Eugenio Velez didn’t get a hit in the 2011 season. Velez went 0 for 37 for the L.A. Dodgers this year, breaking an MLB record that has stood since 1936. And if you include the last few games of the 2010 season, Velez hasn’t gotten a hit in 46 straight games, which breaks another record that has stood since 1909.
USA Today reports that Velez is the first non-pitcher to go 37 at bats in a single season without a hit. Velez beat Hal Finney’s record of 35 at bats without a hit, which has he set with Pittsburgh in 1936.
Bill Bergen, also with Pittsburgh, went 0 for 45 in 1909. Dave Campbell (San Diego) and Craig Counsell (Milwaukee) both tied that record, but only Velez was incompetent enough to make it to that record breaking 46th game.
In Velez’ defense, the MLB had one of its worst offensive seasons in history this year. According to ESPN, teams averaged just 4.2 runs this year, which is the lowest the MLB has seen since 1992. The home run average was at 0.94, which was the lowest its been in 19 years. And the MLB batting average was .255, the lowest since 1989.
So maybe it wasn’t entirely Velez’ fault. Maybe it was the pitching.
Colorado’s Jason Giambi said:
“There’s a good generation of young pitchers who have come up and established themselves. The days of offensive guys putting up crazy numbers, I think it’s going to be different the next few years.”
What do you think? Are MLB pitchers getting better? Or is the league becoming full of players like Eugenio Velez?