Top Free Agent Hitters By OPS+

The 2011 MLB season is a little more than a month complete, so let's take a quick look and see which free agent positions players have been the most productive at the plate using OPS+

  • Lance Berkman, Cardinals – .392/.462/.775 (239 OPS+) – Puma's been the best hitter in the NL so far, enjoying a career resurgence in St. Louis.
  • Jeff Francoeur, Royals – .303/.343/.598 (163 OPS+) – Ben Nicholson-Smith wrote about the success of Dayton Moore's free agent signings yesterday.
  • Russell Martin, Yankees – .276/.382/.540 (154 OPS+) – The former Dodger has already hit more homers this year (six) than he did last year (five).
  • Paul Konerko, White Sox – .288/.358/.517 (140 OPS+) – Konerko didn't change teams, but he was on the open market and several other teams had interest.
  • Jack Hannahan, Indians – .264/.350/.440 (130 OPS+) – The only player here signed to a minor league deal, Hannahan's been worth every penny for the surging Tribe.
  • Pat Burrell, Giants – .239/.356/.443 (118 OPS+) – Another re-signing, at least one other team had interest in Pat The Bat this offseason.
  • Melky Cabrera, Royals – .285/.308/.453 (114 OPS+) -The Melkman has delivered for KC so far, giving Lorenzo Cain time to hone his skills in Triple-A.
  • Johnny Damon, Rays – .261/.292/.435 (107 OPS+) – Has stepped in as DH and been an above-average contributor after Manny Ramirez called it quits.
  • Adrian Beltre, Rangers – .238/.279/.460 (102 OPS+) – He's been a little inconsistent at the plate, but that brilliant defense at the hot corner is still very much there.

That's it, just eight free agents from this past offseason have been better than league average with the stick so far this season. Jayson Werth and Rod Barajas are just below that mark; they each check in at 99 OPS+. Orlando Cabrera and John Buck aren't far behind them at 97 and 96 OPS+, respectively.

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15 Comments on "Top Free Agent Hitters By OPS+"

4 years 3 months ago

Berkman has always been a Hall of Fame Baseball player.
I am glad he is in a better organization so he has a chance to be recognized again. I think it was hard on him and Oswalt to play for such a Stupid owner.

4 years 3 months ago

Although he may not finish his career with many gaudy numbers (3000 hits, 500 HRs, etc.) his current career OPS of .959 (19th alltime) should get him in.

4 years 3 months ago

“Although he may not finish his career with many gaudy numbers (3000 hits, 500 HRs, etc.)”

He’s 35 with 1700+ hits and 330+ HR…I think it’s pretty definite that he will not finish with those magic numbers. As for his HOF chances…Big Puma is a very good player and is having a tremendous year thus far. However, he is a borderline HOF.

“…his current career OPS of .959 (19th alltime) should get him in.”

Jeff Bagwell was a much better player yet only received 41.7% on his first year on the ballot. Berkman would have to put up a few more great years to get in. Right now, he is on the other side of the door!

4 years 3 months ago

This list is proof that you need to build through the draft.

4 years 3 months ago

I have all ideas that half of those guys are going to drop off pretty hard eventually.

4 years 3 months ago

Most of those guys will fall off eventually. Beltre will only get better though. And that’s great because even with the low average, he’s still been productive.

4 years 3 months ago

Agreed. As long as he can hit Texas 25 or so HR, Play GG defense and show that cannon of an arm at 3B they will get a decent deal with him.

4 years 3 months ago

I think Berkman is juiced. It’s just too similar to Manny’s first season at dodgers. 35 yrs old enjoying a career high season after career low year? It smells.

4 years 3 months ago

Smells like the only reason his numbers fell off in the first place was because of knee issues and even then his OBP was elite. The guy has been raking forever except a brief drop in slugging due to knee issues and now that his knee is better he’s hitting for power again.

4 years 3 months ago

If there was a dislike button, I would use it now.

One of the best hitters of the past decade has a bad season because of a knee injury, comes back and has an excellent month and you say he’s roided up?

The worst thing about the steroid era wasn’t the fact that records fell and games took four hours. The worst thing is that now, whenever a player in his 30’s gets off to a good start, we have to deal with people throwing around steroid allegations. We heard it with Ibanez in 2009, and now it begins with Berkman.

Was he on roids in May 2008, when, as a 32 year old, he had a .471/.553/.856 line? Was he on roids in 2006, when he had an OPS over 1.000 in every month except for May?

4 years 3 months ago

Geez…the biggest thing I take away from this post is the obvious inadequacies of OPS +. When you’re dropping a sub .300 OBP and you’re above average…something is wrong. Is there a wOBA+ stat yet?

4 years 3 months ago

So Russell Martin moving from Dodger Stadium to Yankee Stadium, and beginning to hit more homeruns, is news? The sky is blue too.

4 years 3 months ago

He had a good first month last year, too. Then his production fell off culminating in a 398 OPS in July.

4 years 3 months ago

Francoeur is only 27 and he might have figured out his problems. That being said, his history is to be a streaky player, and to end up with an OPS+ under 100.

Melky will probably also regress to a sub-100 OPS+ and end up on the bench if Lorenzo Cain is who they think he is.

Regardless, right now the Royals look like geniuses for picking up a couple of somewhat talented but flawed guys.

4 years 3 months ago

April/March: 284/355/531

May: 211/262/274

June: 310/337/464

July: 132/192/206

Aug: 233/306/356

Sept/Oct: 340/357/491

Good start, bad May, okay June, horrific June (not skewed by low PA either), Bad Aug, Good Sept/Oct (but very few walks).