With the first series of interleague play wrapping up this weekend, it is fun to look at the complete ineptitude of hitting by MLB pitchers. American League pitchers at least have an excuse, only having to hit for a few games in a season. NL pitchers have no excuse to be excruciatingly bad, but they do provide for excellent entertainment. This is not a list of the actual worst hitting pitchers in baseball, just a compilation of the more entertaining videos of swings, full ABs, or anything to do with pitchers attempting to make any sort of contact.
5. A.J. Burnett IN THE FACE
After being traded from the Yankees to the Pirates, A.J. Burnett fractured his orbital socket bone eye thing while trying to bunt. The collective oooh is bad enough, but there are a few other strange things. Why is there just a line of players watching Burnett bunt? Why does nobody immediately rush to his aid? Perhaps if the Pirates could answer these questions, they could be taken seriously as an MLB organization.
4. Barry Zito’s not so masculine swing
Even walking to the plate, Barry Zito does not look like a hitter. The first two swings he takes cements that feeling. Good job by the ump brushing off the plate at 0:50; Tom Glavine really needs to see that strike zone against inept Barry Zito. Huge practice cut by Zito at 1:10 shows he’s thinking about reaching that lustrous BIG APPLE in center. Even if the baseball was the size of Mr. Met, it seems doubtful that Zito would improve. If you somehow sit through that entire video, you get to see Carlos Delgado!
3. Annnnnibbbballll Saaaaaannnnccchezzzzz
Great job slowing down this swing, as the video would be nondescript without it. This is the definition of the word flail; Sanchez has about 39 moving body parts on this swing, each moving in the wrong direction. Anibal got the second-to-last laugh, throwing a one-hit shutout against Madison Bumgarner that day. However, the Giants did win the World Series that year, perhaps inspired by the terrible swing of Sanchez.
2. Santiago Casilla does his best Henry Rowengartner
If you don’t get the Rowengartner reference, then I do not care for you. Go watch this. Casilla is literally afraid of the ball as he cowers in the corner of the batter’s box, yet Jose Ceda cannot throw him a strike. Ceda had an uneventful inning after that, and an uneventful career. Casilla has not had a plate appearance since, keeping his OBP at a solid 1.000.
1. Daniel Cabrera somehow is less skillful at hitting than pitching
I commend harfordhideout for this compilation, as the content with the music is absolutely perfect. The dreadful career numbers listed at the end of the video hold true as Cabrera has not been in the majors since 2009. He somehow worked a few walks off of two pitchers on the opposite site of the pitching spectrum, Clayton Kershaw and Hayden Penn (who always turned into a beast in MVP 2005). There is a medley of awful swings from Cabrera in this montage, and even the way he takes pitches is quite hilarious.
cover photo Brad Barr/NYT