Strange Probabilities and Top 10 Hitters

July 17, 1914:
“EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! ….
LAST PLACE BRAVES FALL 11.5 GAMES OUT OF FIRST AND ARE RUNNING SHORT ON HOPE!”

For further information on the longer list and other stats, check out the ESPN link for yourselves. It’s usually up-to-date by the mornings following each date of games played:

http://www.espn.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/sort/avg/league/al/year/2017/seasontype/2

 

TOP 10 AL HITTERS FOR AVERAGE

Through Games of Wednesday, July 19, 2017:

# PLAYER TEAM AB H 2B 3B HR AVE.
1 Jose Altuve HOU 360 127 27 2 14 .353
2 Jean Segura SEA 280 97 18 0 6 .346
3 Jose Rameriz CLE 352 114 29 5 17 .324
4 Carlos Correa HOU 325 104 18 1 20 .320
5 Ben Gamel SEA 279 89 16 2 5 .319
6 Avisail Garcia CWS 319 100 17 3 13 .313
7 Aaron Judge NYY 327 102 13 3 30 .312
8 Eric Hosmer KC 356 111 20 1 13 .312
9 Starlin Castro NYY 308 96 14 1 12 .312
10 Dustin Pedroia BOS 306 95 16 0 5 .310

 

HYPOTHETICAL IMPROBABILITIES: Changes or other rare and unusual facets in the rules of baseball over time have produced some almost non-existent probabilities that still remain with us, nevertheless, as possibilities.

Example # 1: It already happened in an All Star Game back in the 1940s, I think, but I do not recall the exact instance at print time here. – A pitcher was called into a game with men on base in a tie game with two outs. Before he threw a single pitch to his first batter, he picked the runner off first base to retire the side. His club then scored a run for a lead they would never surrender and he was replaced the very next inning on the mound. He wound up getting the win credit, however,  as the pitcher of record when the lead run scored, even though he never threw a single pitch in the game. – If you can cite the instance in which this rarity occurred, or if you know of any other times it actually has happened, please share that knowledge with the rest of us in the comment section that follows this column. Thanks.

Example # 2: Because of the DH, it is now possible for a really good hitter to earn his way into the Hall of Fame over a career in which he never plays a single defensive pitch in the field. As more of these types now emerge as possibilities over time, the more the probabilities ascend that some of us will live to see this one happen in our lifetimes.

Example # 3: This last one’s hope of ever happening only lives on as a technical possibility. With the recent change that allows a batter to take first base by a wave of the umpire’s hand, it is possible that some new player may come along at any time and have one of those “Eddie Gaedel Single Time At Bat Careers” in which he reaches base on an intentional walk, thus becoming the first player in history to be recorded as a legitimate former major leaguer, but one who never saw a pitched ball on offense or defense.

Ouch! That’s enough for one day!

____________________

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

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6 Responses to “Strange Probabilities and Top 10 Hitters”

  1. bhick6 Says:

    Regarding Example #3, we already have a legitimate major leaguer who never saw a pitched ball on offense or defense — and he was an Astro. Larry Yount (brother of Robin) was officially announced into a major league ballgame in 1971, but injured his arm while warming up. So he was relieved before active play actually took place, and he never got into another major league game. Nevertheless, you’ll find him listed among the 19,000+ major leaguers.

    As for Example #1, it was Dean Stone in the 1954 All-Star game. See his WikiPedia entry at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Stone

    Bill Hickman

  2. Christopher Chestnut Says:

    July 13, 1954. Dean Stone, pitching for the American League, came on in the 8th inning with his team trailing 9-8 and two runners on base. Red Schoendienst was thrown out trying to steal home. The AL scored three times in the bottom of the 8th to win 11-9.

  3. Larry Dierker Says:

    No hitter will ever earn his way into the HOF. He may be voted in, like Frank Thomas, but he won’t earn it.

    There are a handful of guys in the BB Encyclopedia who have no ABs to innings pitched.

    Earl Weaver took a chance, pinch hitting with his back up catcher and did not score. Infielder Len Sakarya took over behind the plate. Tippy Martinez took the mound. Three runners reached base and he picked them all off as they were eager to steal on Sakata. So he pitched an inning without retiring a batter!

  4. Cliff Blau Says:

    There were 27 players whose only appearance in the big leagues was as a pinch-runner: see http://www.hardballtimes.com/coffee-sippers-those-who-played-one-game-pinch-hitters-and-runners/

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