With Rickey Henderson in Mets camp and lots of talk around Jose Reyes' need to improve his ability reach base, I threw together a quick function to see what Reyes' 2005 performance might have looked like had he drawn a different number of walks. I kept hits, HBP, SF, SH all the same and just moved his number of walks around. Essentially, walks replaced outs in each new iteration.
AB BB AVG OBP SLG SB 696 27 0.273 0.299 0.386 60 693 30 0.274 0.303 0.388 61 683 40 0.278 0.317 0.394 64 673 50 0.282 0.330 0.400 66 663 60 0.287 0.344 0.406 69 653 70 0.291 0.357 0.412 72 643 80 0.295 0.371 0.418 75 633 90 0.300 0.385 0.425 77 623 100 0.305 0.398 0.432 80Reyes actually drew 27 walks, so that top line represents his true performance from 2005. The projected stolen bases are based on his 2005 rate of SB/TOB (times on base), which was 3.65. This was multiplied by each new TOB (H+BB+HBP) value to determine the SB count.
It's interesting to see the effect that walking can have on an otherwise pedestrian season at the plate. Walking allows a player to contribute positively to his team even when he isn't hitting well. I'm encouraged by Reyes' attitude this spring, as he seems to realize that he need to refine his approach at the plate in order to be as productive as possible, especially when you consider that he will see more plate appearances than anyone else on the team. The more pitches he sees early in the game the better off he will be, not to mention the guys hitting behind him in the lineup, who will also benefit from seeing more of the pitcher's repertoire prior to their own at-bats.