Lately with the Miami Marlins, the talk has been about hitting streaks, and particularly Jose Reyes's current 25-game hit streak. Now, I don't know about you, but I always thought it was odd that hitting took full-on precedent over other aspects of baseball. It's not like, in a hit streak, we ask about the type of hits. If we don't care about the type of hits, why should we care about how the hitter got on base?
It is with that in mind that I thought about going through an interesting historical list for the Marlins: a series of lists based on the times on base statistic. We always hear about who has the most hits in franchise history or who has the longest hit streak, but why not discuss who has gotten on base more often than anyone else? Which Marlin holds the franchise's longest times on base streak? Which Marlin played the longest on the team and got on base the least amount of times?
Let's go over some of these historical feats of times long past, shall we?
The Times On Base Streak
Since Marlins fans have been more interested in Jose Reyes's hit streak than many of the team's other actual accomplishments (or lack thereof), we'll start with discussing an interesting streak: the times on base streak. Who has reached base at least once, including hits, walks, hit-by-pitches, or reached on errors, in the most consecutive games in Marlins history? Here is the top ten list of streaks.
Luis Castillo once again tops the Marlins' record books in this category. His hit streak in 2002 overlapped with a set of games with walks that allowed him to get on base in 49 straight games, a team record. To put that mark in perspective, it is the 21st longest streak since 1993, tied with such venerable names as Manny Ramirez (2000), Phil Nevin (2000), and Chad Curtis (1995). The longest such streak from 1993 to 2012 was Derek Jeter's 63-game mark in 2006 to 2007.
The second greatest mark in Marlins history came from Kevin Millar in the hit streak of 2002, which was carried well into September when you account for other instances of getting on base. Surprisingly, the third highest ranking streak came from Logan Morrison in his rookie year of 2010. In that year, Morrison drew walks in more than 16 percent of his plate appearances, which helped to explain why he got on base so often.
Hanley Ramirez owns the most number of top ten streaks with three different streaks from three different seasons listed here. His rookie streak stretched into three different months, and he hit an impressive .342/.393/.564 in that stretch. The best hitting from one of these streaks came from Ramirez's 2008 streak, in which he hit .330/.478/.613 during that span. In comparison, Luis Castillo's streak was among the weaker hit streaks in the top ten, as he hit .376/.423/.438 during that span.
What was the weakest streak? It should come as no surprise that it came from Juan Pierre, who had the fourth longest streak of being on base at 39 games. Pierre hit just .306/.355/.400 in that time period in 2003, which matched up pretty well to his .305/.361/.373 season at the plate that year.
Jose Reyes has quite a ways to go to match Castillo's streak as of right now. Reyes has reached base in 29 straight games and hit a very good .342/.379/.547 (reminiscent of Ramirez's longest streak). His streak is currently tied for 12th all-time with, of all people, Greg Colbrunn (1996) and Dave Magadan (1993).
Reyes's Streak Odds
Just like this from earlier this afternoon, we can calculate how likely Reyes is to break Castillo's streak. Based on his ZiPS rest-of-season projection, he's expected to get on base at a .349 clip. Tack on his chances of getting on with a reached on error and that expected OBP goes up to .361.
This adjusted OBP gives Reyes an 86.7 percent chance to reach base each game. He has to reach base in 20 more consecutive games to reach Castillo's record. What does that make his odds of reaching that 49-game streak? The odds are at 5.8 percent that he reaches it and 5.0 percent that he can break Castillo's record!
Marlins All-Timers On Base
Now this brings up the question of the best all-time Marlins seasons and careers in terms of getting on-base. In terms of seasons, one of the best all-time offensive campaigns in Marlins history is at the top.
Gary Sheffield's spectacular 1996 leads all campaigns at getting on base. Ten years later, Miguel Cabrera's top-notch 2006 season fell just thirty trips to the bases shy of Sheffield's mark, in part because Sheffield drew an astounding 147 walks (only 19 intentional!) that year. Juan Pierre's plate appearance-loaded 2004 season (he led all players in plate appearances) puts him third on the list, three ahead one of Hanley Ramirez's three elite offensive seasons.
As for the overall leaderboard, the name at the top should not surprise either.
Luis Castillo was the longest-tenured Marlin in team history, and his elite on-base skills helped him get on base more than 300 more times than the next competitor, Hanley Ramirez. No current Marlin is even close to the record, though Ramirez had a shot at it if he played out his contract in Miami. Regardless of plate skill, most of these names got on via longevity; Alex Gonzalez and his career .291 OBP in Florida sits at eighth on the list.
There you have it, a quick trip down memory lane in an unusual hitting category. Next time, make sure you think about and discuss times on base when you think of the great Marlins records of all-time. Who will one day dethrone Luis Castillo at the top of the list?