I find it interesting that most ironically interesting players of the last few years is on this list. Well, that's not true, since I put him on it. He's here because he struck out 98 times as a Houston Astro. Fitting way to get him in this series, huh?
No, what struck me as interesting is that Jason Michaels had two similarity scores of former Houston pinch hitters: Thomas "Tank" Howard and third base coach extraordinaire Dave Clark. Unlike those other two, though, J-Mike stuck around here, not settling for just one season in the Houston sun.
He was here forever.
It's not that you can't appreciate what he did. Power off the bench. An extra outfielder here and there. The pinch hit weapon off the bench is a luxury for some teams. Problem is, J-Mike wasn't good enough to get flipped to a really good team and wasn't good enough to play regularly for the Astros. Therefore, he was taking up a spot on this roster that could have gone to a younger player.
When he was signed in 2009, J-Mike was going to a team that was still trying to win while rebuilding. His signing made sense, just like Clark's, and Matt Mieske's and all the other pinch-hitters that Houston signed in their 1997-2005 prime did.
The problem was, Houston was in different circumstances, yet couldn't let go of that archetype player. So, J-Mike hung around, and hung around, and hung around. His final season, he hit .199/.256/.295 in 169 plate appearances. There have only been 20 seasons like that (sub .200 BA, sub .260 OBP, sub .300 SLG with 100 or more PAs) in Houston history. Take out all the backup catchers, and you're left with nine seasons.
Nine guys were that inept with the bat, but four were shortstops, which is somewhat defensible. J-Mike joined the likes of Eric Anthony, Jim Fuller, Carroll Hardy and Lee Thomas in that ignominious group.
At least Michaels had the highest OPS of the group.