No, not that kind of streaking. But, now that I have your attention, here are the 2012 gold, silver and bronze medal awards for streaks for various batting categories.

For each category, I’ve indicated both the hottest and coldest streaks. I’ll leave it for you to decide whether these streaks indicate that a player is prone to streaky play, or is just consistently good … or bad.

Some preliminaries. First, pitchers are arbitrarily excluded from all streak queries. Second, for an apples-to-apples comparison, I am counting streaks only for games in which a player was in the starting lineup and had at least one PA. Counting starting games only avoids streaks being broken when a player appears in a substitute role with possibly limited PA opportunities (or none) to extend a streak. This means that games as a substitute may be interspersed within these streaks without affecting them, regardless of what a player did or didn’t accomplish in those substitute appearances.

Further to the treatment of substitute appearances within a streak:

  • players effectively get a “mulligan” if they, in fact, break a streak in a substitute game
  • OTOH, players are not rewarded if they extend a streak in such games

On the whole, I think this is a fair and balanced approach, but feel free to differ.

So, here are the 2012 Streaker Awards.

Rk RUNS Strk Start End Games Tm Rk NO RUNS Strk Start End Games Tm
1 Mike Trout 2012-07-05 2012-07-23 15 LAA 1 Jose Lopez 2012-05-18 2012-06-23 22 CLE
2 Austin Jackson 2012-06-30 2012-07-16 13 DET 2 Clint Barmes 2012-04-25 2012-05-20 21 PIT
3 Miguel Cabrera 2012-09-11 2012-09-23 11 DET 3 Brandon Crawford 2012-04-13 2012-05-11 20 SFG
HITS NO HITS 
1 Jose Reyes 2012-07-13 2012-08-08 26 MIA 1 Omar Quintanilla 2012-08-15 2012-09-05 10 BAL
2 Robinson Cano 2012-06-24 2012-07-20 23 NYY 1 Luke Scott 2012-06-02 2012-07-05  10 TBR
3 Michael Brantley 2012-05-20 2012-06-15 22 CLE 3 A.J. Ellis 2012-09-11 2012-09-22  9 LAD
3 Josh Thole 2012-08-15 2012-08-31 9 NYM
 3 Cliff Pennington 2012-05-23 2012-06-03  9 OAK
XB HITS NO XB HITS
1 Freddie Freeman 2012-07-08 2012-07-20 8 ATL  1 John Baker 2012-05-18 2012-08-16  32 SDP
2 Chris Davis 2012-09-25 2012-10-02 7 BAL  2 Drew Stubbs 2012-08-18 2012-10-03  30 CIN
2 A.J. Pierzynski 2012-07-23 2012-08-06 7 CHW  2 Emilio Bonifacio 2012-04-04 2012-05-08  30 MIA
2 Albert Pujols 2012-07-30 2012-08-05 7 LAA
2 Paul Goldschmidt 2012-05-30 2012-06-08 7 ARI
HOME RUNS NO HOME RUNS 
1 Chris Davis 2012-09-26 2012-10-02 6 BAL 1 Ben Revere 2012-04-07 2012-10-03  118 MIN
2 A.J. Pierzynski 2012-07-30 2012-08-05 5 CHW 2 Jamey Carroll 2012-04-06 2012-09-02  115 MIN
2 Mike Napoli 2012-04-15 2012-04-21 5 TEX 3 Jemile Weeks 2012-04-14 2012-09-13  104 OAK
WALKS NO WALKS 
1 Alberto Callaspo 2012-08-01 2012-08-11 10 LAA 1 Miguel Olivo 2012-07-02 2012-09-16  32 SEA
1 David Ortiz 2012-07-03 2012-07-16 10 BOS 2 Cesar Izturis 2012-05-12 2012-08-04  31 MIL
3 Kevin Youkilis 2012-07-04 2012-07-15 8 CHW 2 Humberto Quintero 2012-04-24 2012-06-23  31 KCR
3 Chris Young 2012-05-29 2012-06-08 8 ARI
3 Curtis Granderson 2012-05-19 2012-05-27 8 NYY
3 Dan Uggla 2012-05-20 2012-05-27 8 ATL
3 Chase Headley 2012-04-07 2012-04-15 8 SDP
RBI NO RBI 
1 Ryan Zimmerman 2012-09-03 2012-09-12 9 WSN  1 Nyjer Morgan 2012-04-07 2012-05-31 29 MIL
1 Robinson Cano 2012-06-27 2012-07-06 9 NYY 2 Ramon Santiago 2012-06-26 2012-10-02  28 DET
1 Carlos Beltran 2012-06-22 2012-07-02 9 STL 3 Danny Espinosa 2012-04-09 2012-05-10  26 WSN
STRIKEOUTS NO STRIKEOUTS 
1 Adam Dunn 2012-04-06 2012-05-09 31 CHW  1 Chris Getz 2012-06-14 2012-08-01 15 KCR
2 Kirk Nieuwenhuis 2012-04-24 2012-06-02 29 NYM  1 Carlos Lee 2012-05-14 2012-05-28  15 HOU
3 Rick Ankiel 2012-05-06 2012-07-01 23 WSN 3 Dustin Pedroia 2012-07-01 2012-07-30  14 BOS
 3 Juan Pierre 2012-05-25 2012-06-13 14 PHI
 3 Ryan Theriot 2012-04-29 2012-06-03 14 SFG
 3 Jeff Keppinger 2012-04-12 2012-05-08 14 TBR
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/3/2012.

Note the last entry in the above table, of games with and without strikeouts. I was curious when strikeout streaks started getting longer than no-strikeout streaks. Adam Dunn’s 31-game strikeout streak in 2012 is the longest in-season streak of this century, and part of a 35 game streak begun at the end of the 2011 season. Here are the longest in-season streaks of earlier decades.

Decade Strk Start End Games Tm
1990s Shane Andrews 1999-08-27 1999-09-30 22 MON-CHC
Tony Clark 1996-08-23 1996-09-14 22 DET
1980s Jeff Kunkel 1989-06-24 1989-07-21 21 TEX
Pete Incaviglia 1988-06-15 1988-07-23 21 TEX
1970s Bernie Carbo 1976-07-15 1976-09-08 25 MIL-BOS Part of a 27 game streak ending 1977-04-10
1960s Ken Hunt 1963-04-16 1963-08-08 25 LAA Dave Nicholson had a 37 game streak
spanning 1964 (17 games) and 1965 (20)
1950s Bob Speake 1955-07-17 1955-09-19 24 CHC
1940s Oscar Grimes 1944-09-04 1944-09-21 12 NYY
1930s Vince DiMaggio 1937-06-05 1937-06-22 14 BSN
1920s Babe Ruth 1922-08-20 1922-09-05 12 NYY
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/3/2012.

So, a pretty sudden shift from the 1940s to the 1950s, but relatively stable since then. That is, until we get to Big Donkey.

A rather different story when we look at streaks of not striking out. In 1929, Joe Sewell went 115 starting games without whiffing (see below), a mere 100 games longer than the top such streak of 2012.

Decade Strk Start End Games Tm
2000-12 Juan Pierre 2004-08-16 2004-09-19 31 FLA
1990s Tony Gwynn 1995-06-03 1995-07-17 39 SDP
1980s Bob Bailor 1984-05-10 1984-09-30 35 LAD Part of a 56 game streak from 1983-10-01 to 1985-08-20
1970s Dave Cash 1976-05-28 1976-07-17 47 PHI
1960s Nellie Fox 1962-07-22 1962-09-03 39 CHW
1950s Nellie Fox 1958-05-17 1958-08-22 98 CHW
1940s Emil Verban 1949-04-21 1949-06-17 53 CHC Dale Mitchell (73 games) and Lloyd Waner (69)
Debs Garms 1940-06-16 1940-09-13 53 PIT had longer streaks spanning multiple seasons
1930s Carey Selph 1932-05-20 1932-09-11 66 CHW Joe Sewell had an 81 game streak spanning
Joe Sewell 1930-05-27 1930-08-27 66 CLE 1931 (17 games) and 1932 (64)
1920s Joe Sewell 1929-05-19 1929-09-19 115 CLE
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/3/2012.

So, the big change here occurred in the 1960s. It’s now been over 50 years since a player has had an in-season streak of 50 games or more without striking out.

However, a more recent trend to fewer and shorter streaks is evident. Juan Pierre has had two 30+ game streaks since 2000, the only player to have even one such streak. In the past five seasons, Jeff Keppinger has two 20+ game streaks, again the only player with even one. Thus, since 2008, strikeout streaks have become longer and more common than no-strikeout streaks, a first in MLB history.

I will follow up with a similar post on pitchers.

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