- Dumb Luck Wins
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- Out Prevention Percentage
- Infield Outs Prevented
Qualified for a Batting / ERA Title in Only Season Most Seasons With Exactly 1 Triple
Intentional walks are typically associated with fearsome sluggers. Sacrifice bunts are typically associated with weak-hitting players. What lies at the intersection of these two seemingly contradictory stats?
Since 1955, when intentional walks were first tracked, there have been just 23 player seasons with 10 or more intentional walks and 10 or more sacrifice bunts. These seasons represent quite a range of players, from some of the worst full-time hitting seasons of all-time to some darn good seasons by Hall-of-Famers and Hall-of-Very-Gooders. Accordingly, I’m dividing the lists up according to the quality of the hitting in the season in question: good hitters (OPS+ of 100 or more), decent hitters (OPS+ of 80 to 99), and poor hitters (OPS+ of 79 or lower).
I’ll start with the poor hitters, since these seasons are generally the easiest to understand.
You probably notice some similarities between these players. They’re all notoriously poor hitters, obviously; they all play up-the-middle defensive positions (especially shortstop); and crucially, 6 of the are National Leaguers.
Generally, the NL players had seasons that were more-or-less evenly split between hitting 8th (where they earned most of their intentional walks, thanks to hitting in front of the pitcher) and some other batting order spot (where they laid down most of their sac bunts). Players who hit 8th all season aren’t likely to lay down 10+ sac bunts, since they spend much of their time hitting ahead of an even weaker batter. This pattern is typified by Tim Foli
One exception to this rule is Rey OrdonezBobby Valentine
Then we have the even bigger exception, the lone AL player on the list, Rick ManningDuane Kuiper Tom Veryzer Jerry Dybzinski Jack Brohamer Dave Rosello
Next up, the decent (but still below-average) hitters:
|9||Ivan de Jesus||84||11||18||1983||PHI||565||.254||.323||.336||.659||*6|
The trends above largely hold true for this list as well. Of the 8 players, all played up-the-middle positions for teams that didn’t have the DH (7 NL teams and one pre-DH team in the AL). The same lineup trends generally hold as well, though there is a bit more flexibility there. A few of the hitters (like Bill MazeroskiBill Bruton
Now we move into the group of hitters for whom the intentional walks are easy to explain, but the sac bunts are more mysterious. For the players of the 1960′s, like Wes ParkerRon Fairly Willie Davis Brady Anderson
The last 3 names on the list are the most puzzling. Tony GwynnJack McKeon Gene Mauch Jim Fregosi
Tagged with: Alex Cora Bill Bruton Bill Mazeroski Bill Russell Bobby Grich Bobby Valentine Brady Anderson Dick Groat Duane Kuiper Gene Mauch intentional walks Ivan de Jesus Jack McKeon Jerry Browne Jim Fregosi Jody Reed Johnny Oates managerial quirks managers Mark Lemke Ozzie Smith Rey Ordoñez Rick Manning Roger Metzger Ron Fairly Rusty Staub sac bunts sacrifice bunts Ted Kubiak Tim Foli Tony Gwynn too many bunts weird combinations Wes Parker Willie Davis
This blog is devoted to the invention and use of unusual baseball statistics. These Junk Stats are designed to reveal the not-so-meaningful quirks that make baseball so fascinating.
JunkStats is written by Jacob Peterson, who also writes for the Braves blog Talking ChopBeyond the Boxscore
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