Teams with the Worst Plate Discipline of All Time

As of Saturday morning, the Houston Astros offense has accrued all of five walks (against 56 strikeouts) in their first four games.  While it is unlikely they will continue to average 1.25 walks and 14 strikeouts per game, their extremely youthful and hack-happy lineup will likely make a run at the title of worst plate discipline squad of all time.

The 2012 edition of the team landed on the list of the 10 worst strikeout per game squads, at 8.43.  This year’s group could eclipse the record for most strikeouts per game, held by the 2010 Arizona Diamondbacks.  The D’backs obliterated the prior record set by the Brewers in 2001:

TEAM YEAR G K  K/gm 
ARI 2010 162 1,529    9.44
MIL 2001 162 1,399    8.64
OAK 2012 162 1,387    8.56
FLO 2008 161 1,371    8.52
FLO 2010 162 1,375    8.49
HOU 2012 162 1,365    8.43
PIT 2012 162 1,354    8.36
CIN 2004 162 1,335    8.24
FLO 2007 162 1,332    8.22
WAS 2011 161 1,323    8.22

With 56 Ks in their first 134 plate appearances (41.8%), the Astros are off to a good start in claiming the title of highest percentage of team PAs ending in a strikeout, also held by the 2010 Diamondbacks:

TEAM YEAR PA K K%
ARI 2010 6,183 1,529 24.7%
MIL 2001 6,148 1,399 22.8%
HOU 2012 6,014 1,365 22.7%
PIT 2012 6,014 1,354 22.5%
OAK 2012 6,183 1,387 22.4%
FLO 2010 6,194 1,375 22.2%
FLO 2008 6,206 1,371 22.1%
SDN 2011 6,068 1,320 21.8%
WAS 2011 6,090 1,323 21.7%
TBA 2012 6,105 1,323 21.7%

The 1.68 walks per game record of the 1918 Brooklyn Robins probably isn’t in jeopardy.  The only team in the last fifty years to challenge that record was the 1966 St. Louis Cardinals, and even that was 2.13 walks per game.  Here are the ten-worst all-time:

TEAM YEAR G BB  BB/gm
BRO 1918 126 212       1.68
CLE 1901 138 243       1.76
NY1 1902 141 254       1.80
WS1 1904 157 283       1.80
CLE 1909 155 283       1.83
BRO 1919 141 258       1.83
SLN 1908 154 282       1.83
WS1 1903 140 257       1.84
CLE 1905 155 286       1.85
PHI 1920 153 283       1.85

With five walks in their first 134 plate appearances (3.7%), the Astros are also off to a good start in claiming the title of lowest percentage of team PAs ending in a base on balls, also held by the 1918 Brooklyn Robins:

TEAM YEAR G PA BB BB%
BRO 1918 126 4,578 212 4.6%
CLE 1901 138 5,200 243 4.7%
BRO 1919 141 5,283 258 4.9%
PHI 1920 153 5,742 283 4.9%
BOS 1903 141 5,365 262 4.9%
NY1 1902 141 5,034 254 5.0%
WS1 1904 157 5,606 283 5.0%
CLE 1903 140 5,225 259 5.0%
CLE 1909 155 5,536 283 5.1%
CLE 1905 155 5,655 286 5.1%

The 2011 and 2012 Astros already claim two of the ten-worst K/BB ratios in history, and at 11.2 (56/5), the 2013 squad seems to be going down the same path:

TEAM YEAR PA BB SO K/BB
NYN 1968 6,027 379 1,203   3.17
PIT 2012 6,014 444 1,354   3.05
SFN 2009 6,057 392 1,158   2.95
HOU 2012 6,014 463 1,365   2.95
SEA 2011 5,972 435 1,280   2.94
HOU 2011 6,148 401 1,164   2.90
NYN 1965 5,976 392 1,129   2.88
MIL 2001 6,148 488 1,399   2.87
DET 2002 5,920 363 1,035   2.85
SLN 1966 5,963 345 977   2.83
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