Walsh pairs low batting average with high OBP

Walsh pairs low batting average with high OBP

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' oddest stat line entering the final day of April belonged to Rule 5 Draft pick Colin Walsh, who owned the team's lowest batting average (.100) but its third-highest on-base percentage (.379).

Walsh achieved that dichotomy after 29 Major League plate appearances by virtue of going 2-for-20 at the plate with nine walks. It was an oddly historic pace. Only three players in Major League history have batted .100 or worse in a season with an on-base percentage of .350 or better in 25 or more plate appearances; the last being Boston's Mike Stenhouse in 1986. Stenhouse was 2-for-12 with 12 walks.

"The on-base percentage is nice, but you have to hit, too," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "There'll never be a player that just walks. That's why Eddie Gaedel didn't make it."

Gaedel, of course, was a 3-foot-7 pinch-hitter for the St. Louis Browns who became the shortest player in Major League history when he worked a four-pitch walk against the Tigers in 1951. It was his only big league plate appearance.

"You have to do more than walk, and Colin will do more than that," Counsell said. "Colin's done a nice job. He swung at the first pitch [Friday] night. He's not a passive hitter. He's got a good eye for the strike zone. He's got 30 plate appearances.

"It's a very strange stat line. You're not going to see it very often. Strange start to his career, but he'll get his hits."

Most of Walsh's pro experience is at second base, but he started at third base Saturday because Walsh has been working there extensively of late, and Counsell wanted to give the rookie "some consistency" in his playing time. Aaron Hill manned second base.

"[Walsh] is a Rule 5 pick, so we have some work to do with him, certainly," Counsell said.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.