Posted by Andy on June 19, 2011
There are two players so far in 2011 with a significant number of at-bats, a batting average under .300, but an on-base percentage over .400:
Both Abreu and Fukudome have walked a lot, to go along with above-average BAs. Both guys are getting on base at a really good clip.
The notion that guy needs to be a .300 hitter to be a really good offensive force is, of course, silly. Most readers of this blog figured that out a long time ago. In case you haven't, that's why I have given this example. Yes, walks are not quite as good as hits (since hits can sometimes advance baserunners more than 1 base, or advance a runner from second or third in a non-force situation) but the bottom line is that a guy who's piling up enough walks to add more than 100 points to his BA when figuring his OBP is doing quite well.
Incidentally, here are the guys who do it over their entire careers, minimum 1000 plate appearances since 1901:
Abreu, Giambi, and Berkman all have a chance to join this group permanently provided that they can keep their OBP over .400 for their career.