Memorable All-Stars in (Devil) Rays History: Greg Vaughn (2001)

via www.sportsnet.ca

I should clarify something real quick: just because this series is about "memorable" Rays all-stars, that doesn't necessarily mean they were all good or deserving. Enter stage right, Greg Vaughn.

Considering MLB has a rule that requires them to select one player from each team for the All-Star Team, the Devil Rays have had their fair share of undeserving All-Stars. Heck, it's bound to happen when your franchise has a .399 winning percentage over its first 10 years of existence. But even within this context, Greg Vaughn's selection as an All-Star in 2001 probably ranks within the worst all-star selections in recent memory. Consider:

Player A: 274 PA, 21 HR, .244 BA, .343 OBP, .497 SLG, 115 OPS+
Player B: 331 PA, 15 HR, .330 BA, .399 OBP, .541 SLG, 146 OPS+

These are the first half lines for two players on the Devil Rays in 2001. Any guesses which of them is Greg Vaughn? My lede probably gave it away: Greg Vaughn is Player A, while Fred McGriff is Player B.

McGriff was traded at the end of July* that season, but that doesn't change the fact that a) he was a D-Ray at the All-Star Break, and b) he was infinitely more deserving of an all-star selection than Vaughn. I suppose if all you look at are homeruns, then you'd give the nod to Vaughn, but that's horrible logic considering McGriff was an all-star the previous season and he was having an even better season in 2001. Go figure, right?

*Don't even get me started on how bad a trade that was. Somehow in all my trade research I'd missed that one, but wow, it was a doozy. Fred McGriff for Jason Smith and Manny Aybar? Now that's the sheer definition of a salary dump.

But not only that, Vaughn's selection looks even worse when you consider how he finished the season: 169 PA, 3 HR, .213 BA, .323 OBP, .314 SLG, 76 OPS+. And so began the decent into atrocity: Vaughn performed decently enough for 1.5 of his 3 years with the Devil Rays, but then tanked hard and ended up a far cry away from being worth his $24 million contract. 

Vaughn's final numbers from 2001 astound me. He finished the season with a paltry 1.1 fWAR (or 2.1 rWAR, whichever you prefer), which I have to believe is some sort of record for an All-Star position player (the research isn't working for me right now).  In a year when 36 players finished the season with more than 5 WAR -- and 74 finished with above 3 WAR -- how the heck did Vaughn ever get chosen?

Ahh, the glory days of the Devil Rays. Long live the Hit Show!

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Join DRaysBay

You must be a member of DRaysBay to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at DRaysBay. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker