Originally written on Baseball News Source  |  Last updated 9/23/13
Texas Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski currently has 11 walks. His 2.2 BB% is the lowest in the MLB.  By comparison, pitchers have walked in 3.2% of their plate appearances in 2013. Pierzynski has never walked very frequently, but the 2.2% rate is the lowest of his career. Less than 100 hitters since 1903 have a lower walk rate than Pierzynski’s career 4.0%. In the course of doing so he has set an MLB record that maybe nobody else has recognized. With such a low walk rate, you would expect that Pierzynski swings at a lot of pitches out of the zone. Sure enough, the Pitch f/x data states that Pierzynski has an O-Swing% of 47.1, easily the highest rate in the league. His career rate is 42.9%. Since Pitch f/x data has only been reliable since 2008, I wanted to see if anyone has had a higher rate. The table below lists the leaders in O-Swing% for each year from 2008-2013. Year Player O-Swing% BB% 2013 A.J. Pierzynski 47.1 2.2 2012 Josh Hamilton 43.6 9.4 2011 Vladimir Guerrero 45.6 2.9 2010 Vladimir Guerrero 44.7 5.4 2009 Vladimir Guerrero 45.3 4.7 2008 Vladimir Guerrero 46.4 8.5 So Pierzynski owns the record for the highest O-Swing% in MLB history. Not surprisingly, Vladimir Guerrero topped the MLB in O-Swing% every year he played. However, not even Vlad could match Pierzynski’s 2013 rate. Despite Pierzynski’s even freer-swinging 2013, the 36 year-old backstop has managed a level of production a shade above his career rate. While his OPS+ is down to 99 from the 120 he posted last year, it is still above his career mark of 96, and slightly better than the MLB average for catchers. Though he walks less often than Jeff Francoeur and hits for less power than Nick Hundley, Pierzynski has managed to build a 16-year career with a reputation as a good-hitting catcher. He has done so by being an excellent contact hitter. His 11.5% career strikeout rate is six points lower than the league average in that time span. His 96.1 Z-Contact rate was 6th best in the MLB in 2011. These skills have not diminished, and even after almost 1700 games behind the plate, his defensive ability is still above-average. Expect the free-agent-to-be to find a home as a full-time catcher this offseason. And maybe Pierzynski will break his own record.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Rodgers doesn't want to play in 2016 Hall of Fame Game

Floyd Mayweather Sr.: Manny Pacquiao a 'liar with no skills'

Reports: LeSean McCoy's Week 1 status still uncertain

Jay Feely told Deflategate judge about 2009 kicking incident

Jon Gruden calls Marcus Mariota a ‘double-edged sword’

Report: Bills expected to cut Matt Cassel

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Garcon: RG3 can be ‘great player on any team that he goes to’

Report: Cavs ‘convinced’ LeBron would not leave Cleveland again

Fred Jackson is upset Bills GM Doug Whaley wasn’t honest

Report: Jaguars won’t let Justin Blackmon leave for CFL

Report: Antii Raanta wanted Blackhawks to lose in playoffs

A-Rod snaps photo for couple while out in Boston area

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ryan taking leap of faith with Bills

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

Manfred digs Shoeless Joe a deeper grave

Why Mike Trout ain't right

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Best and worst MLB players in August

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker