Earlier this week I declared that Big Papi was the greatest DH of all time. I wasn’t exactly going out on a limb with that statement, but it got me curious. Just how good has he been? Ortiz is a DH, so his overall value as a player is diminished by the fact that he does not contribute in the field. However, at the plate over the last 10 seasons David Ortiz has been one of the best hitter in the game.
From 2003-2012 David Ortiz has hit 338 home runs, only Pujols (384), A-Rod (343), and Adam Dunn (343) have hit more. One of the prerequisites of being a good DH is hitting for power and Ortiz has done it better than all but 3 players in Major League Baseball for 10 seasons. Another must for a DH is getting on base and Ortiz has done that very well too. Since 2003 Ortiz has walked 806 times, good for 6th in baseball.
Now let’s take a look at his overall production has a hitter. OPS is a good and easy to understand metric for estimating a players’ production at the plate. Since 2003 David Ortiz has logged a .959 OPS, good for 5th in baseball. The names in front of him are impressive: Bonds, Pujols, Manny, and Joey Votto.
David Ortiz is greatest DH of all time and is one of the best players of his era. If I had a Hall of Fame vote I would put him in Cooperstown (along with another great DH, Edgar Martinez). The odds are against him and I don’t think he will get into the Hall, but that does not take away from the fact that we have had the pleasure of watching one of baseball’s all-time greats.