A fan of the Yankees, Red Sox, and large sample sizes.
WALK, DON'T RUN
Mark Bellhorn, a favorite of mine, is having a rather strange year statistically. His average is barely above the Mendoza line, but his on-base percentage is on the leader board, and the ol' slugging leaves something to be desired: .214/.430/.357
Bellhorn has 12 hits and 21 walks in 16 games. On most other teams, he wouldn't be playing regularly, but the Red Sox know that a .787 OPS isn't bad, especially when the OBP component is so high. Think about it this way, would people be worried if he was a .357/.430 player, like many many other second basemen? Nope, and with the extrme OBP, Bellhorn's OPS is worth at least .30 extra points on the OPS scale we're traditionally used to dealing with.
Since I was on a roll with ASS/Retrosheet, I decided I'd try to find any season between 1999 and 2002 in which a player had more walks than hits (excluding IBB). The biggest difference was John Jaha in 2000 when he had 33 walks versus 17 hits in not much playing time. If you set some sort of minimum playing time (I picked a minimum of 50 hits), the only player with more walks than hits was Jay Buhner in 1999 (69 walks, 59 hits).
With a minimum of 100 hits, Barry Bonds had 143 walks and 156 hits in 1999. Tim Salmon 2001, Adam Dunn 2002, Barry Bonds 2002, Jim Thome 1999, John Jaha 1999, Robin Ventura 2001, and Mark McGwire 1999 aren't far behind.
For players that managed 200 hits, Bernie Williams had the smallest gap between his walks and hits - 119 and 128 in 1999 and 2002 respectively.
Here's hoping Bellhorn keeps that OBP in the .430 range, and can find the 2002 power stroke again. He should get the opporunity to play at least 3-4 games a week the whole year.
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