Iannetta's patient eye makes up for low average
CLEVELAND -- There's patience, and then there's Chris Iannetta.
The Angels' catcher is a walk machine this year, giving him the highest disparity between batting average and on-base percentage in baseball and essentially making his .218 average entering Sunday irrelevant.
Iannetta has coupled the .218 batting average with a .362 on-base percentage, which ranks second on the Angels to Mike Trout and is a 144-point difference -- the highest in baseball for those with at least 100 plate appearances. Second is Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal (.216 batting average, .352 on-base percentage) and third is Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (.188 to .308).
Iannetta has swung at only 20.7 percent of pitches outside of the strike zone, which would tie Joey Votto for second in the Majors if he had enough playing time to qualify. His walk rate is at a career-high 18.4 percent, which would lead the Majors if he qualified. And his 56 walks are 12th most in the American League, where he doesn't even rank among the top 100 in plate appearances.
"Chris' history says that although maybe his batting average isn't up there, his ability to draw walks is part of his offense," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's shown enough power to where I think teams respect that, and if they pitch on the fringes, he has a good eye. Some of it, you can have a theory that he was in the National League [with the Rockies] and he was hitting eighth some of the time, but he's carried that over here, and his walk rate is incredible."