The last time Ted Williams batted .400 was in 1941. In the 81 years since then, until last year, many great batters have attempted to hit four, but have fallen short at the threshold.
Not only in the major leagues, but also in the KBO and NPB, 4% is considered an impregnable mark.
However, there is a player who has challenged the 4% mark this season. Luis Araez, 26, is a right-handed hitting second baseman from Venezuela.
He made his major league debut with the Minnesota Twins in 2019 and won the AL batting title last year with a .316 average. He was traded to Miami earlier this year. At the time, Miami sent two minor leaguers and left-handed ace Pablo Lopez to Minnesota. It was a successful trade for Miami, as Arajuez has been hitting even sharper since his arrival.
Araújo went 2-for-4 with a home run and a double in Miami’s home game against the Kansas City Royals on Aug. 8 at Marlins Park, raising his average to .403 (216-for-87). It was the second day in a row that Arajuez stayed in the quadruple digits after going 2-for-4 against Kansas City at the same venue the day before, marking a 28-day absence since May 10.
He’s gaining momentum after going 5-for-5 against the Oakland Athletics on May 4, raising his average from .374 to .390. It was his fifth straight multi-hit game and 27th of the season. Araez leads the league in both batting average and on-base percentage (.452).
Araujo, who also started in the leadoff spot, reached on a fielder’s choice in the top of the first inning and then doubled to left field in the bottom of the first inning, scoring Jesús Sánchez on a three-run homer. He grounded out to second again in the fifth to make it 3-1, then singled to left with one out in the eighth and came home on Brian Cruz’s double.
A perfect 4-for-4 night with two RBIs and two runs scored. He didn’t strike out on the day either. Eleven strikeouts in 239 at-bats this year. His 4.6% strikeout rate also leads all hitters with full plate appearances. Second-place Washington Nationals catcher Keyvert Ruiz (7.7%) has 16 strikeouts in 209 at-bats.
With a strikeout rate like that, he deserves to be called a “master hitter” as much as Tony Gwynn, whose name is synonymous with precision. Gwynn, who was a staple of the San Diego Padres in the 1980s and 1990s, had a career strikeout rate of 4.2%. In 1995, when he hit .368, he struck out just 15 times in 577 at-bats. That’s a 2.6% strikeout rate.
But Gwynn is the closest hitter since Ted Williams to reach the 4% mark. After hitting .394 in 1994, Gwynn was expected to hit .400 someday, but he never broke the .400 threshold and retired in 2001. Gwynn’s career batting average is .328, with three games over .370.먹튀검증
Up to this point, Miami had played 63 games. The highest batting average by a team through 63 games is .435 by Andres Galarraga of the Colorado Rockies in 1993. Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves in 2008 had the second-highest batting average at the same point, at .420, and Arajuez’s batting average on that day ranks seventh all-time. In 1941, Williams was hitting .412 at the team’s 63-game mark.
The last player to bat in the 4s as late as Williams’ 4s was Kansas City’s George Brett in 1980. He didn’t hit .400 until his 134th game that year. John O’Leary of the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993 was the next player to hit .400 until 107 games. Gwynn was also at 4% until his 92nd game in 1997. In 2000, Norma Garciaparra of the Boston Red Sox hit in the quadrant through 91 games.