Taking a walk

Despite his lack of production this season, Frank Thomas backers will quickly point to his on-base percentage. At .378 entering action Tuesday night, it was the second-highest on the team next to Troy Glaus’ .397. In fact, when you consider only those players with the minimum required plate appearances (233 through 75 games) to qualify for the league leaders, Thomas’s mark is actually tops among Toronto hitters.
Furthermore, Thomas is the only Blue Jay (min. 233 PA) to have recorded more walks (47) than strikeouts (44) this season. I’ve always found this to be an interesting stat. A quick look at walk-to-strikeout ratios throughout Blue Jays history turns up only 22 occurrences (by 10 different players) where a Toronto hitter finished with more bases on balls than whiffs. Here’s the list — complete with walk-to-strikeout ratios:
2005 – Gregg Zaun 73:70 (512 PA)
2000 – Carlos Delgado 123:104 (711 PA)
1999 – Tony Fernandez 77:62 (576 PA)
1996 – Otis Nixon 71:68 (575 PA)
1995 – Paul Molitor 61:57 (598 PA), John Olerud 84:54 (581 PA), Roberto Alomar 47:45 (577 PA) – minimum was 446 PA due to shortened season
1994 – Molitor 55:48 (515 PA), Olerud 61:53 (455 PA), Alomar 51:41 (453 PA) — minimum was 357 PA due to strike
1993 – Molitor 77:71 (725 PA), Olerud 114:65 (679 PA) Alomar 80:67 (683 PA)
1992 – Alomar 87:52 (671 PA), Olerud 70:61 (537 PA)
1990 – Fernandez 71:70 (721 PA)
1987 – Fernandez 51:48 (642 PA)
1985 – Fernandez 43:41 (618 PA)
1979 – John Mayberry 69:60 (541 PA), Rico Carty 46:45 (512 PA)
1978 – Bob Bailor 38:21 (676 PA), Mayberry 60:57 (587 PA)
Note: minimum number of plate appearances in a regular season is equal to (3.1 x 162) = 502

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