Captain of the 540 club: Scorpions’ Joey Votto

Every year there’s a small but select group of players who fall just shy of the coveted 550 at-bat level that would make them unlimited in the following year’s play for the I-75 Strat-O-Matic League. Here are this year’s heartbreakers:

1. Joey Votto, Savannah Scorpions (547). With a .424 on-base percentage, Savannah may still be able to play him full time and root for walks when no one’s on base or the game isn’t close. But manager Steve Hart probably wishes the Reds had found a way to get him three more at-bats. The MVP candidate did finish with a .600 slugging mark and hit .324, so don’t feel too sorry for him. The Reds didn’t play him on Saturday and took him out after two at-bats Sunday.

2. Miguel Cabrera, Superior Titans (548). Cabrera, an AL MVP candidate, surely would have cleared 550 had he not suffered a right ankle sprain Sept. 27. So there was no final-weekend AB drama for Miggy. He’ll bring a very desireable .328 – .420 – .622 line to the lineup next year. 

3. Hanley Ramirez, Bushwood Gophers (543). Ramirez missed by seven at-bats, but his shortage hurts quite a bit because he walks the least among the 540 club. So, the Gophers will have to sit him sometime when they would rather not. And next year’s Gophers lineup will need all the help it can get. Ramirez finished at .300 – .378 – .475.

4. Paul Konerko, Wisconsin Warhaks (548). Unlimited status would have made him all the more attractive, but at a position like 1B/DH, it’s probably manageable. Konerko’s 39 homers were third in MLB this season, and he finished at .312 – .393 – .584. Konerko sat out the White Sox’s Friday night game with Cleveland, or he likely would have cleared 550.

5. Derek Lee, Springfield Isotopes (547). Lee played in all of his weekend games, walking twice in five plate appearances Sunday, and thus falling 3 ABs short. With a .260 average and 19 homers though, full-time play may not be required of him in Springfield.

There are 75 hitters who reached the 550 mark this year. Ryan Howard and Shin-Soo-Choo hit it on the button.


5 Responses

  1. With all due respect to all fans Rockie…the Colorados
    have been out for week(s) as well. A Craig Swan dive.
    Leyland over Tracy in the octagonal.

    Also…the Bismarckers were under the impression that 551 was the UNL marker? 500….no good!

    • From the Constitution:
      D. Hitters shall be restricted in accordance with their real-life number of at-bats.

      1.Players who accumulated 550 or more actual at-bats shall be unlimited in the League.

      • Freed, Mota, Auerbach and Lentine disagree…but thanks for the needed wisdom.

  2. Miggy, what a pansy. He certainly could have hobbled up there on crutches and stood there for two lousy strikeout pinch hit ABs. Who woulda cared? The Tigers were out of it weeks ago!

    I emailed Jim Leyland every hour on the hour with my demands, but never got the courtesy of a response. That’s two, Leyland, that’s two.

    Bitter in Superior,

  3. We thought Hanley would be a shoo-in for 550 again this year, but he missed the last two weeks with an elbow injury — BOSH!

    Likewise, the Clips are no doubt crying after Josh Hamilton’s cracked ribs cost him a month’s worth of ABs in September, leaving the slugging MVP candidate with just 518 ABs for next year.

    Gopher Dave

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