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Friday, September 17, 2021

Best average in Majors ... but no batting title?

Marte indeed leads in batting average, entering Friday four points ahead of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Trea Turner, both at .317. But Marte is ineligible for a batting title because, despite being a qualified hitter overall—having amassed at least 3.1 plate appearances per team game—he won’t qualify in either league alone.

To win the AL batting title, a player must reach 502 plate appearances (that’s 3.1 times 162, for a normal-length season) while in an AL uniform. To win in the NL, a player must reach that mark in an NL uniform. And while we recognize which batter leads the Majors overall each year, there isn’t a specific MLB batting title. A batter must qualify in a specific league in order to win a batting title.

Marte, of course, was traded on July 28 from the Marlins to the A’s for Jesús Luzardo. At the point when he was traded, he’d hit .305 in 275 plate appearances as an NL player. He wasn’t in the batting title conversation, for two reasons: Nick Castellanos led the NL, at .329, and Marte wasn’t even a qualified NL player at that point, due to injury time missed.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 17, 2021 at 10:15 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: starling marte

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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: September 17, 2021 at 10:49 AM (#6040066)
Eddie Murray says hi.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 17, 2021 at 10:55 AM (#6040070)
Yea, that situation is specifically detailed in the article.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: September 17, 2021 at 10:58 AM (#6040074)
Not mentioned, McGwire leading the majors in homers in 1997 without winning a homer title.

   4. Nasty Nate Posted: September 17, 2021 at 11:21 AM (#6040079)
Randy Johnson did it with strikeouts, and still finished 3rd in the AL.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 17, 2021 at 11:32 AM (#6040085)
I mentioned in another thread that we were in danger of having no one hit as high as .320 for the first time in major league history, not realizing what Marte was doing.

I believe the lowest major-league leading BA is Dick Groat's .325 in 1960 (Pete Runnels lead the AL that year with a .320 BA). That record is very much in danger, although Marte, currently at .321, still has a chance to outhit Groat, as do a few other players.
   6. Itchy Row Posted: September 17, 2021 at 12:52 PM (#6040112)
CC Sabathia led the NL in complete games with the Brewers after they traded for him, and he was tied for third in the AL with the Indians
Sabathia also led the AL and the NL in shutouts that year.
   7. SandyRiver Posted: September 17, 2021 at 01:27 PM (#6040118)
In a way this reminds me of the Reds' predicament in 1981 - 4 games better than any other team and shut out of the PS thanks to the strike.
   8. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 17, 2021 at 01:58 PM (#6040121)
Rick Sutcliffe tied for the MLB lead in wins in 1984 despite not leading either league. He finished 4th in the NL and won the Cy Young Award over the arguably more deserving rookie Dwight Gooden.
   9. salvomania Posted: September 17, 2021 at 02:13 PM (#6040125)
In a way this reminds me of the Reds' predicament in 1981 - 4 games better than any other team and shut out of the PS thanks to the strike.

Cardinals got hosed, too---best record in NL East and no postseason. Adding insult to injury they played fewer games than the teams that finished ahead of them: a whopping five games fewer then the Phillies in the "first half," finishing 1.5 games back, and one game fewer than the Expos in the "second half," finishing a half-game behind.

That whole season is a bad memory and a joke.
   10. The Honorable Ardo Posted: September 17, 2021 at 02:39 PM (#6040130)
We were in danger of having no one hit as high as .320 for the first time in major league history
Tom, that's a good find. The reason, of course, is the slow demise of the single. David Fletcher leads MLB with 128 singles; Adam Frazier is next with 121.

Fletcher A) has a 78 OPS+ and B) periodically gets articles written about his anachronistic hitting approach.

I went back to 1984, the Tigers' World Series year, and got a very different leaderboard. Tony Gwynn led the majors with 178 (!!) and ten players had at least 138 - a mark no one may reach this year. And the 1984 top ten includes Boggs, Puckett, Mattingly, Steve Garvey... guys who were perceived as stars.
   11. Soul Man Posted: September 17, 2021 at 03:34 PM (#6040139)
Marte is also leading the majors in stolen bases.
   12. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: September 17, 2021 at 03:47 PM (#6040140)
Not mentioned, McGwire leading the majors in homers in 1997 without winning a homer title.


I've always wondered about the what-if there. McGwire went on to shatter the HR record the next year, but what if he had done it in his split season? How would people have reacted? What kind of weird things might people have done with the record books? How might we keep records differently today?
   13. Rally Posted: September 17, 2021 at 04:06 PM (#6040141)
I would have guessed 1968 for lowest MLB leader, since Yaz won the AL with .301, but Pete Rose hit .335 that year.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: September 18, 2021 at 02:23 AM (#6040245)
How might we keep records differently today?

We'd bemoan how nobody is ever gonna break Maury Wills' all-time record 18.6 Rbaser. :-)

Billy Hamilton (10.8) is the only guy to break 10 since 2009. Still Hamilton's 10.8 is just above Rickey's 10.6 when he stole 130 bases. Brock never broke 10.
   15. bobm Posted: September 18, 2021 at 09:32 AM (#6040254)
At the risk of being pedantic, the article is not totally accurate because the complete rule about PA qualifications includes:

Notwithstanding the foregoing requirement of minimum appearances at the plate, any player with fewer than the required number of plate appearances whose average would be the highest, if he were charged with the required number of plate appearances shall be awarded the batting, slugging or onbase percentage championship, as the case may be.


ETA: see Tony Gwynn, 1996 IIRC
   16. SoSH U at work Posted: September 18, 2021 at 10:22 AM (#6040260)
At the risk of being pedantic, the article is not totally accurate because the complete rule about PA qualifications includes:

Notwithstanding the foregoing requirement of minimum appearances at the plate, any player with fewer than the required number of plate appearances whose average would be the highest, if he were charged with the required number of plate appearances shall be awarded the batting, slugging or onbase percentage championship, as the case may be.


ETA: see Tony Gwynn, 1996 IIRC


Unless you voluntarily withdraw yourself from a race that isn't actually something you should logically be able to withdraw from.

ETA: see Melky Cabrera, 2012

   17. GregD Posted: September 18, 2021 at 01:16 PM (#6040277)
Marte had a brilliant throw last night to help save the game. He’s a brilliant player and so fun to watch. He can appear to take over a game even when he’s not doing dominant things; he doesn’t hit many home runs for example. Aggressive base runner and tough fielder and a really vocal leader.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 18, 2021 at 01:34 PM (#6040279)
I've always wondered about the what-if there. McGwire went on to shatter the HR record the next year, but what if he had done it in his split season? How would people have reacted? What kind of weird things might people have done with the record books? How might we keep records differently today?

I think they would have just added a line:

Most HR
NL: Hack Wilson 56
AL: Roger Maris 61
MLB: Mark McGwire 6X
   19. John Northey Posted: September 18, 2021 at 05:09 PM (#6040310)
Melky Cabrera 2012 is weird - 1 PA shy but clearly wins the BA title yet due to his request sites like BR which list what happened doesn't list him as the BA leader. Dumb imo. What happened, happened. Like it or not. Add a note explaining why he isn't the official BA champ that year, but don't ignore him on leaderboards.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: September 18, 2021 at 05:20 PM (#6040313)
#19: huh? I coulda sworn that, just for Melky, b-r created the italicized bold font designation for "led the league but wasn't the official leader." Anybody else remember that or was it a really weird dream? I agree it's the silliest thing imaginable, even moreso 10 years later than at the time (and it's not easy to be sillier than what happened in real time).
   21. Sweatpants Posted: September 18, 2021 at 06:11 PM (#6040325)
They added this sort of gold outline surrounding certain league-leading numbers, which I think might have been for just the batting title and the ERA title. The only cases for which I remember it making a difference were the 2012 NL batting title and the 1981 AL ERA title. Back then Cabrera's BA was bolded but didn't get the gold outline.

Today they list Steve McCatty's 1981 ERA in bold, even though it was higher than Sammy Stewart's, because under the weird rounding rules of the time McCatty won the ERA title. Stewart's 1981 ERA is listed in bold, too. With Cabrera they just ignore his average.

Edit: I can't find any proof of this. Maybe I'm the one who's dreaming.
   22. John Northey Posted: September 19, 2021 at 12:52 AM (#6040383)
#20 - yeah, I remember that at the time, but they seem to have erased that now. I disliked that, but it made 100 times more sense than ignoring him as if he didn't exist that year. If you are going to do that then you might as well turn off Pete Rose's page and others. Don't like what happened? Pretend it didn't happen!
   23. Walt Davis Posted: September 19, 2021 at 05:50 PM (#6040431)
#22 ... let's not go overboard. B-R hasn't disappeared Melky, they just un-bolded him and left his name off that season's list. You can still see what he hit that year on his stats page. I mean it still strikes me as a bad decision but we're not talking the Soviet Union here. (In Soviet Union, Melky disappears you.)

I think there's also a year where Tony Gwynn either leads or doesn't lead in OBP based on whether you count SFs as PAs and b-r does but Stats doesn't (or vice versa), but Stats is the "official" one I believe. Looks like it was 1994 when he edged out Bagwell.

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