Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Vernon Wells is having such a spectacularly awful season that during his team’s recent road trip to Toronto, he raided his former team’s video library in an attempt to find out exactly what’s happened to his formerly not as bad swing.

According to V-Dub:

2006 is the year I’m concentrating on. That was the year my average and power were where they should be. I’ve changed stances from my hands to my feet, and it’s changed my approach. My mechanics have been out of whack at different times.

In 2006, Vernon Wells was only 27 years old. He’s now 32, and he looks like it. If it were only a matter of studying video to relearn the mechanics that found him success, perhaps he should have tried this method for improvement in 2007, 2008, 2009, or heck even his resurgent year in 2010, which was still two wins above replacement less than his 2006 season.

But before V-Dub looks too deeply into his past, he might want to consider what changes to his mechanics might mean to the pursuit of a record. Right now, Wells’ .236 OBP is the third worst among qualified batters since 1920. Only Hal Lanier for the 1968 Giants and Andres Thomas for the 1989 Braves finished a season in which they qualified for the batting title and had a worse on base percentage than Wells has right now.

ZiPS currently projects 142 more plate appearances this season for Wells, which means he’d have to get on base less than 26 more times the rest of the way out in order to get lower than Lanier’s shockingly bad .222 on base percentage in ’68. A .176 OBP is bad, even by Wells’ standards, right?

Wrong. Over his last 80 plate appearances, Wells has put up a .171 OBP. And so if Wells can maintain his current play at the plate this record is very much in play.

After earning $23 million this season, the Angels will still owe Wells $63 million over three years. So, you know, even if he doesn’t do it this season, there’s still 2012, 2013 and 2014 for Wells to break the record.

Comments (20)

  1. Yeah, right. Bad season, my ass. He has 17 HR’s and 46RBIs, both outrank your special friend Edwin Encarnacion. Vernon might not have a high batting average, but he’s producing way better than Edwin.

  2. Dear Grady, your are either a master of sarcasm or incredibly stupid.

  3. Who cares about avg./HR/RBI…this is a story about his terrible OBP.

  4. RBIs are irrelevant. It just means that his teammates are getting on base more.
    Batting average isn’t mentioned at all in this article either. We’re talking OBP. It’s different, y’know.

  5. i’ll let you guys figure it out.

  6. Sarcasm, hooray!

  7. Grady,
    I really hope you are attempting some form of macabre sarcasm because if not you may just be one of the most moronic people I have ever seen on the internet (and presumably in my entire life). Edwin has VASTLY better numbers in essentially every relevant hitting statistic summed up by an OPS nearly 200 points greater than Vernon (EE .803 OPS; VW .611).

    How could you possibly read this article outlining Vernon’s historically bad season and say he’s producing better than Edwin? Oh wait, I forgot that you are either oblivious regarding REAL baseball statistics, a very unintelligent person, or some mix of the two; can’t be quite sure yet…

  8. Grady is good people. Just joking around I’m sure.

  9. Grady just forgot to borrow the name of our friendly old-school manager, is all.

  10. Vernon does have more taters tho.

    • they are mashed taters though… he barely peels them anymore.

      Vernon used to mash those taters good, but I’m pretty sure he’s only good for the creamed corn now…

  11. no grady is right. how is vw driving him in then if he can’t hit?

    dustin always said if your babip is low you are unlucky. vernon’s babip is .203 so he must be unlucky. it’s not his fault.

    • Grouchy couldn’t troll like grady on his finest, trolliest day. That must eat him up inside. Sigh, another tearful night of sorrowful self-service for poor grouchy. Breaks my heart, really.

  12. I miss that old bastard. He had all the moxy you need to be great.

  13. V. Wells leads the league in being a good clubhouse guy.

  14. That’s a pretty decent troll there Grady. They ate it up.

  15. It is shocking what has happened to ex Jays & soon to be ex Jays this year.

    Overbay was DFA’d. Wells & Rios are have among the lowest OPS’s for players in the MLB
    & Aaron Hill is close to joining them.

    If the Jays had all these players in our regular lineup, the team would be the weakest in the league on offense.

    How is it possible that 4 of the players in the starting lineup of the 2009 Jays are so bad.

    i demand an article from ESPN by Keating & Nelson!

  16. Haha! Grady, you’re funny. No, really, that was great. I had a garbage mishap while taking it out to the curb and I’ve been a little grumpy since. Not anymore!!

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