All Hail Fat Ichiro

Base hit. Guaranteed.
Remember when the Jays traded first base prospect Brett Wallace to the Astros for a Little League centerfielder and everybody freaked out about losing the power hitting first basemen of the not-too-distant future?

Then remember later that year, when all kinds of scouts up and decided that Brett Wallace was too husky to swing his prodigious hips around and consistently hit major league pitching?

Turns out they’re both wrong! Brett Wallace is now the foremost authority on hitting singles and human advertisement for the tenants of in-play averages!

After a rough September cameo in 2010, Brett Wallace is now one of the leading hitters in the National League, if your idea of a great hitter is a guy who reaches first but refuses to venture farther.

Brett Wallace currently sits fourth in baseball with a stunning .382 batting average! That’s good, especially for a first basemen – a guy you expect to hit for power. It doesn’t seem that power is Brett Wallace’s forte, not yet anyway. He’s a singles man, and singles are what he is all about. Lots of them. Bushels. Boatloads.

Brett Wallace has a tidy slugging percentage of .517 for the year, too bad so much of that is tied up in his average. His ISO (isolated power rate, basically the number of extra base hits he manages) is a mere .135, putting him in the company of noted sluggers Jose Reyes, Freddy Sanchez, and Neil Walker.

It seems that Mr. Wallace has his batted balls under a spell, they’re bound and determined to find holes. His seasonal in-play average is a stunning .471, second highest in baseball. Over the last two weeks, Wallace picked up a smooth 21 hits on THIRTY BALLS PUT INTO PLAY. That is a .700 BABIP, and that is crazy.

That is quite difficult to imagine. Brett Wallace just keeps finding holes. He must be magic. Clearly Alex Anthopoulos is out to lunch, trading a player with make-up and telekinesis abilities of this magnitude.

Or…he’s a player riding a legendary streak of good fortune. The ball doesn’t go over the fence or beyond the reach of most outfielders…in time it will be caught. While this incredible .700 BABIP goes on, Wallace has 2 walks to show against 9 strikeouts. That isn’t too pretty either. Good thing he’s magic so it doesn’t matter.

Comments (20)

  1. Theirs nothing like a good mixup between there, their, and there’s.

  2. Ah, but see Drew, his magicness will eventually allow him to walk and hit homeruns at staggering paces too; when he tires of simply hitting singles that is. Let’s face it, he’s basically David Copperfield with child-bearing hips

  3. Don’t forget about they’re.

  4. Who needs home runs when you can hit singles and then cause havoc on the base paths by attempting to steal and getting thrown out!

    Also, why not “Fat Ichiro!”?

  5. The guy has 9 doubles and a dinger. Maybe the 2 walks and 9 strike-outs over his last 10 games would mean something if he wasn’t hitting .543 during that span.

    What a useless blog.

  6. @Stew Nice to see you got the point of the article. He hit .543 in a small sample. He must be good.

  7. A little pompous in your delivery. A simple the peripherals don’t point out that he can sustain anywhere near the pace he’s set would have sufficed. You also chose to not include that he’s third in the NL in doubles or that prior to the 2BB/9K rate over that 2 weeks, he had an 8/BB/9K rate that finally started to resemble the numbers he put up at Arizona St which landed him on the upper half of top 100 prospect lists everywhere. Does he have any chance of being a .380 hitter … nope but he’s this is the closest we’ve seen to him being the 40 doubles hitter .300 avg guy that he was once projected to be.

  8. Drew, how dare you write something that Stew doesn’t agree with. Now the whole blog has become useless.

  9. I’ve since read some of Drew’s other stuff and I take back the pompous comment.

  10. once again drew doesn’t seem to understand statistics and is fallen in deep love with babip. no drew wallace isn’t lucky, he’s just on a hot streak. it happens. you know just like sam fuld was hot and is now back down to earth? you really needed babip to tell you al this? you couldn’t figure this out from his .383 batting average?

    • .700. His bat put the ball in play 30 times and 21 times they fell in for hits. 21. There are hot streaks and then there is this.

      I don’t know why I continue to go over this with you. You’ve shown yourself to be completely ignorant of the subject, not just here but on numerous other blogs. You are either trollling or determined to consider this concept. I’m finished explaining this to you.

      Players get lucky in where there batted balls land. It is that simple. You don’t get it. The end.

      If you have legitimate questions, voice them. But please stop beating your head against the wall over and over.

  11. no actually you are the ignorant one. no where on any legitimate site does it say babip is used for hitters, yet there you are using it again and again. that’s why I mock you when you do it again.

    so is wallace a good hitter or just lucky? can’t seem to figure it out with you. since you are the expert please tell us where is this threshold when a player is no longer hot but just lucky?

    • I think you’re being a little bit ridiculous Grouchy in your apparent role as internet policeman for batting average and BABIP. Surely, you can agree that Drew saying 70% of the balls that Wallace puts in play are hits is notable.

    • Congratulations to Brett Wallace, the inaugural FanGraphs Power Rankings BABIP’er of the week. Wallace’s .786 BABIP was more than 200 points higher than his closest competitor.

      From Fangraphs on Monday.

  12. dustin, I don’t know what you are asking. when someone goes on a blog and says babip proves that wallace’s hits are not legitimate, then that is ridiculous and I will refute that. wallace is a hot hitter right now. why is it necessary to demean the player?

    • You’re being far too sensitive and purposely trolling. He’s demeaning the numbers in a small sample size that is absolutely outrageous in comparison to all players. You’re honestly telling me that Brett Wallace’s skill is causing 70% of his balls batted in play to be hits?

  13. why wouldn’t it be skill? what proof do you have otherwise? did you watch every hit and say that was a slow roller that squeeked through? or were all his hits line drives? you’ve never heard of players getting hot? sam fuld had 16 hits in 31 ab’s. was that luck or skill? or is drew simply making fun of wallace by calling him “fat ichiro” so a fat guy can’t be a good hitter right?

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