Baseball Esoterica

September 26, 2005

Below Average

Currently, Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals is in the odd state of having his on-base percentage (.400) being 12 points lower than his batting average (.412). Um, how can this happen? You pretty much have to never walk or get hit by a pitch, but hit a sac fly. Should he keep this up he'll be joining some elite company...really!
  • The only non-pitcher to keep this up with more than Zimmerman's number of at-bats (34) is Dante Bichette in his rookie year, 1988, when he hit .261, but only managed a .240 OBP in 46 at-bats. How'd he do that? Try no walks or HBP's, and four sacrifice flies! Other rookie notables: Don Mattingly (.167, .154), Bruce Bochy (.214, .205), and Joe Crede (.357, .333). And, I swear, John Shave and Razor Shines.
  • The player to pull this off with the most at-bats is San Francisco utility-infielder Ernie Bowman. In 1963, he batted .184 in 125 at-bats, while only compiling a .181 OBP.
Extra Esoterica:
Dante Bichette only had four other RBI's in 1988, meaning that sacrifice flies accounted for 50% of them. Believe it or not, this is not the "record". In 1979, Rance Mulliniks (one of my all-time favorite baseball names) hit five SF's, but only compiled three other ribbies in his 68 official at-bats. And since we're here, I might as well tell you that the player with the most RBI's, all of which came from sac flies was Mark Leonard in 1993 with three.


  • Seven of Zimmerman's sixteen hits were doubles. Could this be some kind of record? Would the fact that he has no homers or triples make it more record-sy?

    By Anonymous Will, at 11:14 PM  

  • Hmmm...I'll get back to you on that one.

    By Anonymous esoteric eric, at 12:19 AM  

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