Home > Uncategorized > Wily Mo Pena Brings His Own Definition To The Word ‘Slugger’

Wily Mo Pena Brings His Own Definition To The Word ‘Slugger’

No, he didn’t punch anyone.

Remember that home run that Wily Mo Pena hit this season? And the other home run he hit?

Oh, oh … what about this one? That was hit 453 feet. Yep, bash long dingers is pretty much all Wily Mo Pena has accomplished this season. Of course, that’s one of the reasons why he is being designated for assignment. He had just nine hits in 46 at-bats with Arizona. Five of those hits went out of the park. He didn’t walk (zero times, to be exact) and struck out a lot (19 times, to be exact).

But hey, that’s what Wily Mo does. He has a career strikeout-to-walk ratio that is greater than 5:1. His career batting line is .251/.304/.449.

But because of that free-swinging, ball-launching, no-patience approach at the plate, this 2011 season has been a special one of sorts for Pena because it has given us this freaky line:

.196/.196/.522

Those numbers in solitary mean basically nothing, but baseball numbers are so plentiful and flexible, you can pretty much bend them any which way to create some sense of rarity. Here’s one with Pena: He is the only hitter in MLB history to compile a batting average of less than .200, an on-base percentage of less than .200 and a slugging percentage of greater than .500 with at least 25 plate appearances in a season.

And he had 46!

The player closest to Pena in the group of .200/.200/.500 isn’t even a hitter; it’s pitcher Jorge Sosa. He had 32 at-bats with the Cardinals and Braves in 2006, and put up a .125/.192/.500 line. Hit had 102 plate appearances in his career and hit all three of his home runs that season.

Chuckle as you notice that Sosa is the only person on this list who drew a walk in their small-sample-size-season of infamy.

The most at-bats by a position player not named Wily Mo to meet the criteria is Wilson Delgado (.200/.200/.600). He had 21 plate appearances with the Cardinals in 2002.

Again, Pena had more than double that amount of chances.

The best news in all of this may be that at the age of only 29 and with all of that well-known power, there may be a spot for Wily Mo on an American League club before this season ends. So this story has a chance to get even freakier.

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