2012 Awards for oustanding achievement in the field of getting hit by pitches, or other stuff I find interesting

It’s time for the 2012 Awards for outstanding achievement in the field of HBPs, and assorted other awards which amuse me.

Most Plunkable Player Award (most HBPs by a batter):
American League: Prince Fielder (DET), Kevin Youkilis (BOS, CWS) – 17 HBPs
National League: Carlos Quentin (SDP) – 17 HBPs

The last time nobody in the majors got hit by more than 17 pitches was 1993, when Dave Valle‘s 17 won him the most plunkable player award.

The Phil Knell Award (most batters plunked by a pitcher):
American League – Gavin Floyd  (CWS) – 14 HBPs
National League –  Ian Kennedy (ARI) – 14 HBPs

The last full season when nobody hit more than 14 batters was 1991, when Mike Boddiker won the Phil Knell award with 13 plunks.

Mitch Williams Award (most hit batters by a relief pitcher):

American League – Alfredo Aceves (BOS), Will Ohman, Hector Santiago (CWS) – 6 HBPs in relief
National League – Alfredo Simon (CIN), Wesley Wright (HOU), Steve Cishek (MIA) – 6 HBPs in relief

Ernesto Frieri hit 7 batters in relief, but he split them between the Angels and Padres, so he can’t win the award for either league.

Plunked Rookie of the Year (most HBPs by a rookie):
National League – Norichika Aoki (MIL) – 13 HBPs
American League – Quintin Berry (DET), Yoenis Cespedes (OAK) – 7 HBPs

The Gus Weyhing Award (most plunks thrown by a rookie):
American League – Yu Darvish (TEX) – 10 HBPs
National League – Jared Hughes (PIT) – 5 HBPs

Sandy Alomar Award (most plate appearance without an HBP):
National League – Jose Reyes (MIA) – 716 plate appearances, 0 HBP
American League – Dustin Ackley (SEA) – 668 plate appearances, 0 HBP

This is the 2nd year in a row for Reyes to win the Sandy Alomar award – he hasn’t been hit since April of 2010, and has 1,861 plate appearances since his last plunk.   Ackley has never been plunked in the majors, in 1,044 career plate appearances.

The General Crowder Award (most batters faced without hitting anyone)
National League – Yovani Gallardo (MIL) – 860 batters faced, none plunked.
American League – Brian Matusz (BAL) – 441 batters faced, none plunked.

Most Plunked Team (the plunk pennant):
National League – Milwaukee Brewers – 90 HBPs
American League – Chicago White Sox – 65 HBPs

Least Plunked Team:
National League – San Francisco Giants – 29 HBPs
American League – Seattle Mariners – 30 HBPs

The Giants are trying to put me out of business. If they can win the world series while getting the fewest regular season HBPs, why is anyone going to get hit by a pitch? This is a real slap in the face for grit, and pain in the name of team spirit.

Most Plunks Thrown:
American League – Chicago White Sox – 68 HBPs
National League – Chicago Cubs – 60 HBPs

Fewest Plunks Thrown:
National League – Milwaukee Brewers – 31 HBPs
American League – LA Angels of 2000 Gene Autry Way Anaheim – 40 HBPs

American League All Plunk Team:

1st Base:  Prince Fielder (DET) – 17 HBPs

2nd Base: Ian Kinsler (TEX) – 10 HBPs

Short Stop: Alcides Escobar (TB) – 8 HBPs at SS

3rd Base: Kevin Youkilis (BOS/CWS) – 16 HBPs at 3B, 17 total

Left Field: Josh Willingham (MIN) – 12 HBPs at LF, 14 total

Center Field: Adam Jones (BAL) – 13 HBPs

Right Field: Shin-Soo Choo (CHW) – 14 HBP at RF

Catcher: AJ Pierzynski (CWS) and Russel Martin (NYY) – 8 HBPs

Designated Hitter: Travis Hafner (CLE) – 9 HBPs

National League All Plunk Team:

1st Base: Corey Hart (MIL) – 7 HBPs at 1B, 11 total

2nd Base: Rickie Weeks (MIL) – 12 HBPs at 2B, 13 total

Shortstop: Clint Barmes (PIT) – 8 HBP

3rd Base: Aramis Ramirez (MIL) – 12 HBP

Left Field: Carlos Quentin (SDP) – 11 HBP as LF, 17 total

Center Field: Jon Jay (STL) – 15 HBP

Right Field: Norichika Aoki (ARI) – 10 HBP as RF, 13 total

Catcher: Carlos Ruiz (PHI) – 16 HBP as Catcher

Pitcher: Tim Hudson (ATL), Ryan Vogelsong (SF), RA Dickey (NYM), Jason Marquis (SDP), Kip Wells (SDP), Joe Blanton (LAD), Cole Hamels (PHI), Wade Leblanc (MIA), Mat Latos (CIN), Josh Roenicke (COL), Stephen Strassburg (WAS)- 1 HBP

2012 BACON Title:
American League – Derek Jeter (NYY) – .839
National League – Marco Scutaro (SF) – .815

2012 BACON x HBP Title:
American League – Prince Fielder (DET) – 12.41
National League – Carlos Ruiz (PHI) – 12.04

2012 BACON x Hits Title:
American League – Derek Jeter (BOS) – 181.21
National League – Marco Scutaro (SF) – 154.76

Most Swings (not including bunt attempts):
American League – Derek Jeter (NYY) – 1354 swings
National League – Danny Espinosa (WAS) – 1307 swings

Most Swings that Missed (not including bunt attempts):
American League – Josh Hamilton (TEX) – 476 misses
National League – Danny Espinosa (WAS) – 382 misses

Save a Tree Award (most plate appearances in which the batter did not risk damaging his bat by swinging it, not including intentional walks… or, most plate appearances with 0 swings):
American League – Ben Zobrist (TEX) – 63 PAs with no swings
National League – Martin Prado (TB) – 53 PAs with no swings

“Hey, I could do THAT” award (most strikeouts in plate appearance in which the batter did not bother swinging the bat)
National League – Drew Stubbs (CIN) – 15 swing free strikeouts
American League – Jonny Gomes (OAK) – 13 swing free strikeouts

“Hey, I could do THAT Too” award (most strikeouts with three swings that missed):

American League – Josh Hamilton (TEX) – 36 3-whiff strikeouts
National League – Danny Espinosa (WSH) – 15 strikeouts with 3 whiffs

Most Foul Balls:
American League – Josh Reddick (OAK) – 588 fouls
National League – Freddie Freeman (ATL) – 556 fouls

Most Foul Balls (Team):
National League – St Louis Cardinals  – 4410 fouls
American League – Chicago White Sox – 4351 fouls

Most Foul Balls (Ballpark)
National League – Miller Park – 4469 fouls
American League – Fenway Park – 4378 fouls
(Miller Park had the fewest foul balls in the league last year, with 3967.  So they increased their foul balls by 502, going from worst to first. Fenway, on the other hand, led the AL in fouls last year as well as this year.  PETCO and Angels Stadium had the fewest fouls this year with 3794 at PETCO, and 3921 at Anaheim.)

Fastest plunk
National League – Aroldis Chapman (CIN) hit Andrew McCutchen (PIT) – 101.3mph – 08/03/2012
American League – David Price (TB) hit John Mayberry (PHI) – 99.6mph – 06/24/2012, Kelvin Herrera (KC) hit Paul Konerko (CWS) – 98.7mph – 07/15/2012

Most plunks by day of the Week

Sunday – Kelly Shoppach (BOS/NYM) – 5 HBPs
Monday – David DeJesus (CHC), AJ Ellis (LAD), Kevin Youkilis (BOS/CWS), Carlos Gomex (MIL), David Freese (STL), Jose Altuve (HOU) and Logan Forsythe (SD) – 3 HBPs
Tuesday – Norichika Aoki (MIL) – 5 HBPs
Wednesday – Danny Espinosa (WSH) – 4 HBP
Thursday – Carlos Quentin (SD), Norichika Aoki (MIL) – 4 HBP
Friday – Rickie Weeks (MIL) – 5 HBPs
Saturday – Kevin Youkilis (CWS/BOS), Carlos Quentin (SD) – 5 HBP

Most plunks against a single team
American League – Kevin Youkilis (CWS/BOS) – 5 HBP vs the Yankees, Delmon Young (DET) – 5 HBP vs the White Sox
National League – Carlos Quentins (SD), Miguel Montero (ARI) – 4 HBP vs the Giants

Most teams plunked by
National League – Carlos Ruiz (PHI) – at least one HBP from 12 different teams
American League – Prince Fielder (DET) – at least on HBP from 12 different teams

Most teams plunked
National League – Ian Kennedy (ARI) – 10
American League – Clay Buchholz (BOS), James Shields (TB), Justin Masterson (CLE) – 9

“Bob Genghis Khan” award (most HBPs by a player born in San Dimas, California while facing a historical old dude – in this case, Jamie Moyer)
Brett Pill (SF) – 1

Most foul balls in one plate appearance
Juan Francisco (ATL) – 11 fouls on July 5, 2012 in the 3rd inning, off Matt Garza (CHC) (Andrelton Simmons was on first base, and was running with the pitch on 10 of those fouls)

Most foul balls with a runner going (season total)
American League – Denard Span (MIN) – 23
National League – Jason Heyward (ATL) – 22

Most pickoff attempts to first by a pitcher:
National League – Chris Capuano (LAD) – 174
American League – Justin Verlander (DET) – 166

(Verlander led the AL in throws to first last year with 204.  Anibal Sanchez actually had the most this year with 195, but he split them between the AL and NL)

Most Checked-On Runner (at first base):
National League – Micheal Bourn – drew 215 pickoff attempts to first
American League – Ben Revere – drew 176 pickoff attempts to first

Most slump-free award (SPAM leaders)
National League – Jordan Pacheco (COL) – 2.03 SPAM
American League – Adrian Beltre (TEX) – 2.24 SPAM

(SPAM measures a batters slump-proneness by calculating the batter’s average hitless streak per plate appearance – more here)

Most Streak prone (HAM leaders)
National League – Aaron Hill (ARI) – .443 HAM
American League – Torii Hunter (LAA) – .436 HAM

(HAM is a stat pioneered by the Japanese team known as the Nippon Ham fighters – either that or it’s another stat I made up, and it’s explained here)

Best starting pitcher at getting outs (by PORK, which measures who each pitcher faced, how hard they are to get out, and who the pitcher got outs from):
American League – Jered Weaver (LAA) – .755 PORK
National League – Clayton Kershaw (LAD)  – .750 PORK

(Kershaw got 58 outs against batter who were at least 10% more difficult than average to get outs against.  Weaver only got 36 outs against that group, and Verlander got 32.  But Jason Vargas led the league in that category with 60.)

Best relief pitcher at getting outs (by PORK, minimum 100 batters faced):
National League –  Craig Kimbrel (ATL) – .834 PORK
American League –  Koji Uehara (TEX) – .830 PORK



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