Oct. 18, 2022, 3:20 p.m. ET
Oct. 18, 2022, 3:20 p.m. ETCredit…Dylan Buell/Getty Images
It’s pretty exciting to reach on the ballpark for a playoff game and see the likes of Aaron Judge, Nestor Cortes, Andrés Giménéz and José Ramírez within the lineups.
Then there’s Austin Hedges, the Cleveland Guardians starting catcher for Games 1, 2 and three. Hedges was the worst hitter in baseball this season.
Hedges is understood for being a wonderful defensive catcher, but he can’t really hit. This season his batting average was .163. He had only 25 walks, for an on-base percentage of .241. He hit seven homers, but had just 4 doubles and no triples for a scarcely credible .248 slugging percentage. In contrast, Yankee starting catcher Jose Trevino, hardly the team’s best hitter, had figures of .248/.283/.388.
Hedges’s on-base plus slugging was .489, the bottom of any player with at the very least 300 plate appearances this season, and tied for the second lowest figure of the century. (Chone Figgins had a .484 O.P.S. for the Seattle Mariners in 2011.)
Although he had an honest yr with the bat in 2018, Hedges, 30, has put up numbers just like these every season since, and if anything they’re slipping.
To this point within the postseason, he’s 1 for 13 with a single, although he does have three walks.
There actually have been loads of so-so players who’ve emerged to get big hits within the playoffs. Possibly Hedges can join them today. But when he does, he will probably be defying the numbers.