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Best hitting pitcher

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  • Best hitting pitcher

    Who do you think are among the best hitting pitchers of all time? (Excluding Babe Ruth)?

    I'd say Wes Ferrell (.280 career BA, 38 HRs) has to be up there.

  • #2
    Newcombe had some good seasons.
    Baseball articles you might not like but should read.


    • #3
      Wes Ferrell's career EqA is .261. The average hitter has an EqA of .260. Don Newcombe has a career .253 EqA. Walter Johnson's is .225.

      Mike Hampton's career EqA is .224. His EqA was .276 in 1999.
      Last edited by BoSox Rule; 07-28-2005, 09:59 AM.


      • #4
        "best hitting pitcher" is an oxymoron. Or at least a very relative term. The only guys who were pitchers and truly good hitters were 19th century ballplayers like Monte Ward and Al Spalding. But that was a different game. In the 20th century, Bob Lemon was regarded as one of the best hitting pitchers in the game. Well, he did hit 37 home runs but his lifetime BA was .232 - and that is considered a "good hitting" pitcher. Warren Spahn hit 35 home runs in his career - and batted .194. Other guys who were considered OK for a pitcher were Drysdale and Gibson from the 60's. .186 and .206 respectively, but for the 60's that wasn't as bad as it would seem today. Earl Wilson was another 60's pitcher I recall who could hit once in a while. There have been others that I can't recall off hand. Nowadays, if a pitcher can lay down a bunt, he's considered a good batter (I didn't say "hitter").


        • #5
          What I find interesting with pitchers is that their hitting can be all over the map. I just checked out Mike Hampton's batting stats:

          career: .239/.290/.349

          That's a pretty average stat line for a pitcher. However, he's had some truly outstanding seasons

          1999 (Hou): .311/.373/.432, 23/74, 10 R, 3 doubles, 3 triples, 10 RBI
          2001 (Col): .291/.309/.582, 23/79, 20 R, 2 doubles, 7 HR, 16 RBI
          2002 (Col): .344/.354/.516, 22/64, 9 R, 2 doubles, 2 HR, 5 RBI

          Then in 2003 he hit .183 and in 2004 he hit .172. It seems opposing teams realized that Hampton can hit a fastball and started throwing him breaking ball instead.
          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis


          • #6
            Walter Johnson hit a .433 season through 97 at-bats in 1925


            • #7
              Bob Lemon is the best hitting pitcher of all time. He had an awesome hitting season in 1949, with 7 home runs in 108 at-bats. He actually came up as an infielder, and through his career the Indians experimented with him in the outfield.


              • #8
                Warren Spahn was half-decent as a hitter.

                His BA is probably below average for a pitcher but 35 HR, 189 RBI, and 57 2b is pretty nice.
                Last edited by E.Banks#14; 07-28-2005, 11:50 AM.
                A lot of people say this honor validates my career, but I didn't work hard for validation. I didn't play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel. I played it right because that's what you're supposed to do, play it right and with respect. If this validates anything, it's that learning how to bunt and hit and run and turning two is more important than knowing where to find the little red light at the dug out camera. - Ryne Sandberg


                • #9
                  I recall a George Herman Ruth being a fair hitting pitcher.


                  • #10
                    Most of the Atlanta Braves pitchers of the 1990's were fair hitters.


                    • #11
                      Jason Marquis, if he can stay consistent enough to be a regular starter for the Cards, is also a pitcher with a bat to watch.

                      He was awful his first years in the majors, hitting .032 and .132 in 2001 and 2002. Went to the minors for most of 2003, then came back up and hit .292 last year (21 for 72) and is hitting .333/.357/.519 this year! (18 hits in 54 ABs, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR). Must have spent some time in the batting cage in AAA....


                      • #12

                        I highly recommend this for those truely interested in what type of a hitting pitcher Wes Ferrell was.


                        • #13
                          After ruining his arm in 1915, Joe Wood came back as an outfielder and hit well enough to hang on for another 4 or 5 years. Does anyone recall if there were other ex-pitchers who made comebacks as position players?


                          • #14

                            there was Reb Russell who had an amazing season with the Pirates, after Pitching with the White Sox
                            Doc Crandall of the Giants played some 2b later in his career
                            Johnny Cooney, hero of Brooklyn was a P earlier
                            Then George Sisler who many forget was a P first

                            Alot of other mediocre pitchers went to the field, I just can't think of many of them

                            Then alot of deadballer P'ers also PH or played the field, like Hooks Wiltse, Ottos Hess and some Oriole/Highlander P I can't think of

                            Out of position players, I can only recall that Bob E Smith of the old Braves started out as a SS and then Pitched the rest of his career


                            • #15
                              Ken Brett

                              Its hard to say what he would've done with so few at bats. Even great hitters need more than a few at bats to show how good a hitter they were.
                              In the 1920's, Harry Heilmann led the AL with a .364 average. In addition, he averaged 220 hits, 45 doubles, 12 triples, 16 homers, 110 runs, and 130 RBI.


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