CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Vote in the Internet Baseball Awards for a chance at a free copy of Dollar Sign on the Muscle
Voting ends in 16 days and 19 hours

<< Previous Article
The Week in Quotes: Ma... (05/19)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Prospectus Today: Inte... (05/16)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Prospectus Today: Look... (05/20)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Under The Knife: Tick,... (05/19)

May 19, 2008

Prospectus Today

DiSar Winners and Leaders

by Joe Sheehan

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Way back in 1998, Angels shortstop Gary DiSarcina opened the season by going 61 plate appearances—the better part of April—before drawing his first walk. Towards the end of that stretch, he was quoted as saying he would be perfectly happy if he never drew one, which was consistent with his career approach, as he drew just 154 free passes in more than 4000 career plate appearances.

In 2000, to honor this attitude, I created the DiSar Awards, which recognize the position player in each league who goes the most at-bats into his season without drawing a walk. It’s a relatively meaningless number that pokes a little fun at the players who, in an era where plate discipline is valued, go to the plate hacking.

Last year, the Disar Awards went to Ben Zobrist of the Devil Rays, who came from behind after an extended trip to the minors to post 69 walk-less at-bats, and thus edge out a pair of Tigers, Ivan Rodriguez and Omar Infante, as well as Victor Diaz, who were all knotted up at 68. Zobrist was sent to Triple-A in May having not walked in 63 at-bats, then picked up six more upon his recall in July before drawing a walk on August 3. Such is the power of the Golden Crutch.

In the National League, the rule banning pitchers was a big issue, as Carlos Zambrano, Livan Hernandez, Brandon Webb, Jamie Moyer and Woody Williams were the top five in the league DiSar Count. By rule, however, it’s limited to position players, so it's Craig Biggio who wins the award, as his 59 walk-less at-bats—while batting leadoff, it should be noted—carried the day, a notch ahead of Juan Encarnacion’s 58. The double-play combination of Zobrist and Biggio shows that age is nothing but a number when it comes to swinging the bat—players young and old alike can treat free passes with disdain.

Zobrist and Biggio take their places in a storied group of past winners:


Year   American League      National League
2007   Ben Zobrist          Craig Biggio
2006   Mike Redmond         Jeff Francoeur
2005   Andres Blanco        Jeff Francoeur
2004   Cesar Crespo         Jose Macias
2003   Jose Molina          Rainer Olmedo
2002   Carl Crawford        Shawon Dunston
2001   Alfonso Soriano      Marquis Grissom
2000   Jacque Jones         Shawon Dunston

The great thing about the DiSars is that they transcend age, experience, position, race, and all the other categories in which we put baseball players. All-Stars have won DiSars, and bench players have as well. It’s really the most egalitarian award in the game today.

Who’s primed to join this list in 2008? BP’s Jason Paré cranked the numbers on the current league leaders:


American League    AB       National League    AB
Jose Molina        56       Matt Diaz          79
Jay Payton         52       Ryan Braun         61
Travis Buck        38       Cristian Guzman    57
Jhonny Peralta     37       Bengie Molina      50
Robinson Cano      36       Brad Ausmus        50

Jose Molina is trying to win his second DiSar Award, helped along by Jorge Posada’s absence from the Yankee lineup, as well as the organization’s inability to find a better catcher. The Brothers Molina won’t pull it off this season—Bengie’s streak stopped well short of the lead in the NL—but that’s an impressive family you see above, with two top-five showings this late in the year.

None of the streaks above are active, so Molina and Diaz are the leaders in this particular clubhouse. In a number of seasons, though, the DiSar Award has gone to a player well off the radar in May. Currently active DiSar Counts include Toby Hall’s 34, Wilson Betemit’s 26, and Brandon Fahey’s 25. No National League position player has an active number above 24, although Carlos Zambrano has to be mentioned: he’s at 30 this year, on top of 81 in 2007, and hasn’t drawn a walk since June 10, 2006, nearly two years and 160 at-bats ago. That is a gift. How about the Big Z Awards, anyone?

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Joe's other articles. You can contact Joe by clicking here

Related Content:  Bengie Molina,  Disar Awards

0 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
The Week in Quotes: Ma... (05/19)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Prospectus Today: Inte... (05/16)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Prospectus Today: Look... (05/20)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Under The Knife: Tick,... (05/19)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: AL Wild Card Game Previe...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Josh D...
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: The '80' Pitches In This Yea...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Playing a Hinch
The Lineup Card: Awards We Wish We Could Giv...
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: AL Wild Card Game Recap
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NL Wild Card Game Previe...

MORE FROM MAY 19, 2008
Premium Article Prospectus Preview: Monday's Games to Watch
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Miracle Cures
Premium Article Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack
Premium Article Wait 'Til Next Year: Home Stretch Action
Premium Article Under The Knife: Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick... B...
The Week in Quotes: May 12-18

MORE BY JOE SHEEHAN
2008-05-27 - Premium Article Prospectus Today: WillieWatch
2008-05-22 - Prospectus Today: Central Surprise
2008-05-20 - Premium Article Prospectus Today: Looking Way Ahead
2008-05-19 - Premium Article Prospectus Today: DiSar Winners and Leaders
2008-05-16 - Premium Article Prospectus Today: Interleague Advantages?
2008-05-15 - Premium Article Prospectus Today: McCann versus Martin
2008-05-13 - Prospectus Today: Chillin' in the American L...
More...

MORE PROSPECTUS TODAY
2008-05-27 - Premium Article Prospectus Today: WillieWatch
2008-05-22 - Prospectus Today: Central Surprise
2008-05-20 - Premium Article Prospectus Today: Looking Way Ahead
2008-05-19 - Premium Article Prospectus Today: DiSar Winners and Leaders
2008-05-16 - Premium Article Prospectus Today: Interleague Advantages?
2008-05-15 - Premium Article Prospectus Today: McCann versus Martin
2008-05-13 - Prospectus Today: Chillin' in the American L...
More...