Biggio vs Kendall - plunk to plunk
Craig Biggio and Jason Kendall are by far the top two get-hitters in todays game, and while their careers have many similarities, there are also important differences in the way they've gone about collecting a combine 495 HBPs. Both entered the league at age as catchers with he ability to steal bases, at about age 22 (Kendall started a couple of months before his 22nd birthday). But, while Biggio eventually switched to second base, outfield and back to second, Kendall has stayed behind the plate, although he did experiment with the outfield in Pittsburgh in 2001. And, Kendall jumped right into the HBP race his rookie year with a 15 plunk season, followed by back to back 31 plunk years in 1997 and 1998, while Biggio didn't record his 15th plunk until part way through his 5th major league season.
Biggio's relatively slow start in the HBP category means that over their careers, Kendall has been hit 34.4% more often per plate appearance. Biggio has about 80% more plate appearances overall, and has been hit about once per 43 plate appearances as a career average. Kendall has been hit about once every 32 plate appearances. But, if you compare Biggio's numbers since Kendall has been in the league, beginning in 1996, you'll see that Biggio has been hit 13 more times in total, and only slightly less frequently, at once per 34 plate appearances.
While the two have combined for 27 HBPs in games against each other, they have never been plunked in the same game. Although, on July 28, 2001, Kendall was hit in the first game of a double-header, and Biggio was plunked in the 2nd game.
Kendall has been plunked more often in road games, 118 to 94, while most of Biggio's plunks have been at home, 146 to 127. And, while Biggio's plunk numbers have tended to peak in May and trail off toward season's end, Kendall has been more consistent distributing plunks across all months.
Plunks by month:
Both Biggio and Kendall have been plunked in every spot in the batting order except the cleanup spot, but Biggio has been plunked significantly more often at the top of the order. Kendall, although still plunked most often batting leadoff, has been hit by pitches much more often in a variety of spots in the batting order.
Plunks by batting order position:
Kendall holds the lead 10 to 7 in the category of plunks with the bases loaded, and he's also been hit more times in the 8th inning than Biggio. The 8th is Kendall's second most plunked-in inning, but they've both been hit most frequently in the 1st.
Plunks by inning:
And, while Biggio has been plunked most often on Saturday, Kendall has chosen Friday as his favorite weekday to get plunked on. Thursday is the only day of the week on which Kendall has been plunked more often than Biggio. Both have recorded 2 plunk games on every day of the week, but Biggio has more 2 plunk games on Friday and Saturday combined than Kendall has for his career.
Total plunks by weekday:
Multi-plunk games by weekday:
For more HBP splits for both Biggio and Kendall, check out their splits pages on baseball-reference.com here and here.
Tomorrow and Thursday we'll look at relative effects of plunks on batting stats for Biggio and Kendall, and get into pitchers who have plunked them both and other related topics.
Labels: Jason Kendall