Howard’s Patience

One of the things that can be deceptive about walk rates is if a player – especially a slugger – has dramatic changes in his intentional walk rates year to year. So with Ryan Howard, who averaged 36 IBB per year in 2006-07, but fell off to 17 in 2008, 8 in 2009, and 6 in half a season this year. (Vlad Guerrero has had similar patterns). Here’s Howard’s walks per 600 plate appearances if you subtract IBB from both:
2005: 44
2006: 64
2007: 70
2008: 56
2009: 58
2010: 35
The pattern in Howard’s total walk rates suggested he walked a lot in 2006 and 2007 and had big falloffs in 2008 and 2009, but as you can see, while Howard’s non-intentional walk rate peaked in 2007, the trend from 2006 to 2009 was mostly consistent. Whereas this year, he really has fallen off dramatically, albeit covering that in his OBP by hitting .296.

2 thoughts on “Howard’s Patience”

  1. You know, Howard’s HR’s are down this year, but I’m just happy he is on a pace to strike out only 160 or so times this year.

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