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Joe is the founder of Project COBB, under which he serves as Stats and Research Manager for the GB National Team and chairs the British Baseball Hall of Fame. Joe's writing has been published in book form by Fineleaf.

Roundshaw Hop: Leaders and challengers in the race for batting and pitching titles

rh-(128x128)With photographs kindly supplied by Robbie Monterosso

There are just 2 weeks left before the post-season begins in the National Baseball League, and thus it is an excellent time for BaseballGB to provide British baseball fans with an update on the individual statistical leaders for the regular season. Below, the front-runners and challengers are listed for each of the main categories. Before that, it is worth mentioning three things from last Sunday.

  • The first is Jose Sosa’s bases-loaded homer in Croydon’s 8-2 win over Herts, which gets his name added to the historical list of grand slam sluggers.
  • The second is Daniel Williams’s hits for London in both ends of his team’s double-header against Mildenhall, which extended his hitting streak to 12 games (remember, it is much harder to compile a lengthy hitting streak in 7-inning baseball compared with 9-inning baseball, particularly when a good chunk of games are truncated to 5 or 6 innings on the mercy rule). If he picks up one or more hits in each end of London’s final regular-season double-header, at Richmond on Sunday, he will become the second player on the Great Britain Baseball Scorers Association’s (GBBSA’s) list of notable hitting streaks.
  • The third is Jason Roberts’s 14th win of the year, which set a new all-time British regular-season record. He also logged his 14th complete game for 2010, which means that the Mets moundsman has tied Ian Bates’s modern single-season record (set with the Croydon Pirates in 2004) with one game more to pitch. (Depending on how you look at it, the wins record is either 120 years old or just a few months old. John Devey collected 13 victories for Aston Villa in 1890, the very first season of organized domestic competition in Britain. However, pitching statistics were not well established at that point, and so this record wins total was only discovered earlier this year after a systematic trawl of box scores from 1890 as part of the research conducted for an upcoming book. It should also be stated that leading wins totals are not available for all seasons, and so it is as plausible that Roberts might one day lose his record to a player from the past as it is for a future pitcher to take it away.)

Offensive categories

Daniel Williams batting against Mildenhall last Sunday

Daniel Williams batting against Mildenhall last Sunday

Batting average

  • Leader: .600 – Daniel Williams (London Mets)
    Simon Pole’s .571 for the London Warriors in 2005 is the modern single-season record for batting average. A 2-for-6 weekend for Williams would see him exactly match Pole’s record. Any better and the Mets slugger will claim it outright; any worse and he will lose out.
  • Challengers: None really
    Oscar Sierra (Southampton Mustangs) has the next highest average among qualifying players with .486, but if he is to snatch the title it will take something of the nature of him going 7-for-7 and Williams hitting 0-for-7 on Sunday (like the Mets, the Mustangs are due to finish their regular-season schedule this weekend).

On-base average

  • Leader: .661 – Daniel Williams (London Mets)
    Tom Bray’s .633 figure last year for the Bracknell Blazers (adjusted for minimum plate appearances) is the modern single-season record.
  • Challenger: .619 – Grant Delzoppo (Richmond Flames)
    Challenger: .617 – Robbie Unsell
    (Richmond Flames)
    With the Flames having four home games to conclude their season, it is not out of the question for one of these challengers to leapfrog Williams.

Slugging average

  • Leader: 1.080 – Daniel Williams (London Mets)
    Alan Bloomfield’s leading modern single-season slugging average of 1.135 from 1997 looks safe for another year. But Williams is on course to pip his record OPS (on-base average plus slugging average) from that year, as the Mets player currently has a figure of 1.741 to Bloomfield’s 1.733.
  • Challenger: .842 – Ryan Bird (Richmond Flames)
    Bird is still 11 plate appearances short of the minimum mark for qualification, but should he fill this gap and get a string of big hits in doing so, he could catch Williams.

Home runs

  • Leader: 6 – Maikel Azcuy (Croydon Pirates)
    Azcuy has one remaining double-header to add to his total.
  • Challenger: 5 – Daniel Williams (London Mets)
    Challenger: 4 – Matt Maitland (Bracknell Blazers)
    Challenger: 4 – Oscar Sierra (Southampton Mustangs)
    Williams, who is one back, and Maitland, who has four games left to bridge the gap, are most likely to give Azcuy cause for concern.

Runs batted in

  • Leader: 36 – Daniel Williams (London Mets)
    The modern record is 46, by Bloomfield in 1997.
  • Challenger: 31 – Maikel Azcuy (Croydon Pirates)
    Challenger: 30 – Oscar Sierra (Southampton Mustangs)
    With both Azcuy and Sierra having home run power in their arsenal, Williams might need to add a few more RBI to his total down in Richmond to make certain.

Base hits

  • Leader: 35 – Oscar Sierra (Southampton Mustangs)
  • Challenger: 34 – Maikel Azcuy (Croydon Pirates)

Runs

  • Leader: 35 – Ryan Trask (Bracknell Blazers)
  • Challenger: 31 – Rob Anthony (London Mets)
    Challenger: 30 – Michael Trask (Bracknell Blazers)
    Anthony’s total is slightly closer to Ryan Trask’s, but Ryan’s brother Michael has two more games left than the London player and thus is more of a threat.

Stolen bases

  • Leader: 22 – Ryan Trask (Bracknell Blazers)
  • Challenger: 19 – Robbie Unsell (Richmond Flames)

Pitching categories

Jason Roberts - and the growth to date of his post-season beard - on the mound during his record-breaking 14th win

Jason Roberts - sporting the growth to date of his post-season beard - on the mound during his record-breaking 14th win

Wins

  • Leader: 14 – Jason Roberts (London Mets)
  • Challengers: None

Innings pitched

  • Leader: 92.0 – Jason Roberts (London Mets)
  • Challengers: None

Strike-outs

  • Leader: 113 – Jason Roberts (London Mets)
  • Challengers: None

Earned-run average

  • Leader: 2.37 – Henry Collins (Bracknell Blazers)
  • Challenger: 2.64 – Jason Roberts (London Mets)

Walks and hits per innings pitched

  • Leader: 1.21 – Henry Collins (Bracknell Blazers)
  • Challenger: 1.32 – Michael Osborn (Richmond Flames)
    Challenger: 1.41 – Jason Roberts
    (London Mets)

Strike-outs per 9 innings

  • Leader: 11.1Jason Roberts (London Mets)
  • Challenger: 11.6 – Matt Maitland (Bracknell Blazers)
    While Maitland currently has a higher strike-out rate from the hill than Roberts, he will need at least 6 more innings’ mound time to qualify. Another player short of innings is Richmond’s Cody Cain. He needs to pitch at least 11 more innings, but should he do so he would have a shot at taking the last three pitching titles in the list above based on his current figures of 2.42, 1.19, and 12.1, respectively (he took this “triple crown” last year).

Full season statistics, which include a game-by-game breakdown of batting and pitching figures, can be found on the GBBSA website.

2 Responses to “Roundshaw Hop: Leaders and challengers in the race for batting and pitching titles”

  1. Andre Fairbanks #

    Jason Roberts passes 120-year-old British season wins record with 14th victory of 2010.

    I have seen this Yank pitch. He is amazing.

    August 15, 2010 at 3:40 am Reply
  2. Stefanie #

    Congratulations Jay-SON! (ala: Carlos)

    August 15, 2010 at 1:26 pm Reply

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