Over at Baseball Prospectus, writer Sam Miller did a piece on possible DiSar Award candidates for the 2012 season via his Pebble Hunting column (might be behind pay-wall). The Disar Awards were established by Joe Sheehan and named after long-time Angels shortstop Gary DiSarcina.
So, what is the award for exactly?
Here is the leading quote from Sheehan that Miller uses to explain:
No one personifies this better than Angels’ shortstop Gary DiSarcina. DiSarcina went deep into April of the 1998 season before drawing his first walk, and proudly stated that it was a goal of his to not walk all season. He believed he was a better hitter when hacking away and being "aggressive". DiSarcina’s career OBP of .291 and five full seasons of .294 or lower haven’t deterred him, or moved the Angel coaching staff to dissuade him of the notion. So in honor of our misguided friend, I’ve elected to establish the DiSar Awards.
It was a bit surprising that there wasn't a single Angels player on the list of candidates thus far. Observationally, it seems the Halos are one hack-tastic team. So how much DO the Angels walk?
Well look at here! The Angels are last in the American League in base-on-balls with 73 total. That's below the Royals with 78 and the Tigers who are just above them with 80. The Angels are also third from last in the American League in on-base percentage at a paltry .295 as a team. Look at the bright side, the Angels are at least above Seattle (.291) and Oakland (.289). In all of baseball, the Angels rank 27th in BBs and in OBP as well.
Want more ugly stats? Only two players on the Angels have double-digit BBs -- Chris Iannetta with 10 and Torii Hunter with 11. Five of the nine regular starters (take P-Bo or Trout, both are under) have an OBP under .300.
The tradition of Gary DiSarcina lives on in Anaheim.
To put things in perspective, four of the nine Texas Rangers starters have double digit BBs. However, the entire team sans two players --backup catcher Yorvit Torrealba and utility infielder Alberto Gonzalez - has an OBP over .300.
A question: Does a high base-on-balls rate for a team equate with success this year?
Judging simply on record alone, the answer is mostly "yes." The Padres rank second in base-on-balls but are currently sampling fine wines in the cellar of the NL West. Indians top the list with 136 BBs and find themselves atop of the AL Central. Rounding out the top five reveals three teams currently in first-place with the Dodgers, Rays and Cardinals.
On-base percentage reveals a similar story. The top five team OBPs are in the following order: Cardinals, Rangers, Yankees, Indians, Dodgers.
Final question: Who is the currently winning the DiSar Award on the Angels? Any guesses?
Surprisingly, the current leader for obtaining the DiSar Award on the Angels is Kendrys Morales who went the first 14 games of the season (54 plate appearances) without a base-on-balls. Close behind, unsurprisingly, is Howie Kendrick who went 12 games and 49 plate appearances without a 90-foot free trot to first base. However, Kendrick has also gone the last nine games and 34 plate appearances without a BB.
Keep a close eye on HK. He's making a run for the DiSar!