Former Phillie and current Dodger Ricky Ledee is a pretty weird player, and this season he’s taken on the strangest disguise of all - a singles hitter.
A quick look at the current stats shows he’s sporting a .302 BA through May 19, .57 points higher than his career-average of .245. If the season ended today, he’d also have the highest OBP of his career at .382, notably better than his career average of .331.
As it stands, he represents one of the better free agent bargains of the offseason. The Dodgers are leaning on him a lot and he’s starting most games in left field.
Meanwhile, where’d the power go? He’s only hit one home run. This is the same guy that gained a reputation in Philadelphia as a player that could deliver pinch-homers by the handful. To compare, he hit seven home runs in 123 at bats last year for the Phils, compared to only one in 96 at bats this season.
In retrospect, Ledee has worn a lot of crazy hats over his career. Here’s a quick recap:
- From 1998-2000, he’s in New York with the World Champion Yankees. Early on, team officials and fans start using his name and Mickey Mantle in the same sentence. Soon, they swap “Mickey” for “bum” and he’s traded to the Indians along with pitchers Jake Westbrook and Zach Day for David Justice.
- From 2000-2001 with Cleveland and Texas, his career really stalls. I like to think he went on a baseball “pilgrimage” because fell totally off the map.
- The Phils take a chance on him as a free agent in 2001 where he stays for three nearly seasons. For all the trouble the team has in center field, Ledee is never considered a starting option because of his defense. Ironically, statistics show his defense was solidly the best of any center fielder on the team in 2004.
- Player, ZR, Field Pct.
Byrd: .846 / .900
Michaels: .844 / .970
Glanville: .870 / 1.000
Ledee: .925 / 1.000
- With center field clearly their weakest position, the Phils brain trust trades their best man at center to San Francisco for relief pitcher Felix Rodriguez. With the Giants, he adorns a radical new hat as a guy that can’t hit squat, hitting .113 in 52 at bats, no home runs, and earning a whopping eight total bases.
- Now doing his best Mark Grace impression, he’s wearing his strangest disguise of all with Los Angeles.