Originally posted by aegis fang
Originally posted by ProudAmerican
What player holds the record for most at-bats in a single season? With what team? How many? What year?
Bonus- What side of the plate did the player hit from?
Willie Wilson with KC, he had 705 at bats in 1980, and he was a switch hitter.
Pardon my discursion, but this stat shows what a largely wasted career Wilson had, and why. Wilson was a man whose job was to get on base any way
. Yet, although he played in 19 major league seasons, and was a pretty much full-time player for 16 of those seasons, he never once drew
even 40 walks. For a leadoff hitter with no home run power, that statistic is pathetic.
Wilson had a .285 lifetime batting average, but a measly .376 lifetime slugging average (despite all his triples in KC), and an unforgivable on-base
percentage of .326.
Just think of what it cost his team. I have never seen a list of the all-time leaders in stolen base percentage, given a minimum career total of,
say, 200 stolen bases. But Wilson could fly and succeeded in a staggering 83% (!!!) of his stolen base attempts, which puts him ahead of everyone I
know of, except Tim Raines. And with guys like Brett and McRae in his lineup, those steals turned into a lot of runs, enabling Wilson to score 1,169
runs in his career, despite his pitiful on-base percentage.
So think about this:
If Wilson had NOT been busy racking up negative stats like 705 AB's in a season, and if he'd instead accepted his hitting limitations and taken every
walk he could get, how many more runs would his team have gotten? LOTS. And how many more divisions, pennants and World Series might they have won?
Who knows, but they'd surely have done better in the post-season.
There's really no excuse for Wilson's obstinacy, nor for the way Herzog, Howser et al. let him go on hacking at anything near the plate. As Bill
James once said in evaluating Ernie Lombardi's notorious lead feet and their many liabilities to his team, the cost to [Wilson's] team was enormous.
And for a leadoff hitter without home run power, it was all so inexcusable.
I'd like to hear a real good sabermetrician estimate how many times on base--and, much more important, how many runs created--Wilson cost his team
with his lack of walks.
You are supposed to walk something like 10 or 11% of the time, simply by letting the opposition do so when they're missing the strike zone. Wilson
walked 5.11% of the time in his career. And remember, this is a guy who should have been actively working for walks, like Rickey.
God knows what kind of nightmares A.L. pitchers would have had, if Wilson had learned to walk even 70% as well as Rickey did. I've no reason to
believe he coudn't have done so, and every reason to believe he could have done so.
But no manager ever took the time to tell him how much his love affair with hacking was costing the team, and he continue to do it. No manager ever
sat him down for a day or two for hacking at pitches well out of the strike zone--a huge problem with today's players. Hell, no Little League coach
told him what mine told me: "Don't swing at pitches unless they are strikes, dammit!!!"
I think this flaw will keep Wilson out of the Hall, and in my opinion, it should. No aspersion on his integrity, what he did or didn't put in his
body, or anything else. I just don't think the guy's stats are worthy of the Hall. But by taking another 600-800 walks, and scoring all the runs he
would have scored, he sure could have had Hall-worthy stats.