Joey Votto, named the National League’s Most Valuable Player on Monday, received some admiration earlier this season for his lack of infield fly balls.
Well, I checked today and Votto still doesn't have an infield pop-up. He's got 558 plate appearances, 382 of which have resulted in a batted ball, and somehow not one of those 382 balls have been a fly ball caught within 140 feet of the plate (the definition of Infield Fly Ball by FanGraphs, and measured by Baseball Info Solutions).
Votto continued this trend through the remainder of the season, finishing with zero infield fly balls in 648 plate appearances. At some point, I noticed that a Pirates player was having a similar season. After digging a bit deeper, I found three players with 400+ plate appearances and zero infield fly balls (per the Baseball Info Solutions criteria) in 2010.
Posey and Tabata each had far fewer opportunities to hit a pop-up...
Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.