For some reason this reminded me of Mike Caruso, who hit what must have been the emptiest .300 ever for the White Sox in 1998. Just totally devoid of walks or power. This was before Voros McCracken's Grand Discovery (new album dropping July 29th), so no one, certainly not the BBWAA members who voted him the American League's third-best rookie, thought very hard about Caruso's high batting average on balls in play. Hell, most people didn't think too hard about walks in 1998.
So was Caruso's season the worst ever by someone who hit .300? Let's check the numbers. These are the worst OPS+ seasons by qualified batters (3.1 plate appearances per team game) who hit at least .300 since 1946:
Player Year Tm BA/ OBP/ SLG OPS+
Felix Fermin 1994 SEA .317/.338/.380 85
Placido Polanco 2001 STL .308/.342/.383 88
Doug Glanville 1997 CHC .300/.333/.392 88
Juan Pierre 2001 COL .327/.378/.415 89
Ben Revere 2013 PHI .305/.338/.353 90
Mike Caruso 1998 CHW .306/.331/.390 90
Hal Morris 1998 KCR .309/.350/.381 90
Don Mueller 1955 NYG .306/.326/.393 90
Tony Womack 2004 STL .307/.349/.385 91
Ben Revere, who will miss 6-8 weeks this season with a foot injury, should fall off the list soon, and thus be spared the terrible ignominy.
What do these guys have in common? Two things leap to mind:
1. Almost all of them played skill positions, middle infield or center field.
2. Most of them "run well," to borrow a phrase from every announcer ever.
Which makes sense. Even if you hit .300, if you don't get on base and don't hit for power, you'd better bring something to the table if you want to stay in the starting lineup.
As for Hal Morris, who mostly played first base, and wasn't exactly Tim Raines on the basepaths, well ... Royals gonna Royal?