There’s one on every street corner. A human factory cranks em out on a daily basis. Talking about The Species. They don’t wear a green star on their shirt, no number monogrammed onto their wrist. They sometimes swing and miss….a lot of times in fact, but they also know the strike zone. They earn walks and do make contact, more than contact, more like explosions, The Big Fly. I bet if we lined em all up, we could make a great long wall, Red Rover Red Rover, send Adam Dunn over?
i was looking for players who had a high OB% with a low batting average, more affectionately known as OBP – BA differential. Where would the world be without dashes? I figured most of the players, maybe all of them would fit the above profile and be like Dunn, be power hitters. His career BA is .237, career OB% .364………462 long balls.
I found the OB BA differential list for 2009. Carlos Pena ruled the roost with his .222 batting average and .357 OB%, good enough for a .135 difference. No surprise. Pena fits the mold or my assumption of someone who swings and misses a lot, but swings and hits home runs too and scares pitchers into throwing balls, hence, walk a lot too.
But I didn’t find any other seasons and I didn’t find an all-time leader list, yet.
The Brewers Colin Walsh, no relation to Joe Walsh, as far as I know defies the logic I was trying to develop. Walsh made the Brewers team this year, his first major league season, on his reputation for working a walk. It’s a good fit, Walsh and the Brewers, especially if you subscribe to the notion that a manager is God and he builds a roster in his own image. Not only does Walsh mildly resemble Craig Counsell in a sculptured facial feature sort of way, but he takes pitches in mind-expanding volumes. Colin Walsh simply does not swing and that makes him sort of a circus side show because he doesn’t really hit either, certainly not home runs or not in the majors, not yet anyway. But he did hit 16 home runs in 2012 – A level St. Louis and 13 in 2015 AA Oakland. He also hit .302 that year with a .447 OB%.
Walsh was originally drafted out of Stanford University by St. Louis, then released and signed by Oakland. He was left unprotected and the Brewers grabbed him in the 2015 Rule V draft which means he has to remain on the Brewers roster all season.
At the present time, Walsh is batting .095 with a .321 OB%. In 56 plate appearances, he has walked 13 times and struck out 18, 4 hits in 41 at bats, 2 RBI’s. He also spins the bat between pitches. It’s a different sort of baton twirl than Mickey Rivers, but a twirl nonetheless, a Hasbro sensation, fun for everyone to see.