No walking matter: Twins shortstops Santana, Escobar still without a free pass

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It takes a keen eye, a lot of discipline and a strong understanding of the strike zone for Major League Baseball players to draw walks.

Understanding where exactly a three ounce sphere hurtling towards you at more than 90 miles an hour will end up can be tough for even some of the best big league hitters.

But for a pair of Twins' shortstops that task has been virtually impossible.

Neither Danny Santana nor Eduardo Escobar has drawn a walk this season. According to the Pioneer Press, 322 players entered Monday's games with 31 or more plate appearances this season, with Santana (94) and Escobar (62) the only two yet to draw a walk.

That's 156 plate appearances without a single free pass being offered to a Twins' shortstop.

To put some of this into perspective:

  • Pitcher Livan Hernandez in 2005 was the last major leaguer to go a full season without a walk. He hit .244 and made 97 trips to the plate without walking – only three appearances more than Santana has now.
  • Randy Johnson in 1999 was the last player to make 100 trips to the plate without a walk.
  • Arizona's Jerry Gil in 2004 was the last position player to even come close to the century mark, when he went 88 plate appearances without a walk.

According to Hardball Talk, Santana's last walk came on Sept. 20 of last season – 122 plate appearances ago. Escobar's last free pass came on Sept. 3 – 111 plate appearances ago. Amazingly, the two have combined to go 233 plate appearances without a single walk.

That's a long way from Washington's Bryce Harper, who has already drawn 24 walks in just 113 plate appearances this season, or even Joe Mauer, who leads the Twins with 13 free trips in 110 plate appearances.

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