangibility meter, presumably made a ton of productive outs whiffing only 44 times and constantly putting heavy pressure on the defense. This was a truly horrible year, but there was shockingly one worse.


I think I speak for everybody. What. The. Hell?




Emilio? You not only managed a league low .252/.303/.308 (.611) OPS, you did it from third base! At least Renteria and Betancourt can say, yo we're shortstops. We're paid to field suuuuuuucker. The next closest 3B was Jhonny Peralta with 80 more OPS points, and he played a third of his games at SS. Feliz was next worst, and he's arguably the best defender in baseball so he gets some plus value there. Then Brandon Inge had 110 OPS points and hit 27 HR. As Mark McGwire showed us, everybody loves Dingers! Bonifacio, you weren't just the worst at your postion. You were the worst player at 3B since Vinny Castilla had a .616 OPS in 2002!!! Well done! And congratulations to the Marlins for not moving you despite better options, like shifting around Uggla/Coghlan/Cantu/G. Sanchez/Carroll to try and get any positive production from the hot corner, because god damn, they love your speed that much.


Speaking of your speed, who can forget your majestic inside the park home run/should have been a 4 base error? That set the stage for your blitz on the stolen base record. You managed to swipe 21 bases in the most efficient of ways. You were caught 9 times, and then somehow got picked off 8 more times for a cumulative + 4 SB. Thanks for stealing those 4 bases Bonifacio. Those 17 other outs your created on the base paths we didn't need anyways. What matters is, you intimidated pitchers with your .75 net stolen bases per month, and all of that production shifted directly to Coghlan and Hanley who took advantage of the pitcher's fear when you were on base once every other game for them. Without you, Coghlan wouldn't have been possible. So thanks. Your contributions offensively were so startling, I almost overlooked your worst in the league defense and 14 errors in a mere 717 innings. I know errors aren't a good indication of defense, but let's not get into your range too. It's for the best for everyone to move on.


Here's some advice though, catch the ball, THEN TAG.





Here's to you Bonifacio! You were king of the world in 2009. You earned the title of Puntolicious! And let's hope as Marlins fans, you follow in the same career path as Punto as he followed up his stellar 2007 with a commanding 338 AB bench role where he hit .284/.344/.382. That would be most appreciated! We're rooting for you!

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I would like to give honorable mention Kaz Matsui. Offensively speaking, he was just as bad (actually worse) than Bonifacio (with Kaz having a power advantage).



However, Boni has to take the cake. He is a really bad fielder, no power, low contact hitter, can't get on base, gets thrown out more than anybody (save a few players) in the league, and when he doesn't steal he usually gets picked off.




By the way, Jeff Francoer is my early favorite to win the 2010 Award.

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alfonso soriano.. at least emilio was making no money. i know as left the lead off spot late but he was leading off for a while... a lead off hitter who cant get on base... doesnt steal bases... strikes out and redefines bad defense. 20 homeruns.. he essentially got one million for every homerun

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This is a terrible analysis because it fails to incorporate Bonifacio's winter league numbers.


...what? this is in the major league baseball forum.

That was a quib to other posters on this board who rely on Bonifacio's dominican numbers as justifying giving him an opportunity to start for this team

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