In honor of Ross Ohlendorf smacking a three-run homer against the Dodgers last night after coming into the game with a career .070 batting average, here’s a list of the best-hitting active pitchers based on their career OPS:
PA OPS Micah Owings 217 .820 Dontrelle Willis 443 .663 Yovani Gallardo 263 .660 Carlos Zambrano 708 .646 CC Sabathia 104 .627 Mike Leake 125 .606 Daniel Hudson 106 .601 Dan Haren 291 .581
Prior to this season Micah Owings was so good at hitting and so bad at pitching that becoming a hitter who occasionally pitches seemed like a good idea, but he’s 7-0 with a 3.05 ERA in 59 innings for the Diamondbacks and is hitting just .211.
All of the other guys on the above list have impressive numbers for a pitcher, but it’s worth noting that they’re still pretty terrible at the plate in general. For instance, Dontrelle Willis has the second-best OPS at .663, which is lower than position players who’re often mocked for their lack of production like Aaron Miles (.674), Jack Wilson (.676), Miguel Cairo (.682), and Yuniesky Betancourt (.683).
Incidentally, after last night’s homer Ohlendorf boosted his career OPS from .140 to .211 (and it comes with a nifty 47/3 K/BB ratio).