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Monday, December 21, 2020

Howie Kendrick retires after 15 MLB seasons

In 2019, Kendrick was the MVP of the National League Championship Series and hit the go-ahead homer in Game 7 of the World Series to help the Nationals win the franchise’s first title.

Kendrick, 37, hit .275 with two home runs and 14 RBIs during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season for the Nationals. The team declined his $6.5 million mutual option for 2021 after the season, and he received a $2.25 million buyout from Washington.

The veteran infielder went on the injured list with a left hamstring injury on Sept. 9 and was shut down for the season. In four seasons with the Nats, Kendrick hit .316 with 30 home runs and 113 RBIs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 21, 2020 at 10:27 PM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: howie kendrick

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   1. Schtoopo Posted: December 21, 2020 at 11:28 PM (#5995439)
Jeez, I'm old.

And the system which held Kendry Morales, Brandon Wood, Casey Kotchman, Howie Kendrick, Dallas MacPhearson, Eric Aybar, and Garrett Anderson held so much promise and ended up with virtually nothing to show for it.
   2. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: December 21, 2020 at 11:35 PM (#5995441)
It's ood to include Anderson in that group considering he is much older than those guys and not really part of the same system.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 21, 2020 at 11:43 PM (#5995444)

And the system which held Kendry Morales, Brandon Wood, Casey Kotchman, Howie Kendrick, Dallas MacPhearson, Eric Aybar, and Garrett Anderson held so much promise and ended up with virtually nothing to show for it.

I didn't realize the Angels have won just two playoff series (2005, 2009) since their title in 2002, and they haven't even won a playoff game in over a decade.

Kendrick was always a fun guy to root for, never a great player, but he seemed to to a bit of everything well. He became darn near lovable in the '19 World Series.
   4. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: December 22, 2020 at 12:43 AM (#5995447)
My son's favorite player and certainly one of mine. He was my favorite type of player - good-contact, line-drive gap hitter who didn't strike out a ton and was a good fielder and baserunner. And he always seemed like a great teammate on those Angel teams (and that Nationals team). His success in the playoffs for the Nats was bittersweet for this Angel fan, but I'm glad he got a ring.
   5. Adam Starblind Posted: December 22, 2020 at 07:45 AM (#5995452)
   6. Astroenteritis Posted: December 22, 2020 at 11:32 AM (#5995507)
Easy guy to root for, and his World Series memory is something most players don't have; a game seven heroic moment.
   7. puck Posted: December 22, 2020 at 12:15 PM (#5995517)
Wow, I figured he'd give it another season or two. Nice career.
   8. Rally Posted: December 22, 2020 at 12:37 PM (#5995522)
As an Angel fan who lives near DC, it was fun rooting for him through the 2019 playoffs. In some ways Howie fell short of what I expected/hoped for from him as he came up through the Angels system, but in other ways he was exactly who we thought he was.

I never expected a HOF level player, but thought he'd be another Bill Madlock. Madlock won four batting titles. In 2006 I would have thought the question on Howie's future was not if he would win a batting title, but how many. Howie didn't win one, though in 2019 his average (.344) was higher than the champion, just didn't have enough PA to qualify. While he fell short of Madlock on offense (OPS+ 123-109), he made up for it by turning into a very good defender, at least through his years with the Angels. This was a nice surprise as the reports on Howie coming up were not very high on his glove. Madlock on the other hand was an awful defender, and the two players rate similarly in WAR (35 for Howie, 38 for Bill).

One more note on Howie vs. Bill. Both players are listed at 5'11. Howie is listed at 225 pounds, Madlock 180. This is just an artifact about how these numbers get updated (or not). Howie was listed at 180 in the 2005 Baseball America prospect guide. He put on pounds through his career and ended up around 225. As someone who watched Madlock play, I can state there is no way he was only 180 at the end of his career. Listed weight for most historical players is probably what they weighed when they first signed.
   9. caspian88 Posted: December 22, 2020 at 12:46 PM (#5995523)
I remember thinking the Angels were going to be dominant, when reading the prospect guides from 2002-2004. As a Bay Area sports fan, the thought did not appeal to me.

Kendrick was the player who frightened me the most - his batting averages for his first five years in the minor leagues were .318, .368, .363, .367, and .369, and he was fast and had a little power. I didn't really appreciate his minor league environment, though, or his relatively lacking plate discipline and modest power. He did wind up hitting .294, so he was hardly a bust, but my teenage mind was expecting Rod Carew.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: December 22, 2020 at 03:09 PM (#5995552)
Not that we should trust my 45-yo memories but the young Madlock was a pretty fit guy. He definitely got portly and the bumblebee Pirate look was nearly as silly on him as Stargell, sort of an early version of Gwynn. A solid hitter until the end but I guess not really good enough to be worth a roster spot as a part-time DH/1B. Kendrick is a solid comp for Madlock, adjusting for era.
   11. Rally Posted: December 22, 2020 at 03:43 PM (#5995562)
Adjusting for the trends of player selection may make Madlock and Kendrick look even more similar. Madlock has an edge in OPS+, but when he came up teams were still playing guys like Enzo Hernandez, Don Kessinger, Roger Metzger, and Tim Foli. Had teams worked harder to put good bats in the middle infield the leaguewide offense would be much improved, so Madlock's OPS+ would go down.

Assuming teams were not completely irrational in player selection, that group of weak hitting middle infielders must have been playing good defense. Had they been replaced by better hitters with poorer gloves, then Madlock's defense would rate a bit better in comparison. I see he mostly played third, just 183 games at 2B, but this still applies indirectly. One way to replace the weak hitting shortstops would be to move the better fielding 3B over to short - so the bar for 3B defense drops and Madlock looks better by comparison.
   12. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 22, 2020 at 04:14 PM (#5995573)
Madlock's move to second base was unusual in that it came six years into his career, when he was a two-time batting champion not noted for his defense at third. The Giants moved him to second in 1978 to allow Darrell Evans, who had been playing out of position in left field, to play third (Willie McCovey was at first, so Evans couldn't play there). Madlock had never played second base in the majors until his last six games of the 1977 season, in late September, which was clearly a tryout for their plans in 1978. It was regarded as controversial at the time, and after Madlock was traded to the Pirates in the middle of 1979, he went back to third and never played another game at second.
   13. Ron J Posted: December 22, 2020 at 04:21 PM (#5995576)
Last year, they capped an incredible twenty-two-year series by virtually giving away Bill Madlock, a lifetime .320 hitter, because he didn’t like playing second base. This was understandable; bears don’t like to roller-skate, and the pope rarely appears on game shows. Playing second was not among Madlock’s formidable talents.

-- Bill James
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: December 22, 2020 at 04:37 PM (#5995579)
Howie shares 320nd place in AVG at .294 with 16 players including Jose Abreu, Steve Garvey, Frank Robinson, Tommy Davis, Tim Raines, and Lance Berkman. He is in the middle of the three-man .2936 contingent with Davis and Raines - good company!

also, not that BB-Ref is fast or anything, but he already has been bounced from the "Active Average Leaderboard."

yesterday he was 18th (including Pedroia - who has 0, 21, and 13 PA in the past three seasons, going 3-for-31 with a walk). half of those are .300 or better.

also I'm still giggling at "Madlock" and "180 pounds."

here he is as one of "Topps Drake's Big Hitters" - indeed

#Yodels #RingDings #DevilDogs #YankeeDoodles #Funnybones
   15. Walt Davis Posted: December 22, 2020 at 09:17 PM (#5995619)
Like I said, quite chubby certainly by the end of his Pirates stint ... probably a bit less so at the start. But here he is with the Cubs. I assume this is early Pirates days. Not skinny but not tubby. He stole about 15 bases a year, career high 32, in his younger days, he wasn't lumbering.

On BA, it might be useful if b-r hid BA+, OBP+ and SLG+ somewhere for nerdy time-wasters such as this. Madlock hit 305 in a 265 context; Kendrick 294 in a 257 context so that's pretty close. Raines 294/263; Davis 294/256. So we'd probably put Raines at the bottom of this bunch but Kendrick and Davis are both close to Madlock by this measure. (Granted Raines with many more PA so probably about the same as these guys over a comparable period.)
   16. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 24, 2020 at 04:39 PM (#5995877)
And the system which held Kendry Morales, Brandon Wood, Casey Kotchman, Howie Kendrick, Dallas MacPhearson, Eric Aybar, and Garrett Anderson held so much promise and ended up with virtually nothing to show for it.

As I recall, a lot of people guessed that this was a problem of where their minor league affiliates were located -- Salt Lake, as I recall? And Rancho? That was a AAA club at 4500 feet and another affiliate in a supercharged offensive league, so it gave the impression that Kendrick and (especially) Wood were far better hitters than they actually were. That was back in the days when we had a pretty good grip on park factors, though maybe not as much for MiLB, and we were all fascinated by the realization that minor league stats were far more predictive of MLB stats than we had previously realized, causing us to be perhaps a touch too credulous about them sometimes.

All in all, though, Kendrick and Aybar turned in pretty solid careers. If they'd had more players of that calibre in the Trout era, we wouldn't be talking about the greatest player since Willie Mays never seeing the World Series unless he sees it from the stands.
   17. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: December 24, 2020 at 11:58 PM (#5995913)
@16, Little Rock, Arkansas for AA. I remember seeing Brandon Wood and Dallas McPherson in person, and even a short stint of Trout. McPherson might have gotten some help from the stadium, but his issues were back injuries. They changed stadiums before Wood. If I recall correctly the difficulty of hitting in the new stadium were actually cited as a + for Wood, who only hit .275 with 25 HR in his season at AA.

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