Prior to last night’s game, Nick Johnson had walked in slightly better than one of every four plate appearances this season. With 14 walks in his first 12 games, he was on a pace which would eclipse the all-time franchise record of 170 by Babe Ruth in 1923.
Now of course, Nick is a DL stint just waiting to happen, so that all-time mark is highly unlikely. But he could more reasonably eclipse the more recent high-water mark of Jason Giambi, who got a free pass 129 times in 2003.
In the DH era, there have been only ten occurrences of a Yankee drawing 100 or more walks in a season, and Giambi has four of them.
Johnson’s .158 batting average (prior to last night’s game) will of course come back to more-normal levels, as he is a career .271 hitter. Since 1990, there have been 78 occurrences of an American League batting title qualifier amassing 100 or more walks, and the median batting average of that group is .285, with a range of .223 (Mickey Tettleton in 1990) to .363 (John Olerud in 1993).