It can get kind of hard to track all of baseball unless you've invested most of your waking life into it. There are 30 teams, each playing 162 games, each with 25 players on the roster at any given time, and then likely could run through at least twice as many names that have played for the team by the end of the year. Here's a number that's about as useful as pitcher wins:
30 teams x 50 players x 162 games = 243,000 fruginandies.
That's a lot of fruginandies!
(And then also pay mind to the fact that the AL and NL are almost like two completely different leagues (wait, they technically are absolutely that) so it's even harder to pay attention to the NL if you're an AL fan and vice versa. So you might even have to double your fruginandies.)
Because of this number 243,000 and because I also have to pay attention to football, and my several jobs, and I guess having a life (jk lol) I can't pay attention to all MLB players. Except for moments like this when I'm explicitly making myself. Every so often I will go to baseball-reference (or fangraphs if I'm feeling saucy) and just click on every MLB team until I've fully updated myself. Sometimes I am ridiculously surprised at what I find out, though for fans of those teams it would be common knowledge. If you're a fan of an NL East team, these names might not surprise you and then you'll be like "aww why did I come here? :("
You came here for the information but you'll stay for the Zack Morris jokes, bitch. Plus, isn't it kind of interesting that I find it so interesting that these guys have played as much as they have? ISN'T IT?
Here are some guys that I had no idea were playing so much:
John Mayberry, OF, Phillies - 95 at-bats??
The only reason I keep an eye on Mayberry at all is because I'm a Mariners fan and the M's wasted a first round pick on Mayberry out of high school back in 2002. (I mean "waste" is a strong word, but he didn't sign.) Okay, so Phillies fans aren't surprised by Mayberry's playing time obviously, because he's played a lot since 2010. He just hasn't been very.... Good.
After a solid rookie season that saw Mayberry put up 2.3 fWAR in only 296 plate appearances, it seemed like Philadelphia could move on from the outfield that made them perennial World Series contenders from 2007-2011 and be just fine with Mayberry and Domonic Brown. Not so much.
He hit .245/.301/.395 last year and is so far hitting .253/.317/.421 in his 95 at-bats this year. Does he make up for it with outfield defense? Not really, and he's been worth a whopping 0.1 WAR since the start of last season. He Mayberry well be out of chances. (Wow, that's a good pun.)
Ben Revere, OF, Phillies - 118 at-bats??
I remember the debates at MinorLeagueBall about Revere as a prospect and how good he would really become based on his skillset. Some thought he'd be a very good outfielder and others didn't think he could make it in the major leagues. Last year he put up 3.1 fWAR with the Twins in 553 plate appearances and this year he's putting up -0.1 fWAR with the Phillies, albeit in a small sample size. I just think that the right answer among the minor league prospect debators is somewhere in between.
He has played stellar defense over the last two years and stolen 74 bases. That should keep him in lineups for awhile but his .237/.286/.263 batting line this year is "not so good" and honestly for a .274/.316/.316 career hitter, it might not get much better.
Erik Kratz, C, Phillies - 77 at-bats??
So you're tellin' me there's a Kratz?
Apparently Carlos Ruiz has been hurt? This is how much I'm able to follow National League baseball on a day-to-day basis. Erik Kratz is 33 and has played in 85 career games, including 24 this season. He's hitting a cool .195/.241/.299. Wait, that's not "cool" at all. I'm a big fat phony.
B.J. Upton, OF, Braves - 131 at-bats??
Okay fine, you figure that Upton would be an everyday regular. But there is someone in the majors that has stepped to the plate 150 times and is hitting .145/.242/.244 and is getting paid $12.45 million for it this year. Right now Upton is hitting like Chone Figgins, except that Figgins was 33 when he really collapsed (Upton is 28) and Figgins got $35 million from the Mariners (Upton's contract is $75.25 million).
Was it scary for the Braves to sign a player that was a career .255 hitter and consistently hit under .250 for the last five years? Not really, because he was still a rather consistent .240 hitter that stole 30-40 bases, hit 20ish home runs, and played decent defense. Then you do see what happens when the wheels fall off of a .240 hitter. His ISO is down from .208 last year to .099 this year, his stolen bases are down to 3 (and 3 caught stealing) when he's not on base very often and his runs and RBI are useless. He could be on the way to an uptick, but striking out 32.7% of the time after 150 plate appearances is a rather bad sign too.
Collin Cowgill, OF, Mets - 51 at-bats??
Nope. No idea. Well, I kind of remember this guy on the Diamondbacks. He's hitting .157/.173/.294 for the Mets. But I'm still not as confused as his inclusion into the lineup this many times as I am by...
Mike Baxter, OF, Mets - 65 at-bats??
You ate an entire block of cheese? I'm not even mad. I'm impressed.
The Marlins - 1,361 at-bats?!?!??!
The highest OPS+ for a Marlins regular is Marcell Ozuna (OPS+ of 122, .298/.333/.474) and he's only a regular, I think, because Giancarlo Stanton is hurt. And even Stanton's OPS+ is only 102, while no other regular is at the league-average of 100.
Rob Brantly is the regular catcher. Greg Dobbs is the regular first baseman. Donovan Solano is the regular second baseman. Adeiny Hechavarria is the regular shortstop. Placido Polanco and Juan Pierre are still regulars in the majors! Miguel Olivo has 59 at-bats and is hitting .186. This entire article could have just been Marlins, so instead of just naming one:
Marlins! "It's a who? Who? Who?" list of surprising at-bats.