Rant Sports MLB Top 50 Players of 2014: No 38 David Ortiz

David Ortiz

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is one of the batters that opposing pitchers fear the most when he steps up to the plate. This fear, and respect, was earned from a career of absolutely mashing whatever a pitcher threw at him. Ortiz had a down year a few seasons ago, and people wondered if it was the end of the line for the potential Hall of Famer. After the season he just had, specifically the performance he had in the World Series, he put a stop to any potential questions about his performance.

In the Series, Ortiz was borderline unstoppable. In 25 plate appearances against the St. Louis Cardinals, Ortiz hit for a ridiculous .688/.760/1.188 slash line with two home runs. Perhaps more impressive than his slugging percentage was his ability to differentiate a ball from a strike in the Series. In those 25 plate appearances, Ortiz walked eight times and struck out just once. His World Series OPS was just a bit below 2.000!

In the 2013 regular season, Ortiz wasn’t quite the superhero he was in the Series, but he was still a tough out. In 600 regular season plate appearances, Ortiz hit for a .309/.395/.564 slash line with 30 home runs and 104 RBI. He also, much to my surprise, stole a career high four bases without being caught a single time.

For some reason, some folks actually question whether or not Ortiz is worthy of being voted into the Hall of Fame, because he doesn’t play a position on the field. Guess what? He is a great hitter. If the rules allow for a designated hitter, then they shouldn’t be looked upon negatively in terms of Hall of Fame worthiness. Ortiz has a career .549 slugging percentage and 138 wRC+ to go with 431 home runs. Don’t tell me he isn’t worthy of a Hall of Fame vote.

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