Yesterday, Ryan Langerhans went 2-3 with a walk - his 23rd of the season, over 120 plate appearances. It was also his 22nd unintentional walk, giving him a league-leading unintentional walk rate of 18.5%. In second place, among batters who have come up at least 100 times, is injured backstop Carlos Santana, at 18.4%. If Langerhans can sustain this over just two more weeks - or, more likely, not play at all - then that'll be an interesting little gold nugget in 2010's radioactive, polluted riverbank.
This isn't the first time Langerhans has done this, by the way. He came up 139 times for thein 2008 and managed to draw 25 bases on balls. Three views:
(1) Ryan Langerhans is a good bench player because he always bats hot, when most players would be cold
(2) Ryan Langerhans gets so cold sitting on the bench that he forgets how to swing
(3) Ryan Langerhans is a career bench player because he is so reliably sluggish and fucked up from the night before
Amazingly, Langerhans' 2010 only ranks 18th in modern-era walk rate for part-time players. Leading the way: John Jaha's 2000, in which he batted 133 times and drew 33 unintentional walks. John Jaha seems like the right kind of guy to hold that record.
On the other end of the spectrum, Jose Lopez has drawn two fewer walks than Ryan Langerhans over 467 more plate appearances. Jose Lopez has nearly four times more plate appearances than Ryan Langerhans, and he's walked less. Ryan Langerhans could come to the plate 467 times between now and the end of the season somehow, and he could fail to draw a single walk, and he would still come out with a higher walk rate than Jose Lopez. He could even retroactively donate one of his walks to charity.
However, Lopez isn't in pursuit of any record. His walk rate was actually a little worse a year ago, and among players with at least 550 plate appearances, his current uBB% of 3.4% ties him for 148th-lowest in the modern era. Jose Lopez is aggressive, impatient, and undisciplined, but he's no Deivi Cruz or Manny Sanguillen. He's just a more ordinary kind of bad, which might be the worst kind.