Rules give Votto NL OBA title
* 1B Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.) led the National in on-base average, despite the fact he didn’t qualify — he was that far ahead of anyone else ….
By Neil Munro
As I predicted earlier, Joey Votto is now officially the 2012 National League on-base average leader, even though he fell well short of the minimum 502 plate appearance qualification requirement.
Votto reached base 225 times (with 126 hits, 94 walks and 5 hit by pitch) in 475 appearances (374 at bats, 94 walks, five hit by pitches and two sacrifice flies). This gives him a .474 OBA for the year. Just for the record, he did not have any sac. bunts – which do not count in determining the OBA in any case.
By using rule 10.22, and adding an additional 27 hitless at bats to his totals, Votto would have had an OBA of .448 which still is substantially ahead of the runner-up .408 mark posed by the San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey (and also well ahead of the AL leading OBA of .416 compiled by the Minnesota Twins’ Joe Mauer). This marks the third straight season in which Votto is the NL OBA leader. His OBA is officially listed as his actual .474 figure.
It turned out that rule 10.22 also had to be applied to give Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins the official NL slugging percentage title. Stanton had just 501 plate appearances this year in compiling his .608 slugging percentage, but he still finished well ahead of runner-up Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun’s .595 figure after the one extra hitless at bat was added.
Interestingly enough, we would have witnessed a clean sweep for rule 10.22 in determining the National League percentage leaders this year except for the fact that the MLB Players Association and the Giants’ Melky Cabrera had earlier agreed to a ruling that a suspended player would not be eligible for the batting title even if rule 10.22 was applied.
Cabrera batted .346 in 501 official appearances (one short of the required 502) so Posey also claims the NL batting title with his .336 mark.
By the way, Votto finished the year with a .337 batting average, but the extra 27 hitless at bats would leave him with just a .314 BA, so Joey will have to “wait until next year” to take another shot at the batting crown.