The Morning Edition (May 19, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

From Last Night:

  • Jordan Zimmermann gives up 1 ER in 8 innings…and loses…to the Padres
  • Gattis and Simmons go back to back to back Medlen in his duel with Capuano
  • Parra hits a leadoff homer and then McCarthy delivers a CGSO as the Dbacks beat the Fish 1-0
  • Tampa Bay gets 6 runs in the 9th to beat the Orioles 10-6
  • The Indians win on a walk off fielder’s choice (what?!)

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Felix faces Masterson in Cleveland (1p Eastern)
  • Dickey and CC try to regain Cy Young creds (1p Eastern)
  • Matt Moore looks to complete the sweep in Baltimore (130p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • Are McCarthy’s peripherals finally lining up with the results?

I made a comment on Twitter last night that Carlos Gomez was impressively leading the league in WAR (2.7) and was 9th in the league in wRC+ (170) despite just a 3.9% walk rate. Since I wrote that, those numbers have fluctuated just a bit, but the idea holds up. So I was curious, who had the best low walk season in the last ten years? Since 2004, the best qualifying seasons for players who walked 5.0% of the time or less are:

5. Freddy Sanchez 2006 – 4.9% BB, 4.5 WAR

4. Brandon Phillips 2007 – 4.7% BB, 4.7 WAR

3. Carl Crawford 2005 – 3.9% BB, 4.8 WAR

2. Ichiro 2009 – 4.7% BB, 5.1 WAR

1. Adrian Beltre 2011 – 4.8% BB, 5.3 WAR

Each of those seasons feature a strong defensive effort and low K%, but if you’re curious the best <5% BB season since 2004 with a negative UZR belongs to Adam Jones (2012) who walked 4.8% of the time and posted a 4.4 WAR (7th overall). Also, apparently walking didn’t used to be as cool as it is today, because I then queried a search back to 1980 and Beltre’s 2011 season turned up to be 15th in the last 34 years. Kirby Puckett’s 1988 reigns with 3.9% BB and 7.1 WAR. I’m serious. He hit .356/.375/.545. That’s crazy. Puckett’s 1988 is the best <5.0% BB season, not just since 1980, but also since 1932.

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