Bigger target=more HBPs?
By request from Reader Bob in Massachusetts, who asked if batters with more body mass get hit more often:
The following table shows average HBPs per plate appearance broken up by height and weight. It appears that larger targets do not get hit by pitches more frequently. If that were the case, the numbers would trend upward across each row, as we move along the same height to higher weight decrements. It's less clear to me whether shorter or taller batters in a given weight group would present a larger profile to the pitcher, but I'm not seeing any definite trend in one direction or the other.
If anything, I think the pitchers are picking on the little guys. If the location of pitches was completely random, like when Tim Wakefield pitches, it would seem logical that the larger players would get hit more often, so this could be interpreted to show there is some level of control by the pitcher of who gets hit and when. Of course, this also doesn't take into account the location in the batters box each batter takes, since there are no stats which record that (with the possible exception of Carl Everett ejections).