The Flat Bat Award 2013

December 10, 2013

Erick Aybar has won three of the last four Flat Bat Awards, but after his down season that featured only nine sacrifice bunt attempts and a .333 average on bunt-for-hit attempts, the contest is wide open for 2013. To narrow the field, we will first look at which players were most successful on bunt-for-hit attempts. These players had the best batting averages on bunt hit attempts with a minimum of 10 attempts:

2013 Bunt Hit Leaders
Name Bunt Hit Results Batting Average
Jose Iglesias, Bos-Det 10 out of 12 .833
Jordan Schafer, Atl 8 out of 12 .667
Leonys Martin, Tex 11 out of 17 .647
Everth Cabrera, SD 7 out of 11 .636
Juan Lagares, NYM 7 out of 11 .636
Brett Gardner, NYY 9 out of 15 .600
Starling Marte, Pit 10 out of 17 .588
Alejandro De Aza, CWS 7 out of 12 .583
Jarrod Dyson, KC 10 out of 18 .556
Will Venable, SD 6 out of 11 .545


Jarrod Dyson of the Royals paced the field with 18 bunt-for-hit attempts with both Leonys Martin and Starling Marte close behind him with 17 attempts. All performed quite well with batting averages over .500 on those attempts. However, noted-gloveman Jose Iglesias distanced himself from the field with 10 hits on 12 attempts. Jordan Schafer and Martin followed him with a .667 and .647 average, respectively.

Next, here are the most successful sacrifice bunters with a minimum of 10 attempts:

2013 Sacrifice Bunt Leaders
Name Sacrifice Bunt Results Percentage
Leonys Martin, Tex 12 out of 12 100%
Kyle Lohse, Mil 12 out of 12 100%
Logan Schafer, Mil 11 out of 11 100%
Munenori Kawasaki, Tor 10 out of 10 100%
Jeff Samardzija, CHC 10 out of 10 100%
Elvis Andrus, Tex 16 out of 17 94%
Bronson Arroyo, Cin 16 out of 17 94%
Zack Cozart, Cin 13 out of 14 93%
Eric Young, Col-NYM 10 out of 11 91%
Juan Nicasio, Col 10 out of 11 91%
Stephen Strasburg, Was 10 out of 11 91%


It is a crowded field at the top, with five players—Leonys Martin, Kyle Lohse, Logan Schafer, Munenori Kawasaki, and Jeff Samardzija—who were perfect on sacrifices with 10 or more attempts. As is typical because of the lack of a DH, most of the list is populated by National League hitters. However, the Rangers provided two of the three American Leaguers on the list. They were successful on 28 of 29 attempts combined.

Leonys Martin was the only player to make both lists, and he was near the top of both of them. He finished third in batting average on attempted bunt hits, first in total bunt hits, tied-fourth in sacrifice bunt attempts and tied-first in sacrifice bunt success rate. Combined, Jordan and Logan Schafer can give Martin some stiff competition, but, individually, no one comes close. Leonys Martin is the winner of the Flat Bat Award for 2013.


COMMENTS (3 Comments, most recent shown first)

John or readers, what are the overall averages in both categories for bunt success?
11:41 AM Dec 12th

Ben Jedlovec was kind enough to send me a PDF containing the missing Bill James Leader pages from the latest handbook. I'd have thought you'd have made that available on the BIS website by now, but if you have I haven't found it.

I assume most BJOL members are also readers of the handbook. I'd happy to send it to any member who posts an email address to me as a notification, but I wouldn't be comfortable sending out your product unless you give me permission to do so. Please advise.
9:23 PM Dec 10th
David Kowalski
Most of the bunters on either list (bunts for a hit, sacrifice bunts) are either pitchers or players that had a bad year with their batting average. The exception is Brett Gardner who hit over .270.

This problem in getting a hit also played into the use of the bunt both as a sacrifice and for a hit.

Gardner, however, while not a flat bat award winner should be a "cricket bat award winner.". That's because he can both get a hit and bunt. As you know, the cricket bat is really flat and the batters do hit a pitched ball.

10:28 AM Dec 10th
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