Daily Archives: May 17, 2012
So, who have been the most feared hitters in baseball?
One way to look at it is to check out the records on intentional walks (or intentional bases on balls), a statistic that has been officially kept by Major League Baseball since 1955.
With an intentional walk, the pitcher purposely gives the batter first base by walking him with at least the last pitch intentionally tossed far outside the strike zone, beyond the batter’s ability to make contact.
The pitcher’s team would rather give the current hitter a base and face the next batter, than give him an opportunity to put the ball in play. That’s a fair indication of “fear,” if you ask me.
Steroids or not, Barry Bonds has unquestionably been the most feared hitter of the last six decades. He recorded a whopping 688 career intentional bases on balls, more than twice as many as second-place (and previous all-time home run leader) Hank Aaron.
This list, the top 20 all-time leaders in drawing intentional walks, features the best hitters in baseball since 1955 – mostly in terms of thunderous power (Bonds, Aaron, Willie McCovey, Albert Pujols, etc), but also in terms of high average (George Brett, Tony Gwynn).
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