It's too early to look at statistical leaderboards, but sometimes we have to anyway.
April 19, 2011: "Somehow, someway, Carlos Lee is second with a 53.2 UZR/150. I will literally eat broken glass if he finishes with a positive number this season. (Someone hold me to it.)" —This guy, who is now dead, from eating glass :(
We have such a weird relationship with April stats. I’m trying to think of anything else where we consider a 10-percent sample almost totally useless. On election night, when they show the vote totals, I start to take them seriously once 10 percent of precincts are in. If you could see only 10 percent of a human, you could still probably figure out whether he was tall, fat, into rockabilly, etc. But the first 10 percent of a baseball season is like the first 10 percent of the sausage race in Milwaukee: filled with narrative, almost entirely misleading, and a place where Randall Simon doesn’t belong.
Which players this season have been hits, without recording any?
What’s a baseball fan to do when The Day After Ubaldo coincides with Strasburg Eve? If you answered, “Watch and chat about the draft,” well, you can take that kind of attitude elsewhere, mister (or ma’am). As the baseball world passes the time until 7 PM Eastern, let’s explore a statistical oddity, and see what (if anything) we can uncover.
My buddy Craig Glaser tweeted an interesting factoid on Saturday: Brewers catcher George Kottaras is one of only three players with at least 75 PA this season to have more walks to his name than hits. The other two are somewhat more accomplished: Nick Johnson, and presumptive Hall of Famer Chipper Jones. Rather than devote my energies to a pursuit that might leave the world a better place than I found it, I decided to take a quick look into what makes these players tick. From 2000 to 2009, 28 players (in 35 player seasons, since some players were repeat offenders) managed to accumulate at least 75 PA in a single season while maintaining a higher walk total than hit total. Of those 28, 6 were pitchers, whom I’m removing from the sample on the grounds that they shouldn’t have been batting in the first place (yeah, I went there). That leaves us with the following 22 players (and 29 player seasons), whom I’m dubbing the Perambulator Posse:
The first in a series of roundtables leading up to the release of the Top 50 Prospects list.
In the past, we've run those contributions as BP Roundtables after the list is announced in late February. This year, we'll be running a series of roundtables in advance of the list, leading up to the release of Baseball Prospectus 2005 in late February. The final list will be revealed here on February 22, and the book includes capsule evaluations of all 50 players, as well as 1500 others.