Active Leaders

You’ve probably been sitting around wondering since the retirement of Jeff Kent, who is the active leader in HBPs as second basemen? And for that matter, who leads all the other positions in getting hit by pitches while playing at those positions?

Well, okay. I’ll look into it.

Designated Hitters:
Jason Giambi passed Frank Thomas last season, to become the active leader in being plunked as a Designated Hitter, which puts into question the title of “Big Hurt”. Thomas wasn’t that active last season anyway, and now he’s technically listed as a free agent, so he could contend for the active lead if someone actually signs him. But Giambi has already been hit twice as a DH this year, so Thomas better hurry up if he wants to get back in that race. Travis Hafner is the next closest with 48 DH plunkings.

Player HBP at DH Status
Jason Giambi 59 Active
Frank Thomas 57 Free Agent
Travis Hafner 47 Active
Mike Sweeney 32 Active
Josh Phelps 29 Minors (SF)
Jonny Gomes 24 Minors (CIN)
Manny Ramirez 21 Active
David Ortiz 19 Active
Jim Thome 19 Active

Right Field:
Jose Guillen has had the active lead in getting hit as a right fielder since he passed Gary Sheffield on May 12, 2007. There does not appear to be another right fielder who is likely to catch Guillen, so he should hold this lead until he leaves the game.

Player HBP at RF Status
Jose Guillen 99 Active
Gary Sheffield 80 Active
Vladimir Guerrero 76 Active
Jermaine Dye 55 Active
Magglio Ordonez 43 Active
Austin Kearns 43 Active
Manny Ramirez 36 Active

Center Field:
Aaron Rowand has been hit 91 times while playing center field (or at least while he was batting in between playing center field… you get the point). He passed Andruw Jones for that lead on May 28, 2008.

Player HBP at CF Status
Aaron Rowand 91 Active
Andruw Jones 82 Active
Mike Cameron 75 Active
Ken Griffey 72 Active
Juan Pierre 55 Active
Grady Sizemore 52 Active
Torii Hunter 51 Active
David DeJesus 49 Active

Left Field:
Luis Gonzalez hasn’t officially announced his retirement yet, but the 30 major league teams seem to be pretty sure he’s retired. He’s still calling himself a free agent, but since he’s not playing at the moment, the active lead among left fielders falls to Cliff Floyd. Floyd is on the DL for San Diego, which limits his activity, so if you want an active leader who has actually played left field this season, it’s Matt Holliday.

Player HBP at LF Status
Luis Gonzalez 111 Free Agent
Cliff Floyd 70 Active
Shannon Stewart 64 Free Agent
Geoff Jenkins 64 Free Agent
Matt Holliday 47 Active
Reed Johnson 46 Active
Adam Dunn 45 Active
Josh Willingham 40 Active
Manny Ramirez 39 Active

Short Stop:
Derek Jeter has been hit by a lot of pitches as a Short Stop, with 136 so far, and he’s been the active leader since taking his 51st plunk at Short on August 2, 2001. That put him ahead of Pat Meares among active shortstops. David Eckstein has been close behind Jeter for a long time, but since the Yankees will keep playing Jeter at short stop for the rest of time,
and Eckstein is playing 2nd base this year, Jeter will probably hold this lead until he retires.

Player HBP at SS Status
Derek Jeter 136 Active
David Eckstein 120 Active
Miguel Tejada 96 Active
Alex Rodriguez 72 Active
Alex Gonzalez 64 Active

Third Base:
Scott Rolen has what you’d call a commanding lead among active third basemen. He’s been the active leader since July 17th, 2002 when he passed Matt Williams.

Player HBP at 3B Status
Scott Rolen 106 Active
Alex Rodriguez 67 Active
Aramis Ramirez 65 Active
Aaron Boone 64 Retired
Mike Lowell 52 Active

Second Base:
Jeff Kent retired after last year, with 113 plunks at 2nd Base, and Damion Easley doesn’t have a job this year, so that leaves Chase Utley as the active leader for second basemen. If he keeps up his rate of being hit by pitches from the last two years (leading the majors both years), he should hold onto this lead for a long time.

Player HBP at 2B Status
Jeff Kent 113 Retired
Damion Easley 103 Free Agent
Chase Utley 83 Active
Ray Durham 68 Free Agent
Rickie Weeks 62 Active
Adam Kennedy 59 Minors (TB)
Mark Grudzielanek 59 Free Agent
Placido Polanco 55 Active
Alfonso Soriano 46 Active
Jerry Hairston 45 Active

First Base
Carlos Delgado has another one of those commanding leads at this position. He’s held the active lead since the beginning of the 2006 season – he finished 2005 in a tie with Jeff Bagwell for the active lead at first base, but Bagwell never played again. Delgado is 37, and Giambi is behind him at age 38, so Derrek Lee, Paul Konerko or Mark Teixeira could inherit this lead in the next couple of years.

Player HBP at 1B Status
Carlos Delgado 154 Active
Jason Giambi 93 Active
J.T. Snow 63 Retired
Sean Casey 59 Retired
Derrek Lee 57 Active
Paul Konerko 57 Active
Mark Teixeira 50 Active

This falls closer to the category of preposterously insurmountable leads. Jason Kendall has been the active HBP leader among catchers since May 5, 2000 when he got hit for the 91st time as a catcher, and passed Mike MacFarlane. Jason LaRue and AJ Pierzynski are pretty good at getting hit by pitches, but they don’t come close to Kendall, even added together.

Player HBP at C Status
Jason Kendall 227 Active
Jason LaRue 101 Active
A.J. Pierzynski 84 Active
Brad Ausmus 66 Active
Jorge Posada 60 Active

Mike Hampton is active? You might not have seen much of him recently, but he’s playing for the Astros this year, and he’s the sole owner of the active lead among pitchers getting hit by pitches, now the Greg Maddux has retired and Scott Elarton is still a free agent. But, a whole lot of pitchers could catch him without too much effort. Brad Penny and Jake Peavy have even been hit twice in the same season, so they could catch Hampton if they match their career highs – though Penny being in the American League would make that unlikely for him. Elarton and the recently retired Matt Clement were the only active pitchers with a 3 HBP season to their credit, but now no active pitcher has been hit more than twice in as season.

Player HBP at P Status
Greg Maddux 5 Retired
Mike Hampton 5 Active
Scott Elarton 5 Free Agent
Livan Hernandez 4 Active
Roy Oswalt 4 Active
Brad Penny 3 Active
Jake Peavy 3 Active
Darren Oliver 3 Active
Jeff Suppan 3 Active
John Smoltz 3 Active
Pedro Martinez 3 Free Agent
Adam Eaton 3 Active
Shawn Estes 3 Active


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