Wednesday, May 02, 2007

unplunkable update

Reds backup infielder Juan Castro got one hit against the Astros bringing his career total to 497. If he can get 3 more hits, without being hit by a pitch, he will be just the fourth player in history (since they started counting plunks) with 500 or more hits, and 0 HBPs.
Most hits with 0 career plunks -
Mark Lemke - 795
Mickey Witek - 595
Bill Bergen - 516

Only 5 other players are known to have reached 500 hits before recording their first HBP, and another 5 reached 500 hits in the same year as their first plunk, but which came first is unavailable (on Retrosheet anyway). John Kruk may have had the most hits, with 663, before his first career HBP, but Mickey Mantle was first plunked sometime in 1955 between his 561st and 719th hit.

Craig Biggio only had 11 plunks when he reached 500 hits (on May 20, 1992), but his hitting skills developed earlier than his getting hit skills. Dan McGann reached 500 hits sometime in 1901 and had been plunked 105 times before that season began. Behind McGann on the list for most HBPs before reaching 500 hits are Craig Wilson and Jason LaRue, who both reached 500 hits last season with 86 career HBPs - and LaRue was with the Reds. So within a year, the Reds could have a player reach 500 hits with the most HBPs in over 100 years, and another player become one of a handful to reach 500 hits with no career plunks. Between 1901 and last year, Jason Kendall had the most HBPs prior to reaching 500 hits, with 83.

Also last night, Juan Castro passed Mikey Witek for 3rd place in total plate appearances in an unplunked career.
Most career plate appearance for players with 0 career HBPs:
Mark Lemke - 3,664
Bill Bergen - 3,228
Juan Castro - 2,326
Mikey Witek - 2,325

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