In posts from last week I looked at the differences in the number of walks the Phillies drew in 2007, when they were the best team in the NL at drawing walks, and 2012, when their walk rate was 15th in the league.
In those posts I suggested there were four positions where the Phillies walked about the same number of times in 2007 as they had in 2012 — second base, right field, DH/pinch-hitter and pitcher.
At second base, Chase Utley’s walk rate of 11.9% in 2012 was higher than his walk rate of 8.2% in 2007. The problem was that Utley only got about 53.3% of the plate appearances at second in 2012. Galvis, Fontenot, Martinez and Orr combined to get the rest with Galvis getting about three times more than any of the other three. Galvis walked in just 2.8% of his 178 plate appearances as a second baseman for the Phils in 2012.
Like Jimmy Rollins, Utley has increased his walk rate in recent years.
The best year in recent history for the Phillies in terms of walks from their second basemen was 2009. Utley got about 94.1% of the PA for second basemen that year and walked in a career-high 12.8% of his chances. The team wound up at 12.4% at the position.
I can’t find a whole ton interesting about the walk rate of the pitchers or pinch-hitters/DHs. Phillies third baseman walked in a miserable 4.7% of their plate appearances in 2012, so it did seem worthwhile to check and make sure they walked more often than the pitchers. They did — the pitchers walked in 3.8% of their PA combined. In three of the last eight years, though, the pitchers for the Phils posted a walk rate near or above 4.7% for the season — they walked in 5.9% of their PA in 2006, 4.9% in 2008 and 4.6% in 2009.
That leaves us with the right fielders. In 2007 the right fielders for the Phillies walked in 9.0% of their plate appearances, which is just about the same as the 8.9% they walked in 2012. It’s been kind of a wild ride in between, though. Here are the walk rates for Phillies right fielders as a group over the last six seasons:
So, in 2012, the Phils RF wound up in about the same place they had been in 2007, but they had been up a lot higher than that in the years in-between.
In ’07, the Phillies got 743 PA in right. Of those, 482 (64.9%) went to Victorino and he walked in about 6.6% of them. Werth was the other major contributor — he walked in about 14.8% of his 223 plate appearances as a RF (about 30% of the team’s PA at the position).
Werth got the bulk of the PA from ’08 to ’10 as the walk rate at the position climbed. Werth walked in about 12.7% of his walks in those years combined.
In 2011, Ben Francisco, Domonic Brown and Hunter Pence all got around a third of the team’s PA in right field. All three walked a lot — Pence and Francisco each walked in about 11.1% of their chances and Brown walked in about 12.2% of his while playing right.
In 2012, Pence got about 64% of the Phillie plate appearances in right and walked in about 8.4% of them. Brown brought the number for the team up a little, getting about 22% of the PA in right and walking in about 11.3% of those chances.