plunks around the majors - midseason update
The All Star break might not always fall exactly in the middle of the season, but it's still a good time to look at the first half and see who's likely to break some interesting plunk related records this season.
The Colorado Rockies pitching staff have managed to hit 59 batters this year (54 of whom were not Craig Biggio) in 87 games, which projects to slightly better that 109 for the season. 109 hit batters in a season is the all time record, held by the 1899 Cleveland Spiders, who had their franchise contracted at the end of the year as a reward. The Rockies have an excellent shot at challenging this record even though they have no more games against the Astros.
The Toronto Bluejays lead all teams in plunks received with 49 in 88 games. They'll have to do some work to contend with the '97 Astros modern record of 100.
League wide plunks look to be dropping off from the last couple of years, but the 2005 season still projects to rank 4th all time. The 2001 season holds the record with 1890 hbps.
Juan Castro of the Twins has continued to hold onto his title as the active player with the most plate appearance in an unplunked career. He's up to 1,937 plate appearances and has still never taken a major league plunk. He still has a long way to go to catch Mark Lemke's all time record for a plunk free career - Lemke had 3,664 plate appearances and never got hit.
The single season record for plate appearances without an HBP is 739 by Sandy Alomar (Sr.) in 1971 - the same year Ron Hunt set the modern single season record for getting hit with 50. While no one is even close to contending for Hunt's record, Ichiro, Darrin Erstad and Johnny Damon are all in the running this for Alomar's this year. None of them have been hit by a pitch so far, and they are all on pace to have over 700 plate appearances. None of them are quite on pace for over 739 PAs this year, but all 3 have had at least that many in a season once before. A 740+ plate appearance season has only been seen 55 times in history.