Posted by Chris J. on July 23, 2007
Over the last month, I've become entranced watching Michael Barrett and his complete and total inability to draw a walk. It's been a month since the Pads acquired him. He has yet to draw a walk. He didn't get a free pass in his last 25 PA with the Cubs. He's two games away from the 100 PA marks since his last free pass. With yesterday's game, he now has a new personal, uh, "best" for longest stretch without drawing a walk.
So this gets me to wondering, where does this put him among the hacker legends?
Rey Ordonez couldn't do anything with the stick. He rarely walked 30 times a year. But he never went this long without walking.
Remember Juan Samuel? Really talented player for a few years, but the knock against him was always that he didn't walk enough. He never had a stretch as bad as Barrett's current one, though.
One man formerly compared to Samuel a lot was a young Alfonso Soriano. Twice he went 100+ PA without walking. The difference between him and Barrett, is that Soriano wasn't doing it in his 30s. That's partially why it's so striking. While Barrett never walked much, he'd walk every 4-5 games. He's completely lost that part of his plate discipline.
Gary DiSarcina is a legendary hacker. He played regularly for several years but never walked more than 21 times in a season. He only had 3 stretches of 100+ PA without walking. Sure, one of those is a stratospheric 206 AB, 56 game stretch, but Barrett's threatening the other two streaks.
Ozzie Guillen had 8 - count 'em 8 - stretches of 100+ PA without a walk. Heck, he had one over 200. Guillen mocks Barrett's puny totals.
Last but certainly not least is the man himself, Shawon Dunston. He took a 3-ball count as a personal insult. He, insanely, not only had 8 stretches of 100+ PA, but included two over 200, and the all-time record (as far as I know anyway) of 133 Games and 308 AB without a walk. Barrett won't last that long.
Like Barrett, but unlike most of the guys listed here, Dunston got worse as he got older.