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Articles Tagged Eddie Joost 

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Adam Dunn's 2011 season was painful to follow first hand, but there are a few reasons for hope.

"He spent hours fretting whether to ask for help or wait it out. Some day the slump was bound to go, but when? Not that he was ashamed to ask for help but once you had come this far you felt you had learned the game and could afford to give out with the advice instead of being forced to ask for it. He was, as they say, established and it was like breaking up the establishment to go around panhandling an earful. Like making a new beginning and he was sick up to here of new beginnings. But as he continued to whiff he felt a little panicky. In the end he sought out Red Blow, drew him out to center field and asked in an embarrassed voice, 'Red, what is the matter with me that I am not hitting them?'"

| Bernard Malamud, The Natural

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February 28, 2003 4:31 pm

Prospectus Feature: The Eddie Award

0

Jeff Bower

The phrase "a walk is as good as a hit" has echoed through our noggins since Little League. Though not exactly true, the ability to reach base without putting the ball in play is a valuable offensive weapon; advances in sabermetrics have enabled us to quantify the value of a walk and hit-by-pitch quite precisely.

As a guy who regularly leads his slow pitch softball team in walks, I have an appreciation for players who find ways to take a leisurely stroll to first base. Ron Hunt's maddening ability to get some part of his body in front of a pitched ball, Dale Berra's knack for having his bat tick the catcher's leather, Lance Blankenship coaxing four wide ones while hovering around the Mendoza Line--all are uncanny talents.

This study is designed to identify hitters that had the greatest percentage of their offensive game as a result of walks and hit-by-pitches. This is very different than leading the league in the counting or rate statistics attached to those categories. Ted Williams led the American League in bases-on-balls eight different times, but was such a force at the plate that he still would have been an outstanding offensive player had he walked half as often. The idea is to recognize players who made the slow walk up the first baseline an art form, who were and are somehow able to finagle pitches outside the strike zone despite being less than imposing figures with a bat in their hands.

After monkeying around with various combinations of on-base percentage, batting average and slugging percentage, I tossed them aside and settled on the following formula, calling the result the "Walking Man Quotient" (WMQ):

WMQ = 1.5*(BB+HBP) / (H+TB+1.5*(BB+HBP)+SB)

The denominator is part of the basic formula that Clay Davenport uses to calculate Equivalent Average (EqA). Dividing it into the walk and hit-by-pitch components approximates those components as a percentage of the hitter's total offensive output. Patient sluggers like Williams and Mickey Mantle will occasionally have a high WMQ in years when their numbers are down, but the players with the best ratios will neither hit for average nor power while still collecting scads of walks and hit-by-pitches.

With that background, here are the Top 20 single-season WMQs of all-time (post-1900, minimum 400 plate appearances):

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February 28, 2003 12:00 am

The Eddie Award

0

Jeff Bower

The phrase "a walk is as good as a hit" has echoed through our noggins since Little League. Though not exactly true, the ability to reach base without putting the ball in play is a valuable offensive weapon; advances in sabermetrics have enabled us to quantify the value of a walk and hit-by-pitch quite precisely. And while the results have elevated the awareness of their importance in putting runs on the scoreboard, there has always been a fundamental understanding of their value. Baseball's record books are littered with players who wouldn't have made the majors except for their ability to draw walks and get hit with errant pitches.

As a guy who regularly leads his slow pitch softball team in walks, I have an appreciation for players who find ways to take a leisurely stroll to first base. Ron Hunt's maddening ability to get some part of his body in front of a pitched ball, Dale Berra's knack for having his bat tick the catcher's leather, Lance Blankenship coaxing four wide ones while hovering around the Mendoza Line--all are uncanny talents.

This study is designed to identify hitters that had the greatest percentage of their offensive game as a result of walks and hit-by-pitches. This is very different than leading the league in the counting or rate statistics attached to those categories. Ted Williams led the American League in bases-on-balls eight different times, but was such a force at the plate that he still would have been an outstanding offensive player had he walked half as often. The idea is to recognize players who made the slow walk up the first baseline an art form, who were and are somehow able to finagle pitches outside the strike zone despite being less than imposing figures with a bat in their hands.

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