In yesterday’s post we had a little fun with the TTO (Three True Outcomes) statistic. TTO% measures the chances a hitters AB will end in a home run, strikeout, or walk. Or, to put it another way, it celebrates hitters who do not put the ball in play.
In today’s 2nd half post on TTO, we’ll look at the opposite end of things. Giants hitters in the San Francisco era who’ve posted the lowest TTO% scores. These are the players who put the ball in play a ton. They’re unlikely to walk, strikeout, or hit home runs. I’ve used the same rules from the previous post on how to limit my sample, if you’re interested in them or want to brush up on TTO a little more, I’d suggest that you check it out.
Bottom-10 SF Giants TTO Hitters (1958-2008)
Topping the list with the lowest TTO% score is Jesus Alou with a score of 10.35. One of the Alou brothers, Jesus played with the Giants from 1963-1968. Over six seasons and 2,242 at-bats, Jesus never drew more than 14 walks in a year with the Giants. He also never struck out more than 40 times in a season either. His Giants career saw him total up 18 HRs but mostly he was a contact oriented hitter that didn’t walk, strike out, or hit for power. Jesus Alou is the definition of a low TTO hitter. During his time period, batting average was highly valued and that probably helped him keep a job. Jesus never hit .300 with the Giants — it just seems weird to write that — but he did post a decent clip in 1965 when he hit: .298/.317/.398
Our list includes some modern Giants hackers like: Neifi Perez (#3), Bengie Molina (#4), and Deivi Cruz (#9). Perez was just awful at hitting and I won’t go into detail too much, but his 2003 season with the Giants was painful to watch. In ’03 he hit: .256/.285/.348 in 328 ABs. His OBP should have been outlawed. I can’t complain about Molina because when you consider his position, he’s a good hitter, but he swings at everything. Deivi Cruz has always been one of my favorite brief Giants. His 2004 season with the Giants saw him hit: .292/.322/.431 in 397 ABs. He didn’t hit many HRs, but he did hit 30 doubles. Not bad at all.
Going through this list, every time I look at Hal Lainer I’m amazed that he played for so long in the majors. He’s #5 on our list with a TTO% of 15.14. Lanier played 8 seasons with the Giants from 1964-1971. The shortstop / second baseman just couldn’t hit. Over those 8 seasons, Lanier accumulated 3,514 at-bats and hit an overall: .229/.255/.277. He also hit into a ton of double plays, 129 in total during his time with the Giants. In 1965 Lainer was beaned and as a result, develop epilepsy afterwards, yet he played 8 additional seasons.
Jesus Alou isn’t the only Alou to work his way onto the list, Matty lands at #6 for his TTO% of 15.54. In his 6 seasons with the Giants from 1960-1965 Alou 1,048 at-bats, or about 174 per season. Hitting-wise, he was nearly a copy of Jesus in that he didn’t walk, strike out, or hit home runs. Matty’s career with the Giants was unspectacular, but in 1966 he was traded to the Pirates and under the instruction of hitting coach Harry “the Hat” Walker Alou became a very productive hitter for the Pirates over the next 4 seasons. From 1966-1970 Alou hit: .327/.360/.398 with the Bucs, and in 1966 he won the NL batting title when he hit: .342/.373/.421 — Felipe Alou finished second.
Finishing the list is the great Tito Fuentes! Fuentes played 9 seasons with the Giants from 1965-1974. He was third in Rookie of the Year voting in 1966 but other than that, his play was wasn’t very noteworthy. Fuentes enjoyed a long career as a second baseman and utility infielder.
As a bonus, I ran the Top-20 individual seasons ranked by highest TTO% scores. I limited it to hitters with at least 100 ABs in a sesaon.
Ahh, Rob Deer. I always forget that he started his career with the Giants. It’s fitting that he’s #1 for highest TTO% in a season with the Giants. Also, we get a Bobby Estalella sighting. Andres Galarraga was always one of my favorite Giants. Great platoon player. I remember him hitting some monster home runs.