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Walkless Streaks

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.

4 Responses to “Walkless Streaks”

  1. Andy Says:

    I seems to recall that Tony Pena Jr set the Royals' team record in this area earlier this season. A quick search reveals that he went 224 at bats over 62 games (and the streak is still active!)

  2. trent_mccotter Says:

    It's not the same, but Dave Orr (one of the best hitters of the 19th century) went 63 straight games without a walk in 1889. It covered a stretch of 268 at-bats. And that was the first year with the 'modern' counts of 4 balls for a walk and 3 strikes for a strike-out, so it is comparable to today's streaks in that important regard.....

  3. birtelcom Says:

    When doing these long negative streaks, beware of catching guys who have a lot of pinch hitting appearances. It's not really fair to count a guy who is getting only one PA in a lot of games and then making fun of him for going many "games" in a row without a walk. Dunston, for example, had a lot of of 1 PA games in his 133 "game" walkless streak. Not that Dunston was Eddie Yost, but 133 games sounds even worse than it really was (though you do mention the 308 PAs, which is pretty darn amazing as a walkless streak!).

  4. pchiaram Says:

    Kevin Mench of the Brewers was intentionally walked in their 2nd game of the season (Apr. 4th), then didn't walk again until June 29th. That's a span of over 150 ab's. Plus Barrett couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag. Just ask Carlos Zambrano and A.J. Pierzinsky.