FanPost

Cubs with lowest percentage of extra-base hits

Patrick Wisdom recently became the 374th player to reach 500 plate appearances as a Cub.

He is the 343rd non-pitcher.

They average 1,894 PA. Ernie Banks had the most, 10,396, followed by Cap Anson (10,123), Billy Williams (9,504), Ryne Sandberg (9,276) and Ron Santo (8,979).

All 343 combined to make 45,927 extra-base hits, an average of 134.

The leaders in that category are no surprise: Banks (1,009), Williams (881), Sammy Sosa (873), Sandberg (761), Santo (756) and Anson (750).

...

But having just researched and written about the Cubs who had hit the fewest triples, in the most PA, I was more interested to learn which Cubs, with at least 500 PA, had the lowest percentage of extra-base hits.

The answer: George Maisel.

Who?

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EARLY CAREER

Maisel, a center fielder, played his first Major League game in 1913 and his last in 1922.

But during those 10 seasons, he appeared in only 168 games and came to bat only 553 times.

He broke in with the Browns, at age 21. In 11 games and 19 PA, he batted .167, just 3 for 18. But 2 of his hits were doubles.

Maisel spent the next 2 years in the minors, then went 0 for 5 in 8 games for the Tigers in 1916.

He was back in the minors the following year, with San Francisco of the Pacific Coast League. After serving in the military in 1918, he returned to the PCL in 1919, with Portland.

He remained there the following year, batting .323, with 20 doubles, 6 triples and 2 homers among his 203 hits.

The Cubs purchased his contract during the winter and he was in the starting lineup on Opening Day of 1921.

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FAST START

Maisel went 1 for 3 that day. He had 2 hits in his second game, then 3 in his third.

At the end of April, through 11 games, his average was .349 and his on-base percentage was .404.

But his slugging average was only .372, because 14 of his 15 hits were singles.

After his 2-run double on April 18, Maisel came to the plate 101 times before producing another extra-base hit, another double.

During that drought, his batting average was just .242; his OBP, .274.

He hit 1 double among 19 hits in June, when he started only 8 games. More than half the hits came in 3 games: 4, twice, and 3, once.

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31 STRAIGHT SINGLES

His batting average rose to .340 on July 1, when he smacked his first triple. He made 31 more hits by month's end -- all singles.

In August, Maisel delivered 2 doubles and 26 singles.

He tripled in his first game of September and doubled in his last of the season, on Oct. 2. He had only 14 hits, as Manager Bill Killefer gave tryouts to several young players and Maisel was limited to 15 games.

Maisel appeared in 111 total games, batting 431 times and finishing with an average of .310, third best of the team.

But of his 122 hits, only 9 were for extra bases: 7 doubles and 2 triples.

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BENCHED

When the 1922 season began, Maisel found himself on the bench. He didn't make a start until the Cubs' 17th game, then made only 20 more.

He pinch hit 6 times, pinch ran 8 and was a defensive replacement 3, for a total of just 38 games played.

He came to the plate just 98 times and made 16 hits: 14 singles, 1 double and 1 triple.

Both extra-base hits came on Sept. 27, at Pittsburgh, in the last game in which he batted.

He pinch ran 3 days later, then ever played another big league game.

...

In December, the Cubs swapped Maisel and 4 other players to Los Angeles of the PCL for Nick Dumovich, a 20-year-old lefthanded pitcher who had won 20 games for the Angels. He would go 3-5 for the Cubs in 1923, then never pitch in the majors again.

Maisel spent 1923 not with Los Angeles, but with Toronto of the International League. He continued to play in the minors through 1928, then retired at age 36.

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2.1 PERCENT

Maisel made 529 plate appearances during his 2 seasons as a Cub. Exactly 11 ended in extra-base hits: 8 doubles and 3 triples.

That is a mere 2.1 percent of all his PA.

Only 2 other Cubs with at least 500 PA had extra-base percentages below 3.0: Eddie Stanky and Del Howard.

Stanky, a middle infielder, began his 11-year big league career with the Cubs in 1943, playing 142 games. He played in 13 in 1944, then was traded to the Dodgers.

As a Cub, he had 644 PA and 17 extra-bases hits (15 doubles, 2 triples), for 2.6 percent.

Howard, an outfielder and a first baseman, had 754 PA and 22 XBH (13 doubles, 7 triples, 2 home runs), for 2.9 percent. He came to the Cubs from the Braves in 1907 and played in 216 games through 1909, the last of his 5 big league seasons.

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BOTTOM TEN

Here are the 10 players with the lowest percentage of extra-base hits:

2.1: George Maisel, 11 in 529 PA, 1921-22

2.6: Eddie Stanky, 17 in 644 PA, 1943-44

2.9: Del Howard, 22 in 754 PA, 1907-09

3.0: Jimmy Slagle, 118 in 3,968 PA, 1902-08

3.1: Cupid Childs, 28 in 893 PA, 1900-01

3.1: Richie Ashburn, 32 in 1,040 PA, 1960-61

3.2: Bill Killefer, 34 in 1,065 PA, 1918-21

3.2: Mick Kelleher, 28 in 869 PA, 1976-80

3.3: Rollie Zeider, 35 in 1,063 PA, 1916-18

3.3: Buck Herzog, 19 in 569 PA, 1919-20

...

No one else had a percentage below 3.6.

Ashburn and Kelleher are the only 2 among the 10 who played after World War II.

Here are the next 8 and ties with the lowest percentages among those whose Cubs career began in 1946 or later:

3.7: Dick Bertell, 52 in 1,391 PA, 1960-67

3.7: Dave Rosello, 24 in 653 PA, 1972-77

3.9: Bob Ramazzotti, 30 in 764 PA, 1949-53

3.9: Chico Walker, 27 in 686 PA, 1985-92

4.0: Paul Popovich, 50 in 1,259 PA, 1964-73

4.0: Don Kessinger, 283 in 7,065 PA, 1964-75

4.1: Doug Dascenzo, 49 in 1,194 PA, 1988-92

4.2: Jim Bolger, 25 in 596 PA, 1955-58

4.2: Jimmy Stewart, 40 in 943 PA, 1963-67

...

The lowest percentage among players who joined the Cubs in 2000 or later is 4.8, by Ryan Theriot: 122 XBH in 2,520 PA, from 2005-10.

Next is Koyie Hill, at 5.4: 45 XBH in 834 PA, from 2007-12.

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CURRENT PLAYERS

Five players under contract currently have at least 500 PA. Their extra-base percentages:

6.8: Jason Heyward

7.3: David Bote

9.0: Willson Contreras

9.2: Ian Happ

11.0: Patrick Wisdom

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HIGHEST PERCENTAGES

That 11.0 by Wisdom ranks 7th in team history for highest extra-base percentage.

Here are the top 30:

12.0: Rogers Hornsby

11.3: Hack Wilson

11.2: Dave Kingman and Henry Rodriguez

11.1: Alfonso Soriano and Sammy Sosa

11.0: Patrick Wisdom

10.9: Babe Herman

10.8: Aramis Ramirez

10.6: Derrek Lee

10.2: Michael Barrett and Kris Bryant

10.1: Javier Baez and Fred McGriff

10.0: Glenallen Hill and Hank Sauer

9.9: Andre Dawson

9.7: Ernie Banks

9.6: Mel Hall, Gabby Hartnett, Rafael Palmeiro and Carlos Pena

9.5: Moises Alou, Leon Durham, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber

9.4: Tyler Colvin and Ralph Kiner

9.3: Mark Belhorn and Billy Williams

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