Hit by Pitch Career Leaders Part 4 of 4

Number 19 is Fernando Vina with 157 hit by pitches in his career. It is interesting had one year as a really good hitter. He hit for average at .318 got on base .386 and slugged over .400 one of two years in his career. He scored 101 runs the only time he was in triple figures. However, usually an above average 2nd baseman he didn’t field as well that year for some reason. So, his total wasn’t that great at 3.1. Vina was a player who had to be hit by pitch to help his on base percentage. His batting average was usually not bad, but he didn’t walk a whole lot. His lifetime on base percentage was .348. He led the league in hit by pitches twice and was in the top 10 eight seasons.

Number 20 is Anthony Rizzo with 155 hit by pitches in his career. Rizzo has led the National League in hit by pitches 3 times in the last 6 years. Rizzo doesn’t have the best batting average but seems happy to get on base with a walk or hit by pitch. He knows how to work a pitcher. He has a chance to break the record for most hit by pitches. In four of the last 5 full seasons, Rizzo had 20 or more hit by pitches. The other year had 16. In 2020, even though the season was short he was hit by a pitch 10 times. The record is 287 which puts Rizzo 130 away. However, at 20 hit by pitches a year, puts him less than 7 years away at 20 hit by pitches a year. The biggest challenge he might have is staying in the lineup. He had a bad season hitting the ball last year for the Cubs. His fielding still solid isn’t as good as it used to be. That usually happens as players age. The Cubs won’t give up on him yet, but he better start hitting again next year or he could be out of a job.

Number 21 is in a tie Brady Anderson with 154 hit by pitches. Brady Anderson had a career high of hit by pitches of 10. He had done it three years in a row coming into the 1996 season. Then he hit 50 homeruns and led the league in hit by pitches with 22. After the one season, Anderson’s homeruns went down to about their previous level, high teens low 20s. However, he had three more productive hit by pitch seasons leading the league twice more with 19 and 24.

The player who tied Brady Anderson for 21st was hall of fame player Fred Clarke. He was also player manager of the strong Pittsburg Pirate teams in the first decade of the 20th Century. Of course, it helped him to have the player of the decade Hans Wagner on the team. But another player it always helped to be constantly in the lineup was Clarke himself. Clarke was in the top 10 eight times in hit by pitches. He did it 7 times in the 8 years he was a starter in his 20s the last time leading the lead. He led the league with a lower total than he had a couple of times before. Then he snuck into the top 10 one other times in his mid-30s. His stats for the 1909 World Series are interesting. He hit .211 for the series which a lot of fans at the time probably thought he had a bad series getting 4 hits in 19 at bats. However, somehow Clarke hit 2 homeruns in the series, he hit only 67 in his long career to slug .526. He also walked 5 times and was hit by a pitch once to have an on base percentage of .400. He also scored and drove in 7 runs in Pittsburgh 7 game victory over Detroit.

The player who is 23rd place for hit by pitches is Shin-Soo Choo who has been hit by a pitch 152 times. I happened to see a lot of Cincinnati games in 2013 and really enjoyed watching Choo bat. It would seem he would do anything to get on base. He finished second in the league in on base percentage that year at .423. While an average baserunner he was still able to be on base enough to score 107 runs the most in his career. This was also the year he led the league in hit by pitches with 26. I have seen him a few times the last few years and while still good at getting on base doesn’t seem as impressive as I saw him in 2013. Now he is turning 37 so probably will not survive to many more years. He didn’t have a good 2020 season and isn’t the best fielder so he will have to hit to stay on the roster.

Number 24 is Chet Lemon who was hit by a pitch 151 times in his career. There are only 24 players who have been hit by a pitch 150 or more times. I would say that is an important mark in the category. Lemon had a 16-year career, but one year he played only 9 games. The other 15 years he was in the top 10 in hit by pitches 13 times. He led the league 4 times in 5 years in his mid-20s. Surprisingly he was in double figures only 7 times.

Sorry Shthar I think I finally found the Dietrich was. I was thinking it should be “i” before “e” but didn’t do that when I search the page. But I looked to find the active player not in the top 24 and there was number 54 Derek Dietrich with 123 hit by pitches and he is only 31 a few weeks older than Rizzo. He has a chance breaking the record, but probably won’t play that long. The one year he had over 500 plate appearances (2018) he had negative WAR and signed a contract for a lot less money. He played 2019 as a utility player. He was hit by a pitch 25 times in 306 plate appearances, which made his on base percentage close to average. He needed that as he hit only .187 and walked only 28 times. Dietrich never has walked much, so being hit by pitches as helped him get a respectable on base percentage his whole career. He did lead the league in 2014 in hit by pitches.

 

 

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Author: Douglas Byzewski

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