There are a lot of things I see on a professional baseball field that leave me shaking my head in awe and wonder at the physical prowess of the players who play our great game for a living. As a 5’11” failed second baseman with one career varsity baseball at-bat (and one strikeout), there is not much that these players do that I am capable of replicating. No matter how many swings I take in the cage or grounders I field, I will never be gifted enough to stack up to a Major League Baseball player in any way.
At least I thought so, until I checked out Jon Lester‘s career batting line. The Cubs’ shiny new toy got a well-deserved five year, $155 million contract this offseason, but it was not for his ability to handle a bat. You see, Lester sports a tidy .000 career batting average. Lester has thrown a no-hitter, and he’s working on another one.
If given the same 43 plate appearances that Lester has received in his career, I am fully confident in my abilities as an athlete to produce zero hits.
Here are some more highlights (or lowlights) from Lester’s forays into a MLB batter’s box:
- He is baseball’s active leader for most appearances without a hit, and has an impressive slash line of .000/.026/.000. His first base hit will bring a healthy boost to that abysmal OPS.
- Lester’s one career walk actually came with the bases loaded, so he is the active leader in the ever important BB/RBI ratio. It should be noted that in the game he drew that walk, Lester tossed a complete game five-hitter.
- With just 15 more hitless plate appearances, Lester will surpass Joey Hamilton for the most plate appearances to start a career without a hit. Now that he is in the National League, Lester may reach that mark by the end of April.
- He does have five career sacrifices, but with a career strikeout rate of 61.1%, even future Cubs teammate Javier Baez is shaking his head.
The Cubs do not play a game in an American League ballpark the entire month of April, so Jon Lester will have plenty of chances to get the monkey off his back. His quest for a base hit starts tomorrow night against the Cardinals and their ace Adam Wainwright. When and if that initial base hit comes, one can only hope the ball will be preserved for posterity. Until that joyful occurrence comes to pass, baseball fans everywhere can fall asleep at night knowing they have exactly as many base hits as a professional athlete who will earn $155 million over the next five years.