Hat tip to the Mets’ PR department for this nugget- the team leads the National League in walks. That’s after finishing 12th of 16 in the department last season.
Why do I bring this up? A few reasons. Credit ought to go to Dave Hudgens, a hitting coach with a philosophy geared toward working deeper counts. This is happening with much of the same personnel- of the top seven in walks, only Willie Harris is new in 2011- though a return to health by Beltran, who has 17 free passes, certainly didn’t hurt either.
But here’s a neat trick to illustrate to anyone who wants to downplay the value of walks that they are being silly. Last season’s Mets hit .249 as a team, 13th in the National League, and also finished, as mentioned, 12th in walks. Net result was a 13th of 16 finish in runs scored. This season, the Mets are hitting .242, good for 10th in the National League. But they are tops in walks. And not coincidentally, they are fourth in the NL in runs scored.
“Moneyball” was not a book about zombie executives walking, dead-eyed, arms straight out in front of them, chillingly chanting, “Walks… must have walks…” But that doesn’t mean this front office fails to recognize the value of them. Make sure you don’t, either.
The more you know. Rainbow.