I was just staring at the Red Sox Baseball-Reference page (because that's what I do sometimes) and noticed something interesting: So far this season, Daniel Nava has walked more times (19) than he's struck out (17). He's the only guy on the team (not counting Jacoby Ellsbury) who can currently make that claim, and it got me thinking:
How rare is it for a guy to play an entire season and finish with more walks than strikeouts?
The answer: It's pretty rare.
Since 2000, only five Red Sox regulars (which I arbitrarily defined as having at least 500 at-bats) have finished the season with a positive BBK ratio.
1. Nomar Garciaparra did it in 2000, the year he hit .372 and won his second straight batting title. It was also the second straight (and last) season in which he joined this exclusive club. Nomar finished the year with 61 walks and 50 strikeouts, and was no doubt helped along by his league-leading 20 intentional walks.
2. Manny Ramirez did it in 2003, powered by a league-leading 28 intentional walks. Manny finished the year with 97 walks and 94 strikeouts, which was just enough to earn him a spot on irrevocable waivers that off-season.
3. Johnny Damon did in 2004, with 76 walks and 71 strikeouts. Respect your Idiots, children.
4. David Ortiz pulled it off in back-to-back seasons. In '06, he drew a league-leading 119 walks (to go along with a league-leading 54 homers and 137 RBI) and struck out "only" 117 times. In '07, he led the league again with 111 walks and struck out 103 times.
5. And finally, there's Dustin Pedroia, who's climbed the vaunted BBK mountain three out of four seasons that he's qualified.
In 2007, he walked 47 times and struck out only 42 times. In 2009, he walked 74 times and struck out only 45 times. And last year, he just snuck in with 86 walks and 85 strikeouts. Phew.
By the way, in the one season Pedroia qualified and didn't make the cut? His MVP season of 2008, when he struck out 52 times and drew only 50 walks. Poor form, Pedey!
Anyway, there you have it. The ball's in your court, Daniel Nava.
Show us what you got.