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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pitchers batting since 1901. Except for Babe Ruth, they suck.

Good hitting pitchers is an oxymoron. What a great word, even if I had to look it up to verify its meaning.

Using the ad hoc query function (play index) at baseball-reference.com:

For single seasons, From 1901 to 2017, Played 75% of games at P, (requiring OPS+>=100 and At least 50 plate appearances), sorted by greatest Adjusted OPS+

238 pitcher seasons found. Here are the tops with OPS+ at least 150:

RkPlayerOPS+PAYearAgeTmLgGABRH2B3BHRRBIBBIBBSOHBPSHSFGDPSBCSBAOBPSLGOPSPos
1Babe Ruth188103191520BOSAL429216291014209230200.315.376.576.952*1H
2Carl Scheib17756195124PHAAL485392122281510100.396.418.6231.041*1/H
3Bob Lemon17764194726CLEAL4756111843256902000.321.387.607.994*1/H89
4Jack Bentley16794192328NYGNL528993862114340200.427.446.5731.019*1H
5Don Newcombe163125195529BRONL571171842917236018110110.359.395.6321.028*1H
6Jimmy Zinn16351192934CLEAL20427164118421300.381.447.5951.042*1/H
7Walter Johnson163107192537WSHAL3697124261220361601.433.455.5771.033*1/H
8Doc Crandall16381191022NYGNL457310252411357030.342.385.521.905*1/6
9Babe Ruth162142191722BOSAL521231440632141218070.325.385.472.857*1H
10Don Larsen15857195828NYYAL284991510413509021202.306.364.571.935*1/H
11Clarence Mitchell15852191928BRONL3449718101244000.367.415.449.864*1H
12Brickyard Kennedy15662190335PITNL23587214301026020.362.383.534.918*1
13Micah Owings15264200724ARINL3560920714152016011000.333.349.6831.033*1/H
14Wes Ferrell152128193123CLEAL4811624376193010210200.319.373.621.994*1/H
15Red Ruffing150117193025TOTAL58110174082422780000.364.402.582.984*1H

Five of the 15 are post World War II (after 1945). The most recent and the only one since Larsen in 1958: Micah Owings 2007, who in 219 plate appearances (PA) through 2012 had career OPS+ 105.

Brickyard Kennedy in 1903 is the only one with zero home runs (HR) among the top 15 in OPS+ for a season. Wes Ferrell hit 9 HR, the record for pitchers; Newcombe hit 7 HR; four HR for Ruth, Ruffing, Larsen, Owings.

Top 14 pitchers in hitting HR in a season, at least six:

RkPlayerOPS+PAYearAgeTmLgGABRH2B3BHR
RBIBBIBBSOHBPSHSFGDPSBCSBAOBPSLGOPSPos
1Wes Ferrell152128193123CLEAL4811624376193010210200.319.373.621.994*1/H
2Don Newcombe163125195529BRONL571171842917236018110110.359.395.6321.028*1H
3Brooks Kieschnick14976200331MILNL70701221107126013000200.300.355.614.970*1H/D7
4Wes Ferrell141179193527BOSAL7515025525173221160800.347.427.533.960*1H
5Don Drysdale140138196528LADNL581301839417195034120600.300.331.508.839*1H
6Bob Lemon134123194928CLEAL46108172962719102005100.269.331.556.886*1/H
7Earl Wilson120113196631TOTAL45962023027228036162000.240.299.500.799*1/H
8Earl Wilson11892196833DETAL4088920017172035110100.227.253.489.741*1/H
9Don Drysdale11472195821LADNL4766915117123025030000.227.261.591.852*1/H
10Mike Hampton10586200128COLNL43792023207162021050101.291.309.582.891*1H
11Jim Tobin126132194229BSNNL4711414282061516231020.246.344.421.765*1H
12Sonny Siebert12190197134BOSAL32791021306151020271200.266.289.532.821*1
13Jack Harshman113101195830BALAL478211161061417022011200.195.330.427.757*1H/8
14Bob Lemon113151195029CLEAL72136213791626132513000.272.340.485.825*1H

Only Tobin is before 1946.

Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2017, Played 75% of games at P, (requiring OPS+>=80 and PA>=250), sorted by greatest Adjusted OPS+

RkPlayerOPS+PAFromToAgeGABRH2B3BHRRBIBBIBBSOHBPSHSFGDPSBCSBAOBPSLGOPSPosTm
1George Mullin10016851902191521-34615153116340170233139122226725180.262.319.344.663*1/H98743DET-WSH-IND-NEW
2Snake Wiltse973091901190329-318628443791092371321751.278.326.398.724/*139847PIT-BLA-PHA-NYY
3Ken Brett953731967198118-323863473991181104414067192600.262.291.406.698*1/HBOS-MIL-PHI-PIT-NYY-CAL-CHW-LAD-MIN-KCR
4Oscar Judd913561941194833-4020631736831153192737111200.262.322.356.678*1/HBOS-PHI
5George Cunningham912521916192121-2616421027476311536670720.224.337.295.633*1/H98DET
6Schoolboy Rowe8810231933194923-3949290911423936918153861572251232.263.328.382.710*1HDET-BRO-PHI
7Tim Lollar872551980198624-3020423127543383818064033300.234.286.377.662*1/HNYY-SDP-CHW-BOS
8Claude Hendrix869911911192022-31421922118222391714973916842591.241.275.366.640*1/H79PIT-CHI-CHC
9Don Newcombe859881949196023-34452878942383331510887114731731721.271.338.367.705*1HBRO-LAD-CIN-CLE
10Jack Scott847361916192924-3740868067187314573397651212.275.319.354.673*1/H9PIT-BSN-CIN-NYG-PHI
11Carl Mays8211961915192923-375021085113291322151116611644411.268.313.350.663*1/HBOS-NYY-CIN-NYG
12Don Larsen816521953196723-3748059665144255147243013801131503.242.291.371.662*1/H7SLB-BAL-NYY-KCA-CHW-SFG-HOU-CHC

Finally, most career HR. In order to include Wes Ferrell (season and career record holder), the percent of career games at pitcher was reduced from 75% to 66%.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/f/ferrewe01-field.shtml

Wes Ferrell pinch hit (PH) 162 times and in 1933 played left field in 13 games but hit no HR as LF. In five games he hit two HR. In 1931 when Ferrell hit the pitcher's record of 9 HR, Ferrell hit all 9 HR as a pitcher. Ferrell hit only one PH HR and it was a three run walk-off in 1935; his next HR was the next day and it was also a walk-off game winner. His only other walk-off was the second of two in a 1934 game. He also hit one IPHR. His HR log as a batter:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/event_hr.fcgi?id=ferrewe01&t=b

Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2017, Played 66% of games at P, (requiring HR>=20), sorted by greatest Home Runs

RkPlayerHRPAOPS+FromToAgeGABRH2B3BRBIBBIBBSOHBPSHSFGDPSBCSBAOBPSLGOPSPosTm
1Wes Ferrell3813441001927194119-3354811761753295712208129185040020.280.351.446.797*1H/7CLE-BOS-WSH-NYY-BRO-BSN
2Bob Lemon371326821941195820-3761511831482745491479302412493921.232.288.386.674*1H/859CLE
3Red Ruffing362084811924194719-4288219372075219813273972666431311.269.306.389.695*1H/79BOS-NYY-CHW
4Earl Wilson35837761959197024-35405740951441261116702715224700.195.265.369.634*1/HBOS-DET-SDP
5Warren Spahn352056431942196521-447831872141363576189940487768142342.194.234.287.520*1/HBSN-MLN-NYM-SFG
6Don Drysdale291309451956196919-3254711699621826711360037056963402.186.228.295.523*1/HBRO-LAD
7Carlos Zambrano24744622001201220-31384693751652637110024003741410.238.248.388.636*1/HCHC-MIA
8Bob Gibson241489501959197523-39597132813227444514463041587218131310.206.243.301.545*1/HSTL
9Walter Johnson242525761907192719-39936232424154794412551104191370134.235.274.342.616*1H/897WSH
10Jack Harshman21521731948196020-32258424467670657201190188800.179.294.344.638*1/H38NYG-CHW-BOS-CLE-BAL
11Dizzy Trout201047561939195724-425359619920528711059022612601872.213.260.319.579*1/HBOS-DET-BAL

Pitchers are not baseball players.

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