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May 11, 2012

BP Unfiltered

People and Entities Out-Walking Albert Pujols

by Sam Miller

Pardon me for hitting this point again and again, but it's by far the most fascinating part of Albert Pujols' season so far. Anybody can go into a home run drought; the difference between a home run and a flyout is, what, the width of a cuticle? It's very easy for a home-run hitter to not hit a home run. They do it all the time. But to not walk is just so deliberate, and significant. Barry Bonds never went more than seven games without a walk. Adam Dunn has never gone more than nine games without a walk. Walks don't just disappear for no reason, and Albert Pujols' walks have disappeared, and they have disappeared not just for a month but since last year's All-Star break. Delmon Young now has as many unintentional walks as Albert Pujols since last year's break. I'm not just piling on because he's in a slump. This is a genuine mysterious phenomenon! So here's a quick rundown of things with as many or more unintentional walks than Albert Pujols this year: 

I mean.

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

Related Content:  Albert Pujols,  Ian Kennedy

6 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

scareduck

That's a scary list, Sam, but I confess I'm not seeing the part about this slump going back to last year's All-Star break. The ASB last year came rather later than usual, and so the year was unevenly broken up. If you look at Pujols slash lines for the first (.280/.357/.500) and second (.319/.375/.584) halves, Pujols actually had a higher OBP in the second half. Granted, it wasn't by much, and probably influenced by more than twice as many IBB's (4 vs. 11) over a noticeably smaller number of plate appearances (342 vs. 309). Doing the math, Pujols BB/PA ratio (subtracting intentional walks) is .0906 in the first half, and .0485 in the second half. If that's what you're talking about, then I can get behind that comment; but it wasn't clear from your piece.

May 11, 2012 11:52 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Sam Miller
BP staff

Ah, sorry for the confusion. Right, the slump didn't go back to the All-Star break; just the lack of walks did. Click on that link in the first sentence and I go into Pujols' second-half swing rate, unintentional-walk rate, etc. Clear change in approach starting around the All-Star break. But, yes, he raked in the second half overall, and I expect he will rake for the rest of this year, too.

May 11, 2012 11:57 AM
 
SaxonB

Well, I guess Mickey Hatcher can't be totally blamed then.

May 11, 2012 13:33 PM
rating: 0
 
scareduck

No, but doggone it, I'ma gonna try.

May 11, 2012 15:03 PM
rating: 0
 
Kreylix
(389)

When is he going to get new contact lenses? Mannnnnnnnnnnnnn!

Seriously, how can this not be a vision-issue?

May 11, 2012 18:07 PM
rating: 0
 
mdangelfan

That throw he missed from Kendrick in the first inning, plus all the swings at terrible pitches - yeah, the first thing I'd do if I were the Angels is send him to a vision specialist.

This has gone beyond a slow start. Remember how bad Vernon Wells was last year? He had a .527 OPS on this date in 2011. Pujols is at .505.

May 12, 2012 08:31 AM
rating: 1
 
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