- Dumb Luck Wins
- Tough Luck Losses
- Out Prevention Percentage
- Infield Outs Prevented
Intentional walks are a funny stat, since so much depends on the context. Some great players don’t draw many, while some lesser players draw quite a few. But who draws the most IBBs as a fraction of their total number of walks?
Intentional walks have only been tracked since 1955, so I only included players who played all or most of their careers after that date. That didn’t affect anyone near the top of the list, though. I also set a minimum of 50 career intentional walks to be eligible for the list.
The list below is ordered by the highest percentage of walks that were intentional (the IBB/BB column). I also list the percentage of PAs that ended in intentional walks (IBB%) and the percentage of non-IBB PAs that ended in walks (UIBB%), for reference.
Wow. Almost half of Manny Sanguillen
This list is a nice mix of hall of famers very good players, and guys who were all but worthless with the bat. Any list that has Rey OrdonezIchiro Suzuki Barry Bonds
You’ll notice that there are basically 3 ways to make this list. First, and hardest to do, is to get an insane number of intentional walks to offset a strong walk rate. This really only applies to Bonds and Albert Pujols
The second way to make the list is to be a dangerous hitter with a free-swinging attitude. This covers some Hall of Famers like Ernie BanksTony Gwynn Roberto Clemente Garry Templeton Warren Cromartie
The final group is players who really couldn’t hit, but who got a lot of intentional walks because they usually hit 8th, in front of a pitcher. That includes Ordoñez, Dave RaderDale Berra Yogi Berra
For fun, I also compiled the players with the lowest proportions of intentional walks:
I should note that Ted Williams
The common threads here are that these players generally hit at the top of the lineup, drew a lot of walks, and hit in front of big-time sluggers.
I should note that, while hitting at the top of the order certainly does reduce the chances of being intentionally walked, about half of these players hit all over the lineup (Gene TenaceDwight Evans Toby Harrah
What I love about both these lists is that they prove that there’s more than one way to be successful as a hitter. Some of the greatest hitters of all time were free swingers who rarely walked when given the chance to hit, yet other phenomenal hitters were very patient, yet almost never got to 1st base without working for it.
Tagged with: Albert Pujols Barry Bonds Bobby Grich Brian Downing Craig Biggio Dale Berra Dave Rader Doug Flynn Dwight Evans Ernie Banks Garry Templeton Gene Tenace Ichiro Ichiro Suzuki intentional walks J.D. Drew Joe Morgan John Bateman Jose Uribe Manny Sanguillen Orlando Cepeda Pat Burrell Rey Ordoñez Rickey Henderson Roberto Alomar Roberto Clemente Ted Williams Toby Harrah Tommy Helms Tony Gwynn Tony Oliva walks Warren Cromartie
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
For more about the site or the author, read the About page
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