Friday Fungoes: Most Similar Player

This week's question is pretty simple:

If your baseball skills had been good enough to get you to the majors, who would be your number one comparable player on your baseball-reference page? In other words, which actual major leaguer's style of play and skills most closely resemble the ideal version of your own when you played? And what number is on your jersey?

What does the WGOM's roster look like?

128 thoughts on “Friday Fungoes: Most Similar Player”

  1. With a quick search, I think my best comparable would be Mike Hargrove. First baseman with some doubles, but a higher OBP than SLG. I could also catch, but I don't think I would have stayed there. I had a decent throwing arm, but didn't know how to call a game, really.

  2. In junior high and high school I was a switch-hitting catcher with pretty good speed. I led my team in stolen bases a couple times before I switched to running middle distance track events and Cross Country. I didn't have much more than doubles power, however. Defensively, I was good at blocking balls, but needed more practice on controlling the running game. My arm was fine, since I frequently would play center on my "days off" from catching, but I didn't have the mechanics ironed out.

    Given that skill set, I suppose my ideal MLB career would have been pre-ankle dislocation Jason Kendall. At my physical peak in the Corps I was 5'9" and 180 lbs, so that might have been a little small for a catcher in the majors. Maybe a move to center field or second base would have been in my long term interest, or maybe I could have been something along the lines of the modern Wally Schang.

    As for my number - #9.

  3. Jimmie Foxx. I'm right-handed, so obviously couldn't be Ruth.

    More seriously: Drew Butera. I caught some in grade school, am a similar height and weight, good defense, and couldn't hit the ground if I tried.

  4. I was going to say Nick Punto, but I was a better bunter. I guess I'll go with Steve Lombardozzi. Good defensive second baseman, couldn't hit.

  5. I'm going with Willie Wilson as a tall OF with good speed and no ability to lay off pitches. When I played I was strong with my contact skills, would never take a walk, had no HR power, and stole plenty of bases.

    My number would be 13.

  6. Well, I was a range-less right fielder with a weak arm and moderate speed who hit right handed for decent power to the opposite field. I need to do some digging to think of someone, though.

      1. That would probably work. Of course, I think I described about 3 million former major league outfielders. As a lazy guy, Buchanan works for me.

        I'd go with #85, by the way.

  7. I was a left-handed pitcher with pretty good control but no velocity. I think Jamie Moyer would be a good comp for me.

    I also played first base without much power. I was a switch-hitter (more power right-handed, but more line drives left-handed), but otherwise I think overall my best comp (including my pitching) might be David McCarty. Ugh.

    I would have been #13 or #19.

  8. I was a heavy sinkerball pitcher and slugging corner IF/OFer with a big arm, but not much quickness. Either Brad Penny or Tom Brunansky/Cuddy. Number 13. I'd arm-wrestle rpz for it.

  9. I played 2B, good glove but not much of an arm (or else I'd probably have played SS or 3B). I could hit a little bit, but gap power only. I was a terrible hitter before high school, the benefit being the only way I could get on base was to walk (or get hit), so I had decent patience. I had a little speed, I liked to bunt, I liked to dive for grounders and slide head first... basically I fancied myself Chuck Knoblauch (pre-meltdown). I wore 17 for no particular reason.

  10. Delmon Young, probably. High BA, low OBP, inconsistent power. I swung at everything. I would've worn #15.

  11. I was a no power, catcher, like a surprising number of wgomers. I also got hurt probably more than I should have and grounded into a lot of double plays.

    Steve Holm?

  12. Outfielder/sometimes infielder, no power, average to poor arm, average speed, good pitch selection, and pretty good contact skills (I always walked more than I struck out).

    Gardy would probably move me to second (both in the field and in the order), although there aren't a lot of 6'5" second basemen around.

    After some time, I'll say Tony Fernandez? But slower, and worse in the field.

      1. When I get home, I'll try to match up people with actual players, get WAR/PA figures, estimate playing time, and then extrapolate out to 162 games.

  13. i was kind of all over the place, but mainly OF/1B/C. as a hitter, good OBP, good speed, but not too much power. i had pretty decent D, actually. played a lot of CF, 1B on teams with bad infields (i could make up for lots of bad throws), and decent blocking as a catcher, but not too great of an arm. i wanted to pitch, but i was no great shakes. as an OF, maybe a poor man's span. not sure where the C/1B would compare. #77 or #23 for me.

  14. I would say probably Denny Hocking, or maybe Tommy Watkins. I wore 51. One practice a coach came up to me and asked me what number I wanted. I picked 51 because it was close to the middle of the range of my options. Considering how much I rode the bench, it was probably an apt number.

  15. I was a lefty sinkerball pitcher with a good pickoff move. I'm trying to think of one of those off the top of my head, but am failing.

      1. Wonderful. He came to mind right after I posted mine. I suppose I was a pretty decent fielder at pitcher, and looking at his stats, they all fall into the type of pitcher I would've been.

        I am Burrrleigh.

  16. I played third and wore #19. I was an excellent fielder - winning our Gold Glove equivalent (for the entire league, not just my position) twice - but my hitting was bad. I walked a lot because I rarely swung. Low BA, average-to-better OBP, very fast on the bases. As for who's similar, nobody jumps to mind.

  17. Will Clark. I was a lousy hitter in baseball, but I was a pretty good softball hitter, with some power. Left handed first baseman, who could pick it. I would have worn number 9.

    1. I destroyed the GW staff softball league my last summer there. We played on the varsity softball field and I think I hit 8 homeruns in 12 games and also robbed a homerun in the playoffs. Of course, I got in a collision at home plate (a UPD officer decided to trip me) that sent me sprawling to the backstop and ripped off all the skin on my palm in the penultimate game, so I had to play the championship game without being able to close my left hand on the bat. Needless to say, that sapped my power.

  18. Great defense at 1B, moved to a avg-slightly above avg RF in HS because the other 1B was like 300 lb and that was the only place for him. Decent BA ,took a lot of walks, but my OPS was roughly equal to my OBP. I had one XBH in 1 yr of HS ball. Turned into a power hitting SS in softball somehow. Disregarding softball, I can't really think of a comparable player off the top of my head. The lack of power would lead me towards Tyner, but I'm sure my defense at first is better than his.

    My number is 28. 14 in a pinch. 14 is my rugby number and is 1/2 of my baseball number. I like the connection.

    1. My number is 28. 14 in a pinch. 14 is my rugby number and is 1/2 of my baseball number. I like the connection.

      Cause Rugby's half the sport?


      1. Rugby numbers are assigned by position. It was just a lucky coincidence the position I play wears 14. Technically, the left wing wears 11 and the right wing wears 14, but I always pick 14 regardless of which side I end up on because of it being 1/2 of 28.

  19. Catcher/MI Inf/OF. I probably didn't have a strong enough arm for SS, but the range was there, and I was always in the right position to make a play. Also, that's always my softball position, so I can fill it, given our ongoing need.

    I hit for ok for average, and was patient at the plate, but since I was small, umps took pity on the pitchers and I struck out looking on pitches over my head a lot.

    His offense is too strong for an accurate comparison, but man, could I get hit by a pitch. Kind of like Craig Biggio. Or a lesser version thereof.

    Also, I always wore #2, but I kind of hate it. I'd like to think that, given my choice of any number, I'd select Pi.

    1. How would you feel about playing next to spookypunto? It's going to be tough to be standing next to all that grittiness all the time.

  20. As an aside, what's everyone's handedness for throwing and batting? This is because, clearly, we can't have any left-handed non-1B infielders and need to be able to balance the lineup properly. If you haven't already noted, you can either reply here or your original LTE. For those that have said so, I'm going to assume you weren't a switch-hitter, unless already stated as one.

    1. Throw: Right
      Bat: S back in the day, 95% R these days. I could, at one point, hit line drives to right field from the left side and drag bunts up 1B line with decent success, but I'm sure those skills are gone now.

      1. Dido on the switch-hitting not feeling natural. I can hit the ball lefty, but my swing isn't fluid.

        1. R/R. I can switch hit against slow pitch and hit line drives lefty; I also can throw well enough lefty to play catch (which I used to do with The Boy after the Mrs. managed to lose BOTH of my gloves at the park one time, leaving me only with her lefty glove), but not well enough to play that way.

          when I was a kid, my best buddy and I used to play a lot of one-on-one Over The Line with a tennis ball. We would pretend to be the various major leaguers, so I batted lefty a lot against full-speed pitching with a tennis ball.

          You can make a tennis ball do some really funky things -- knucklers, etc. with crazy breaks.

  21. Everyone doubted my talents...I was a weak no-hitting RF with very little range & no arm.* I was a good base coach and I enjoyed BP since it's the only time I got to hit. For The WGOMers, I'd probably be next to ubes on the bench. Wore # 42. Batted Right, Throw Right.

    *There are no comps for a guy like that, he'd take up golf.

    1. Probably the highlight of my fastpitch softball career came after I had sprained my pinkie (and was forced to the bench due to health rather than performance) and I stole the other team's steal sign. They probably should have focused on turning me into a first base coach.

        1. You'll need someone with a stronger personality and better people skills to manage this lot, I'm thinking.

  22. I never played baseball in school, since I'm a farmboy who was pretty busy in the spring with planting and whatnot. I've played a lot of softball since, at pretty much every position. I'm best in a corner outfield spot (not enough top speed for true center field, not enough quickness for infield), and I've got a pretty good arm.
    I've got decent power for softball, but I've never tried to hit a baseball other than some batting cage practice so I have the feeling I wouldn't hit worth a crap in baseball.
    I have no idea who a good comparison would be- pick some quad-A type benchwarming outfielder with a low OPS, it's probably close enough.


  23. Never played ball in HS, but in 25 years of softball I love playing 1B and field pretty well there, but (until the last few years) was stuck in the OF, mostly right centerfield / rover - okay arm but good accuracy. I also have played a little second and catcher in a pinch, but I avoid the quick reflext left side of the IF (no range). I had good power back in the day but less now; I can switch hit but very rarely bat lefthanded. And I would always choose #13 if it was available.

    Beats me who that comps to...

    1. basically, Rhu, that comps to me!!!111one111!!!

      In grad school, I was the cleanup hitter and catch-everything 1b on our IM team. Our team motto: "Don't Throw The Ball Unless You Have To". We learned quickly to focus on getting the easy outs -- throw it to the first baseman, don't try to turn the double play or get the lead runner, because we'll just screw it up!

      On sundays, we had regular cookout/softball games in the department, where I got to play SS or CF (and throw fools out trying to tag from 3b on short flyballs). I did a lot of switch-hitting in those games, because we had a very short LF porch (leading to a cliff, leading eventually to the beach; we had a limited budget for softballs).

      Ah, to be young and mobile again....

      1. No, you lost me at "SS"

        We played for many years at a ballpark with 250' outfield and plywood walls with chainlink/chicken wire above that, and my move was to take a fly that drops off the wire and turn and throw them out going into second base. Also loved the (attempted) first-to-third runners on grounders to RF when I played there as well. One hop and on the mark.

  24. I was a good fielding first baseman / catcher who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, but when I did make contact I could crush the ball. I struck out far more than I walked, and had zero patience at the plate. Matt LeCroy springs to mind. I wore the Deuce - Deuce.

    1. Now, having actually looked at his B-R page I see that Mr. LeCroy was a much better hitter than I was.

  25. I was a sprinter that played baseball. Not much of an arm and a poor judge of flyballs. I played 2b and of.

    I can't think of too many speedy 2b/of players so i'll go with Alan Wiggins.

  26. I have to say, I love how OBP-heavy our lineup seems to be, and it sounds like we have a pretty good defense (and positional depth!), too. Hopefully our pitching staff can shoulder a Deadball Era innings load...

    1. Well if I'm the SS I'll do a great job of stopping ground balls and letting the runner reach first anyway.

      Also, we'd better only face left handed pitching.

    2. I seem to recall I could work the count before grounding out. I had a ~15 pitch plate appearance once. Best part was that it was against the (for me) hated classmate with a "killer" curve. Yeah right dude, it wasn't that great.

  27. I'll be the Michael Cuddyer (RP) of this club. I pitched one inning once because I was the best arm remaining in a blowout. We got out of the inning with minimal damage. I also do some slowpitch pitching.

      1. If there was anything to be learned from the 2011 Twins, it's that major league teams don't need pitching to win 60 games!

    1. Convenient you started a new thread though. Anyone else do any pitching either as a one-time event or as a backup?

      I also pitched some in Little League. Had a perfect game going for two or three innings until the sun lowered enough to shine into my eyes and give me a headache. Then I beaned some girl in the head and lost it. I think that was the last time I pitched..

      1. Then I beaned some girl in the head and lost it.

        this made me chuckle. anyway, i briefly mentioned above, but i pitched a little bit in younger leagues. didn't have any real stuff, but i could mostly get it over the plate. i guess you could say i pitched to contact.

      2. In a pinch, I've pitched slowpitch before. As the team's union representative, I can lobby for the option to deploy a pitching machine once our pitchers are exhausted.

        1. I've never pitched slow-pitch, but "tee" is where I'd be.

          I once struck out someone in SB practice. High arch. Behind the back. Yeah, growing up, my brothers and I used to practice that.

      3. I was our go-to pitcher in slow pitch, and pitched exactly one inning in 8th grade. I gave up 1 hit, walked 2, and managed to wiggle out of the inning without allowing a run.

      4. I pitched all the time in practice, but I pitched one inning in an actual game. We were playing an awful team and I had been jokingly bugging the coach to let me throw all game. Eventually he was just like "fine, whatever, just shut up and do it." I struck out the side. I remember feeling really embarrassed for them, and not all that proud of myself.

        1. Although really, I don't know why I wasn't a pitcher in the first place. I had a strong arm, and I was a pretty lousy position player.

        1. You should consider offering your services to Justin Verlander and the rest of the Tigers' pitchers.

      5. I had one year in youth baseball where I pitched regularly. It was a year or two after we were allowed to start throwing curveballs, and I had one that effectively changed speeds, but didn't break much. That was enough to fool people for that year, but then other people figured out how to throw curveballs that actually moved a bit, and my moment in the sun was over.

  28. This is great. I was a pretty slick fielder at SS and 3B with a lot of range and a decent arm. As a bat, I was a top of the order righthander with good contact and plenty of walks. But I had no power. Never hit the ball over the fence in a game once. Not once. Never. But I'm not bitter.

    I did pitch though, so maybe that would be my best roll on this team. I had a wicked curve ball that I could throw for strikes. But my arm would inevitably start to hurt after a couple of innings of throwing mostly benders. And I wouldn't ever admit my arm was sore. Dumb. I could throw middle relief until eventually having to go under the knife for season-ending surgery.

  29. I had serious lack of all five tools. I played RF in T-Ball in Kindergarten until the first year of pitching machine (third grade). RF because very few Tee-ballers could hit it out there, so I didn't have to worry about actual fielding, other than running after a grass-slowed ball that made it past several infielders. No reason that my skills couldn't have translated to LF.

    If third-base coach is still available, I'd probably be less harmful there than elsewhere.
    Scott Ullger hit .190/.247/.241 in 85 PAs. If only he had played corner OF, he'd definitely be my most similar.

    I also wouldn't suck at Bullpen Catcher, so maybe Nate Dammann.

    Had I made it to the bigs, I probably would have stuck with whatever number I got at my first spring training invite. So something ridiculously high, but not cool. 67, 68, 74, something like that. But from that point on, I would have requested to keep it wherever else I went.

    Bats R/Throws R

    I wish I could say that I was a poor lefty pitcher, or even a poor righty pitcher, perfect for forgettable relief. Yet I must have been exposed to Blass disease in utero, because I still couldn't hit the side of a barn, even if I was standing in the middle of it. HPR probably has as much skill now as I do, but I can't help him get better at batting, because I can't throw him the ball.

  30. I was the ultimate utility player. I have played every position on the field, including pitcher and catcher. My best position, or my favorite position, is probably 2nd base. I bat right-handed with very little power and little speed, although my lack of height and round shape makes what little speed I have a little surprising. I love to slap it to right field. I battle my tail off and am aggressive on the basepaths. I also have been a player/manager several times, so I figure my best comp would be Gardy himself. Then again, maybe I should pitch, because I seem to remember many hours spent in a basement throwing a tennis ball against the wall developing Viola's changeup (only from the right side), Blyleven's curveball, and Berenguer's fastball, so we should be set.

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