Coming into the 2013 season, Reds outfield Shin-Soo Choo had 2,960 plate appearances, and had been hit by a pitch in 55 of them (one HBP every 54 PAs). This season, through Monday night’s action, for whatever reason, Choo has already been hit ten times in 95 plate appearances (you can figure out that ratio yourself). Combined with 13 walks and an NL-leading 26 hits, its helped vault him to a Majors-leading .521 OBP.
So what’s with the HBPs? How much of a statistical oddity are we looking at here?
- With ten HBPs on the 22nd of the month, Choo has already set the mark for most plunkings during March/April, and he has a distinct chance of breaking the record of 11 HBPs in any calendar month, held by Ron Hunt, Don Baylor and Minnie Minoso.
- The player with the fewest PAs in a season with at least ten HBPs is Fernando Vina, who got nailed 12 times in 150 PAs in 1994.
- Those ten HBPs already received would have led the Majors for the 1932, 1934, 1942, 1946, 1948 and 1949 seasons.
- Prior to this season, no player has maintained a rate of at least one HBP per 9.5 PAs for anything more than 23 PAs (Chad Meyers had 4 HBPs in his 23 PAs in 2001). Interestingly, Kyle Blanks has averaged one HBP per eight PAs so far this season (only 24 PAs).
- Choo only has three more walks than HBPs. The most plate appearances in a season in which a player had more HBPs than free passes is 599, done by Art Fletcher of the 1915 New York Giants.
- Choo has one more HBP than RBI right now (10 to 9). Ron Hunt had three straight seasons like this (1971-3).
- Choo has ten extra-base hits and ten HBPs. In Hunt’s 1971 season, he had only 28 XBHs compared to 50 HBPs.
- Choo has seen 401 pitches in his 95 plate appearances this season. He’s getting plunked once out of every 40 pitches seen.
- He’s been hit with the first pitch of an at-bat three times already, and three more with the count even at 1-1. Seven times with the bases empty and no out, Choo has been plunked.