MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 27: Alcides Escobar #2 of the Kansas City Royals is hit by a pitch thrown by Anthony Swarzak of the Minnesota Twins in the fifth inning on September 27, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Our scenario: the Royals sign you for 2012, and because of a wave of injuries and or insane trades, need you to become a regular player. Let's say you get 400 plate appearances.
What would your season batting line be? What would your approach at the plate be?
Thinking about how I would do, I don't see much success. I haven't played regular baseball since my early teens and I've probably gone to the batting cages five times since then. I'm very average physically, I don't think I'm slow or fast, really weak or strong. I am about 5'11, which makes me short for a Major Leaguer I guess. After grad school, I need very weak contacts (which can't help). I think that if I played high school baseball right now, I'd probably be the worst hitter on any team.
I don't think I'd be able to make contact at all for at least a week. I'd be incredibly nervous and I don't think I'm really a good hitter to begin with. Perhaps this period would extend longer... I don't really know. Maybe a month? If I knew I was going to have to go through with an entire season, I'd commit myself to batting practice, and, since I'm starting at such a low level, I can see myself making some improvements. Would I ever be able to hit the ball out of the infield? I don't know. If I got to go through Spring Training, I think it would help me. If I was pulled out of the stands on Opening Day, I think it might be a month before I'm even close to comfortable at the plate.
Overall, of course, the batting average is going to be incredibly low. In 400 PAs, I think I'm good for at least 250 strikeouts. At least. OK, let's make it 300. The only reason this number isn't higher is because I would become an extremely selective hitter in this nightmare scenario. If there's any chance I'll get plunked or walked, I'll try to give myself that chance. I'm also going to make the opposing pitcher throw, at least, three more pitches. With men on base, I'll probably just not swing at all.
In the remaining 100 PAs, I do think I could draw 15 walks/HBPs or so. That gives me 85 PAs left in which I make contact with the ball. Can I assume 10 bloop/bunt hits out of that? Do I rope a solid single once? I think it is probably way generous, but let's give me 10 hits. This is at once incredibly small, but seems generous at the same time.
That would give me a triple slash line of .003/.006/.003.