BA Question Sparks Bobblehead Possibility


2018 American League Batting Average Leaders

Through Games of 6/29/2018:

# Leaders Team G AB H BA
1 Jose Altuve Astros 84 329 112 .340
2 Mookie Betts Red Sox 63 242 82 .339
3 Jean Segura Mariners 76 317 107 .338
4 Andrelton Simmons Angels 72 297 86 .322
5 JD Martinez Red Sox 79 302 97 .3212
6 Mike Trout Angels 83 287 92 .3210
7 Matt Duffy Rays 65 257 81 .315
8 Eddie Rosario Twins 77 308 96 .312
9 Michael Brantley Indians 69 280 86 .3071
10 Jon Jay Royals 59 238 73 .3067
  • Astros Above shown in bold type.

The Run of Things Going Into the All Star Break. Jose Altuve has hit a cooler spot in the long season run. It’s not as bad as George Springer’s big chill at the plate, of course, but still close enough to AC room air temp to allow Mr. Altuve more company near the top view of the whole house than he might really desire to welcome.

Anyway, that’s baseball. And it’s all part of the long season.

A curiosity. The PP Eagle will continue to run these updates sporadically during the season – and more often come September as we continue to track Jose Altuve’s pursuit of a 4th American League batting average championship. In that light, we have elected to follow the bare statistical facts that are germaine to the competition – times at bat, hits, and batting average.

We do not, however, have a ready answer to the way Baseball Reference.Com chooses to handle players who qualify by their AL numbers, but would not count, if we took their other playing time with an NL club into consideration too prior to an earlier this same season trade or pick up.

So far, John Jay, the 10th ranked hitter today, forces these questions: Does John Jay really qualify? And, at season’s end, when all of his MLB stats are considered together, will his NL stats at San Diego in 2018 undermine his chances for the AL batting title?

John Jay is hitting .307 as a 2018 AL batter. Baseball Reference.Com does not hold the .244 that Jay batted for San Diego in the 21 games he played there before joining the Royals after the start of this season. If they did, his aggregate average for the whole season would be .291, to date, and he would not be listed among the AL leaders here.

My understanding is that a batter’s performance for a whole season, both leagues combined, would be considered in determining a batting championship.

But, what if a player hit .400 in the NL but got traded at the August 31st deadline to an AL club because he ran off with the NL club owner’s wife – and then hammered the AL pitchers with enough hits in September to qualify as the batting champion of both leagues? How does that work? Do you have to get most of your hits in one league to qualify as the BA champion? Or do you just treat whatever you did in the other league that season as a non-event?

It goes without saying, but leave it to me, I’ll say it anyway: If you are hitting .400 in August, but you get traded before the deadline because it’s learned that you’ve been stepping out with the club owner’s wife, don’t be surprised if the team’s marketing people come up with the world’s first triple person bobble-head giveaway figure – just in time for the first game of the playoffs. – It will feature the club owner getting ready to deliver a serious double-duty kick to the posteriors of both his former wife and former star slugger.



Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle



5 Responses to “BA Question Sparks Bobblehead Possibility”

  1. Michael McCroskey Says:

    I should assume that one needs enough qualifying at bats in a league to qualify as batting champion. If you’re hitting .400 in August you need to have accumulated the (is it 502?) total number of plate appearances necessary to qualify for your league championship. In calculating plate appearances, walks,.HBP’s and sacrifices are included One could not garner enough plate appearances in 4 to 6 weeks to qualify for a batting championship in his new league. regardless, separate league performances are not combined, but are separate for each league. .
    As i was typing this, the name Willie McGee popped into my mind. Seems like he won the batting championship in one league, although he was traded to the other near the end of a season.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Mike, I think you are totally right on all those points. With all of their inter-league play that exists today, however, It just makes less sense today to omit from consideration what a batter did while he was a member of the so-called “other” league. That’s my take, anyway.

  2. Mike McCroskey Says:

    Well, then let’s take it a step further. Say your player continues hitting .400 after he is traded and winds up leading the majors in hitting average. With only maybe 120 AB’s on the second team, do you think he should be the batting champ of both leagues?

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Point well taken, Mike. No, I do not think so. We should continue to honor by identical standards and qualifications the champions of each league, based upon what players did as members of each league in those particular categories of batting, pitching, and fielding achievement that are regularly honored.

      Let’s say Altuve wins the AL BA crown with a .348 and Almora of the Cubs wins the NL BA race with a .339.

      I think it would be OK to also differentiate the “MLB Batting Champion” as Altuve and have Almora shone on his trophy as the “NL Batting Champion.”

      Using the same system throughout, we might even see a year come and go in which a big HR hitter is traded from one league to the other at mid-season and then ends with high totals in each league, but not enough to win either League HR title. ….But….. when you put his totals together, he has more homers on the season than either of the winners. – He’s the clear “MLB HR Leader.”


      MLB CHAMP CASEY-50 (NL-26 AND AL-24)

      “Call the trophy shop, Aunt Minnie!!!”

      • Mike McCroskey Says:

        Now you’re causing me to recall Dave Kingman who did lead all off baseball with 48 dingers in 1979. If only he had had similar numbers in 1977, where he not only played for teams in each league, but for teams in each of the then 4 divisions; Mets, Padres, Angels and Yankees. Alas, he only totaled 26 for the entire year; or you may very well had been able to call Aunt Minnie!

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