Tuesday, July 25, 2006

How Killer?

From the 1988 season through 2005, players whose last names began with the letter B have had more hits, homeruns, doubles, triples, RBI, runs scored than any other last initial, and most importantly, had been hit by 665 more pitches than the next closest letter. B has been the 2nd most popular last initial for batters in those seasons, trailing M by only one player (among those with at least 1 plate appearance). Players filed under B have accounted for 9.7% of major league batting orders in the span, but they've accounted for 10.7% of hits, 11.7% of home runs, 11.4% of HBPs, and over 11% of the runs, RBI, and doubles in those years.

Among those players whose last names begin with B, Houston's Bs are at the top of the list in hits, homers, doubles, triples, rbi, runs, and obviously, plunks over the last 18 seasons. Players with B last names were hit by 2,802 pitches from 1988 to 2005, and Houston's Bs were hit by 540 of them - 19.3% of all plunkings of players with B names belonged to Houston. Astros Bs have accounted for 10.7% of all major league hits by players with the last initial B in that span, as well as 12.5% of runs, 11.2% of RBIs, 11.7% of doubles, and 12.0% of home runs. But, there were 17 other teams that had more players with B for their last initial than the Astros. The Astros had 32 Bs in that span, well behind the Royals leading B total of 48 players, but the Astros Bs still had 4,769 more hits. The Astros had 24 different players with B last initials get hits while Biggio has been playing, from Biggio' 2,795 (through '05) down to Willie Blair's 1 hit contribution. Taylor Buchholz became the newest B to get a hit in 2006, but the above numbers don't include this year's contributions.

Houston's B players have also had more hits, runs, HBPs, homers, doubles, triples, and RBI than any other last initial for any other franchise in the 1988-2005 span. Pittsburgh had 192 plunks by players with the last initial K, but no other team is closer to Houston's 540 plunks by Bs. The Cubs have had 5,177 hits by players with S last names, but that's still well short of Houston's 8,362 hits by Bs even if you removed Biggio's hits. Atlanta's collection of Js had 2,955 RBIs in that span, but the Houston Bs had 4,444. The only major hitting category where any other group is close to the Houston Bs is triples, where Pittsburgh's B players had 147 to Houston's 152.

In MLB history, there are a lot of franchises with a big head start on Houston, so the Bs don't rank very highly in most categories on the all time lists. The Cardinals lead the all time hits list grouped by last initial, with their players in the M group having 26,670 career hits, just ahead of the Giants franchise M players, with 26,403 (through '05). The Giants' M players lead the all time homer chart though, with 2,473, with the Yankees collection of M players trailing them with 2,171. Those Giants with the last initial M also lead the all time hit-by-pitch chart, with 710 through 2005. Houston's Bs are still number 2 on that plunk list, with 622 through '05, but including this season, the Astros' Bs are up to 641 to the Giants 712, and the Giants only have Mike Matheny helping out their cause. The Giants, by the way, have had over 100 more M players than the Astros have had Bs.

1988-2005 offensive top 5 lists by last initial:

Hits
HBPs
Last InitialHitsPlayers
Last InitialPlunksPlayers
B78,107415
B2,802415
M63,343416
G2,137242
G62,354242
S2,136387
S61,720387
M2,012416
C51,696319
C1,715319


Homers
RBI
Last InitialHomersPlayers
Last InitialRBIPlayers
B9,291415
B39,470415
G7,123242
M30,770416
S7,095387
S30,741387
M6,676416
G30,691242
C5,350319
C24,727319


Runs
Doubles
Last InitialRunsPlayers
Last InitialDoublesPlayers
B41,438415
B15,323415
G32,367242
M12,098416
M31,724416
G11,834242
S31,352387
S11,578387
C26,368319
C9,882319



1988-2005 top 5 lists by last initial and team:

Hits
HBPs
Last InitialTeamHitsPlayers
Last InitialTeamPlunksPlayers
BAstros8,36232
BAstros54032
SCubs5,17737
KPirates1926
BIndians4,93139
BIndians18739
JBraves4,7979
VRed Sox15711
BMariners4,35932
AOrioles1577


Home runs
RBI
Last InitialTeamHRsPlayers
Last InitialTeamRBIPlayers
BAstros
1,11832
BAstros
4,44432
SCubs88737
JBraves
2,9559
JBraves
8789
SCubs2,87037
BGiants
74737
BIndians
2,72139
BIndians
70039
BMariners2,51432



Runs
Doubles
Last InitialTeamRunsPlayers
Last InitialTeamDoublesPlayers
BAstros4,99632
BAstros1,79832
JBraves2,8409
BIndians
1,00939
SCubs2,78937
BPirates91033
BGiants2,73737
JBraves
8989
BIndians
2,61139
GCubs88025



1988-2005 top 5 lists by team - only players with the last initial B:

Hits
Plunks
TeamHitsPlayers
Last InitialHBPsPlayers
Astros
8,36232
Astros54032
Indians
4,93139
Indians
18739
Mariners
4,35932
Giants
15237
Pirates4,29433
A's
13632
Giants
4,13337
Mariners
13032


Homers
RBI
TeamHRsPlayers
Last InitialRBIPlayers
Astros1,11832
Astros4,44432
Giants
74737
Indians
2,72139
Indians
70039
Mariners
2,51432
Mariners
66232
Giants2,29937
Pirates46333
Pirates2,05133



Runs
Doubles
TeamRunsPlayers
Last InitialDoublesPlayers
Astros4,99632
Astros1,7988362
Giants2,73737
Indians1,0094931
Indians2,61139
Pirates9104294
Pirates2,42733
Mariners
8464359
Mariners
2,35432
Red Sox
7773466



All time lists by team and last initial (through '05):

Hits
HBPs
Last InitialTeamHitsPlayers
Last InitialTeamPlunksPlayers
MCards
26,670196
MGiants710169
MGiants
26,403169
BAstros62268
MBraves
22,064189
BGiants608159
SCubs21,523178
BIndians573165
SCards
20,763186
MWhite Sox
567141



Home runs
RBI
Last InitialTeamHRsPlayers
Last InitialTeamRBIPlayers
MGiants2,473169
MGiants
12,997169
MYankees
2,171149
MCards
12,325196
SCubs
2,071178
SCubs10,446178
MCards
1,888196
MYankees
10,338149
MBraves
1,739189
MBraves
10,093189



Runs
Doubles
Last InitialTeamRunsPlayers
Last InitialTeamDoublesPlayers
MCards13,277196
MCards4,619196
MGiants13,078169
MGiants4,092169
MBraves11,384189
MBraves3,502189
SCubs11,264178
SCubs3,493178
MYankees10,577149
BIndians3,361165

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