Worst player in baseball every year

How would you figure out who is the worst player in baseball for every year? Looking at the lowest WAR is a good method.

At first, you’d think a bunch of no-name or middle-tier guys would be on this list. But instead, you get big names like Albert Pujols (2017), Prince Fielder (2016), and Victor Martinez (2015).

2017 Topps Opening Day #140 Albert Pujols

How bad do you have to be to achieve the worst player in baseball? The worst WAR ranges from -1.5 to -2.6 in the past ten years.

YearNameTeamPATotal WAR
2022Robinson ChirinosBAL220-1.6
2021Jackie Bradley Jr.MIL428-1.5
2020Jo AdellLAA132-1.4
2019Jeff MathisTEX244-2.1
2018Chris DavisBAL522-2.6
2017Albert PujolsLAA636-1.9
2016Prince FielderTEX370-1.9
2016Ramón FloresMIL289-1.9
2015Victor MartinezDET485-2
2014Jarrod SaltalamacchiaMIA435-2
2014A.J. EllisLAD347-2
2014Michael ChoiceTEX280-2
2013Rob BrantlyMIA243-2.1
2012Rod BarajasPIT361-2.4

The beauty of this system results in players who play a lot. This list doesn’t include players who play for 30 games and then sit on the bench or sent down to the minors. These are legit everyday players.

If you were a lower-tier player performing this badly, you’d probably no longer be in the lineup. But a bigger name has to be in the lineup—especially if you are getting paid big bucks.

The player with the worst WAR so far this season in 2023? José Abreu of the Astros with -1.2.

2023 Topps Big League 
#217 - José Abreu - Houston Astros

Didn’t the Astros sign him for three years? Ouch. He’s 36 years old and finished 17th in the MVP voting last year. He tanked really fast. We are 40% done with the season, so he’s projected to get -2.99

At some point, I’d like to pull the complete list of worst players every year. Also, sort it by league and by team. I’d love to see a list of all the worst Cubs yearly.

The worst WAR on the Cubs so far this year is Trey Mancini with -0.7. (projected -1.74)

*I’m using FanGraphs WAR, because it gives the full list, so I can easily view the worst WAR with their site.

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2 thoughts on “Worst player in baseball every year”

    1. I analyzed the worst offensive WAR every year. The Cubs are well-represented on this list.
      2014 Nate Schierholtz (-1.78)
      2009 Aaron Miles (-1.23)
      2006 Ronny Cedeno (-1.61)
      2005 Corey Patterson (-1.19)
      1976 George Mitterwald (-1.53)
      1972 Randy Hundley (-1.47)
      1917 Pickles Dillhoefer (-1)
      1916 Eddie Mulligan (-1.09)
      1894 Jiggs Parrott (-2.53)
      1893 Jiggs Parrott (-1.32)

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