Run, Don’t Walk

MLB walk rates are at historic lows, another artifact of a declining run scoring environment. Rates below 8% of PAs have been recorded in both leagues for the past two seasons, levels not seen since the 1960s in the NL, and not seen previously in the AL in the live ball era.

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Leadoff hitters: getting off on the wrong foot

Last season marked the 6th consecutive campaign with OBP below .330 for major league leadoff hitters. If it happens again in 2016, it will mark the first time since at least 1913 that that’s happened in 7 consecutive seasons. 2015 also marked the fourth straight season with at least 10% of major league teams posting a sub-.300 OBP from the number one hole; it’s the first time that’s happened in more than 40 years.

The good news (I guess) is that poor leadoff hitting didn’t stop the Kansas City Royals from becoming only the sixth team since 1913 to win the World Series with leadoff hitters posting a sub-.300 OBP...

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Quiz – Division Champion Relievers (stumped)

All of these pitchers played for a division champion. But, they also did something else to distinguish themselves from all other relief pitchers since divisional play began in 1969. What is this unusual pitching accomplishment?

The pitchers are:

  1. Wade Davis,
  2. Santiago Casilla,
  3. Zach Britton,
  4. Koji Uehara,
  5. Joaquin Benoit,
  6. Rafael Betancourt,
  7. Cla Meredith,
  8. Michael Jackson,
  9. Dennis Eckersley...
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Free Agency by the numbers

But, not the numbers (with lots of zeros after them) that you’re probably thinking about. Baseball’s annual rite of fall and winter has just about run its course. As of this writing, Baseball-Reference is recording 414 free agent signings since the end of last season, with only 8 more players still on the market.

How did your team do in the free agent sweepstakes? Find out after the jump.

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Quiz – Double Trouble (solved)

The 2012 Minnesota Twins have the unfortunate distinction of being the only club in more than 35 years with some unusual position players on its roster. What unenviable characteristic distinguishes these clubs from among all other post-war teams?

Rk Year Tm 1 2012 Minnesota Twins 2 1979 Cleveland Indians 3 1976 California Angels 4 1976 San Diego Padres 5 1976 Texas Rangers 6 1972 Montreal Expos 7 1968 San Francisco Giants 8 1959 Philadelphia Phillies Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used Generated 3/7/2016...
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Arenado Blasts Off

Google translates “arenado” as Spanish for “sandblasted”. Leaving aside the sand, Rockie third baseman Nolan Arenado had a breakout year in 2015, recording one of the more impressive under-the-radar seasons in recent memory, leading the NL with 42 big blasts, and leading the majors with 130 RBI and 354 total bases.

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Circle of Greats Recap

Our project at High Heat Stats to elect our version of the Hall of Fame has completed (for now) after 121 rounds of balloting, and 121 players elected to the Circle of Greats (COG). This matches the number of Hall of Fame (HOF) members elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). As the BBWAA elects additional members in future years, the intention is to resume COG balloting at those times to maintain a matching number of honorees...

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