Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Will Omar Infante qualify for the batting title?

Omar Infante (Braves) went into today's game hitting .340, the same average as NL league leader Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies).  He does not have enough plate appearances to qualify for the title now because he missed too many games earlier in the season (he's only appeared in 118 games so far).

He needs 503 plate appearances at the end of the season (3.1 PA for each scheduled game).  With 16 games to go, he is at 434 plate appearances, leaving him 69 short.  That would mean that he needs 4.31 PA/game. 

The good news is that he's hitting leadoff and hasn't missed a game since July 27th.  Unless he gets hurt, he probably won't miss another game because the Braves are in the middle of a tough playoff race and he is one of their best hitters.  Can he do it?

In his 14 games in September, he has averaged 4.57 PA/game.  At that pace, he would finish with 507 PA, so he probably won't be able to qualify until the final series of the year.  He needs a 20 inning game, where he gets 9 or 10 PA and at least a few hits.  He has been very consistent over the last few months (his average was .339 on July 31st), so he has a good chance of winning the crown if he can qualify.

If he plays in every game, he should clear the necessary number of the PA in the final sexries, which could make the NL batting race very exciting.

NL Batting Leaders, 400+ PA
Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies) .340
Omar Infante (Braves) .340
Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies) .322
Joey Votto (Reds) .321
Starlin Castro (Cubs) .312

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