Flat Bat Award 2009

May 25, 2010

Each year we give the Flat Bat Award to baseball’s best bunter. During the 2008 season, Carlos Gomez had 30 bunt hits. We awarded him with the 2008 Flat Bat Award as he unseated the previous champ, three-time Flat Bat winner Willy Taveras. We are a little late with the 2009 award, but it's better late than never. Below is the information we used to determine the 2009 winner. We'll also take a look at the 2010 leaders.

We start by looking at the best bunters in sacrifice situations. Here are the best sacrifice bunters in baseball for 2009, listed in order of most sacrifices:

2009 Sacrifice Hit Leaders
Player Team Successful Sacrifices Sacrifice Attempts Pct 
Javier Vazquez Braves 20 22 91%
Luis Castillo Mets 19 21 90%
Kaz Matsui Astros 16 19 84%
Adam Everett Tigers 15 15 100%
Zach Duke Pirates 14 16 88%
Roy Oswalt Astros 14 16 88%
Bronson Arroyo Reds 14 15 93%
Dexter Fowler Rockies 14 14 100%

We then look at the best performances when bunting for a hit, listed in order of most bunt hits in 2009. As you can see, the most successful bunters have a very high average when bunting for a hit. Of the 31 players who had at least 5 bunt base hits in 2009, their combined average on bunts was .563!

2009 Bunt Hit Leaders
Player Team Successful Bunt Hits Bunt Hit Attempts Avg.
Erick Aybar Angels 18 29 .621
Michael Bourn Astros 17 29 .586
Emilio Bonifacio Marlins 15 28 .536
Nyjer Morgan Pirates/Nationals 14 28 .500
Rafael Furcal Dodgers 12 24 .500
Willy Taveras Astros 11 30 .367
Everth Cabrera Padres 10 18 .556
Denard Span Twins 10 13 .769

And now for the 2009 Flat Bat Award: Erick Aybar, shortstop of the Los Angeles Angels, led the league with 18 bunt hits while posting a stellar .621 average when bunting for a hit. He also successfully laid down 12 sacrifice bunts in 13 sacrifice bunt attempts. He is the 2009 Flat Bat Award Winner. Congratulations, Erick Aybar!

Taking a look at 2010 so far, we can see who has the early lead in bunt hits.

2010 Bunt Hit Leaders
Player Team Successful Bunt Hits Bunt Hit Attempts Avg.
Erick Aybar Angels 6 10 .600
Scott Podsednik Royals 5 6 .833
Elvis Andrus Rangers 4 7 .571
Michael Bourn Astros 4 4 1.000
Ben Zobrist Rays 4 4 1.000

The frontrunner for the Flat Bat award is last year's winner, Erick Aybar. Scott Podsednik, Elvis Andrus, and Ben Zobrist are on the board, but the race is still wide open to become the 2010 Flat Bat Award Winner.



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