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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

FanGraphs: Carruth: Ron Hunt Got Hit Like Nobody Else

In contrast, consider Ron Hunt. A second baseman during the expansion era, Hunt made a couple All Star games but otherwise made little dent in baseball history, except in being hit by pitches. Ron Hunt was hit 50 times in 1971, which destroyed the previous record by a whopping 19. That number is made more interesting to me by Hunt’s 58 walks and his 41 strikeouts. He was hit more often than he struck out! That’s an incredibly rare, if not, unprecedented achievement over a full season. Hunt’s 50 times reaching base via getting hit accounted for almost 20% of his OBP. If, somehow, all 50 of those had been outs instead, Hunt’s OBP would have been 80 points lower.

While 1971 was the clear pinnacle, it was by no means unique for Hunt who led the league in HBPs for seven straight seasons despite usually playing only about 120 games a year. Past the Hughie Jennings era, nobody has a higher HBP per game rate than Hunt though two recent players, F.P. Santangelo and Carlos Quentin, do have slightly higher HBP/PA rates over shorter careers. Quentin’s might be difficult to keep up now that HBPs have stopped their mid-2000s climb.

Over Hunt’s career he ended up with 243 HBPs, 555 walks and just 382 strikeouts. Hit by pitches accounted for over 20%. Only Fernando Vina has managed to have a similar combination of the three, though he had many fewer walks and played during a time (the “Steroid era”) that had about 60% more HBPs than Hunt’s mid-60s to mid-70s time frame. Overall, I’m not sure that contextually, there a player that made a bigger use of getting hit than Ron Hunt.

Dent little? Again with the Yankee/Met biz! Hunt - OPS+104 ~ Dent - OPS+74. .......oh, sorry.

Repoz Posted: October 11, 2011 at 10:18 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers, expos, giants, history, mets

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Benji Posted: October 11, 2011 at 11:01 AM (#3959229)
My first favorite player!
   2. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: October 11, 2011 at 11:21 AM (#3959231)
I have always wondered how he could even hit at all.
   3. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: October 11, 2011 at 12:23 PM (#3959248)
...Yet, he had 7 seasons above 102 OPS+ and three seasons above 4 WAR. The man actually got 30 WAR over his career (36,2 oWAR, -6 dWAR). This is impressive for a middle infielder who was average defensively, had no power and hit for a somewhat low BA...
Up until this morning, I seriously did not think he was that good. To me, he was Spike Owen plus the HBP...
   4. Ron J Posted: October 11, 2011 at 01:03 PM (#3959255)
#3 I always though of him as an offense first infielder. His batting average wasn't low for the time and an awful lot of teams still stuffed a second shortstop into the position.

He actually got hit more often than the record shows. By 1971 he'd perfected a move where he twisted his body and actually moved into the ball while looking like he was trying to get out of the way. The umpire caught on and so he was one of the few players to get the didn't try to get out of the way call.

I remember his 1971 strat card. Since all HBP are on the batter's card he was just loaded with HBP.
   5. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: October 11, 2011 at 02:01 PM (#3959283)
A woman pregnant with your own child AND Ron Hunt? Rae, you're a sick guy.
   6. DanG Posted: October 11, 2011 at 02:54 PM (#3959326)
Most WAR, debuting 1956-69, playing 600+ G at 2B from 1956-80

Rk           Player WAR/pos OPSRfield    PA From   To    G  SB   BA  OBP  SLG
1        Joe Morgan    91.7  134    
-36  9455 1963 1980 2186 625 .275 .395 .433
2         Pete Rose    76.3  124    
-24 12911 1963 1980 2830 167 .310 .380 .428
3         Rod Carew    68.6  136      5  8085 1967 1980 1889 312 .333 .395 .444
4    Dick McAuliffe    35.1  109    
-26  7162 1960 1975 1763  63 .247 .343 .403
'5         Ron Hunt    30.0  104    -39  6158 1963 1974 1483  65 .273 .368 .347'
6    Bill Mazeroski    26.9   84    146  8379 1956 1972 2163  27 .260 .299 .367
7     Davey Johnson    24.5  110     13  5465 1965 1978 1435  33 .261 .340 .404
8         Dave Cash    20.5   93     37  6057 1969 1980 1422 120 .283 .334 .358
9       Tony Taylor    16.5   88    
-37  8501 1958 1976 2195 234 .261 .321 .352
10     Jim Lefebvre    15.4  104     16  3417 1965 1972  922   8 .251 .323 .378
11      Jerry Lumpe    14.8   87     14  5441 1956 1967 1371  20 .268 .325 .356
12       Dick Green    13.5   87     65  4462 1963 1974 1288  26 .240 .303 .347
13     Ted Sizemore    13.4   80     41  5648 1969 1980 1411  59 .262 .325 .321
14     Felix Millan    12.6   87    
-18  6325 1966 1977 1480  67 .279 .322 .343
15    Glenn Beckert    11.4   82    
-28  5572 1965 1975 1320  49 .283 .318 .345
16     Mike Andrews    10.1  104    
-53  3685 1966 1973  893  18 .258 .353 .369
17    Horace Clarke     9.5   83     21  5242 1965 1974 1272 151 .256 .308 .313
18     Bernie Allen     9.4   91      0  3823 1962 1973 1142  13 .239 .314 .357
19    Julian Javier     9.4   78    
-18  6179 1960 1972 1622 135 .257 .296 .355
20      Bobby Knoop     9.2   83     66  4004 1964 1972 1153  16 .236 .296 .334 
   7. Alex_Lewis Posted: October 11, 2011 at 04:02 PM (#3959403)
Some men donate their body to science. Ron Hunt donated his to baseball.
   8. Magnum RA Posted: October 11, 2011 at 04:13 PM (#3959414)
Rae Carruth is still taking guys deep.
   9. esseff Posted: October 11, 2011 at 04:18 PM (#3959420)
Imagine the poor kids coming home from camp all black and blue.
   10. DanG Posted: October 12, 2011 at 02:03 AM (#3959953)
Most HBP in a season since 1900

Rk          Player HBP OPS+  PA Year  Tm Lg   G
1         Ron Hunt  50  117 638 1971 MON NL 152
2       Don Baylor  35  111 687 1986 BOS AL 160
3     Craig Biggio  34  143 744 1997 HOU NL 162
4    Jason Kendall  31  131 627 1998 PIT NL 149
5    Jason Kendall  31  114 572 1997 PIT NL 144
6      Steve Evans  31  108 627 1910 STL NL 151
7     Craig Wilson  30  119 644 2004 PIT NL 155
8     Craig Biggio  28  110 717 2001 HOU NL 155
9    Fernando Vina  28   96 554 2000 STL NL 123
10      Don Baylor  28   97 467 1987 TOT AL 128 

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