Phillies’ Team Walk Rates: A Look

5 Jul

It’s been said that walking 1 time for every 10 atbats(.100) at the plate is a sufficient amount for a major league player. It shows enough of knowledge of the strike zone, the ability to lay off pitches, and a general sense of hitting. The great players are usually better than that, though there are exceptions of course. Teams that have historically done well in this regard, such as the Yankees, Red Sox and Athletics, have also had offenses that have been fairly efficient and good. How do your 2006 Philadelphia Phillies rate? Let’s take a look:


Bobby Abreu: .282
Pat Burrell .201
David Bell .107
Ryan Howard .100
Chase Utley .095
Jimmy Rollins .085
David Dellucci .069
Shane Victorino .042
Abraham Nunez .042
Sal Fasano .036
Aaron Rowand .036
Carlos Ruiz .026 (1 walk in 38 AB)
Mike Lieberthal .012
Chris Roberson N/A (0 walks in 17 AB)
Chris Coste N/A (0 walks in 34 AB)

About 5 people reach the mark: Abreu, Burrell, Bell, Utley and Howard. Bell simply can’t hit, but at least he walks a bit. The rest of the club is littered with hackers, especially the catching position. It’s a bit understandable that some of the bench players swing the bat a lot, because very few bench players go up there and walk a lot, but when 3 entire positions(CF, C, SS) hack away, it adds up to several holes in the lineup. To be fair to Aaron Rowand, he does get hit by pitches enough to raise his OBP slightly, but he’s still not very good in this getting on base.

So how do the Phillies compare to the rest of the league? The Phillies do not play against themselves, and the other teams in the league may actually walk a bunch less, who knows? This slightly skews toward the AL because of the designated hitter, but it’s a good rough estimate. Well, here goes(teams with winning records in bold):

Red Sox .124
Yankees .121
Reds .118
Athletics .114
Dodgers ..108 <– Thank DePodesta, I guess, boy he really messed the Dodgers up
Astros .106
Indians .102
Blue Jays .102
Phillies .102
Giants .102
Diamondbacks .100
Nationals .098
Padres .097
White Sox .096
Braves .096
Rangers .093
Rockies .096
Marlins .096
Twins .095
Cardinals .094
Brewers .094
Mets .090
Royals .088
Devil Rays .086
Angels .085
Pirates .084
Orioles .080
Tigers .077
Mariners .074
Cubs .070

So the Phils are actually pretty decent, it looks, ranked 9th out of 30th. However,take away Bobby’s hugely skewing walk rate, and the Phils are down to .083. Put in a guy with 33 walks and 300 AB(about what I found to be the median), and it’s .086, and puts the Phillies in tremendous company with the Royals, Devil Rays, Angels, and Pirates. Only the Tigers have a winning record and are lower, but they are led by pitching. Pitching that we don’t have, of course.

Conclusion: It seems that the Phillies are bit hackish at the plate, putting aside Bobby Abreu and a couple others. Exchanging Kenny Lofton/Jason Michaels for Aaron Rowand certainly didn’t help in this regard, but there could perhaps be something deeper than this when one looks at how much some of the bench players acquired recently hack, and also how some of the players that came up through the system(Rollins, Ruiz, Roberson, Lieberthal) tend to hack. Abreu was brought in from outside the organization and has always had a great eye, and no one outside of Pat Burrell has come up through this minor league system and walked at a rate beyond what is considered sufficient. This could lend credence to the Phillies needing a front office overhaul.

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6 Responses to “Phillies’ Team Walk Rates: A Look”

  1. John Salmon July 5, 2006 at 10:26 pm #

    Thanks for adding my new blog to your list. It’s surprising that the Phils rank that high in walk rate; the fact that so many of the BB’s come from Burrell and Bobby is yet another example of how unbalanced the lineup is. It’s got a Red Sox core and a Royals leadoff and bottom.

  2. Tom G July 5, 2006 at 10:44 pm #

    It’s an interesting look at things. I wonder how the Phillies walk rate rank compares to last year’s rank? The offense is down, and while the biggest culprit is poor hitting w/RISP, it may be that a poorer batting eye overall may be part of that particular problem.

  3. Chris July 5, 2006 at 11:07 pm #

    john – great last sentence..it just epitomizes us

    tom – CHeck out what someone from the Good Phight wrote in the comments of my piece here: http://www.thegoodphight.com/story/2006/7/5/132441/4526#commenttop

    Basically, we were more patient last year.

  4. Nick July 6, 2006 at 4:23 am #

    Who would have thought that a member of the Royals could have a legit chance at hitting safley for 56 games in a row… Maybe Bobby does deserve to be an All-Star, .282 ain’t bad.

  5. Rob Bonter July 23, 2006 at 12:38 am #

    Interesting that the Cubs rank last in walk rate, and have a manager who burns out his starting pitchers. We have much to be grateful for it seems – mere incompetence.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. I’ve Made a Huge Tiny Mistake » Team Walk Rates: Another Look - August 14, 2006

    [...] About 5 weeks ago I looked at the Phillies walk rates as individuals and as a team. I concluded that the team was fairly hackish, and that the players who weren’t hackish were mostly from outside the organization (Abreu, for example). The bench was littered with hackers, and ‘young’ hitters Utley and Howard were OK, but nothing exciting. This basically meant that some guys had good eyes, some had decent eyes, but many players were swinging at balls. How has one month affected these rates and what does this say about the offense? Let’s look at them and how they’ve changed: [...]

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