Originally Posted by BadFundamentals
Both walks are not outs and extend inning but the Ryan Freel walk has FAR more chance of resulting in a run for team than the walk to a player who doesn't run the bases and has the 3 worst hitters on team up next. Freel's walk not only has more value but it is also representative of a greater level of player achievement than a 6 hole hitter taking a walk.
I would venture to say that if you bat Freel in the 6 spot and he manages to draw the same number of walks that Dunn would, (not likely, but we'll assume that just for the illustration) that the runs scored after those walks would be pretty close for either player. Freel might steal a couple more bases than Dunn will but if you hit him low in the order without the meat of the order coming up behind him, how many more runs are going to result from those stolen bases?
I also think that Freel would not be pitched around as much as Dunn if he were to bat in the 6 spot with nobody hitting behind him, so he wouldn't be drawing as many walks. Maybe he would still have a decent BA, but he is not going to drive himself in nearly as much as Dunn will. Whoever you have in whatever spot in the order, a walk is more likely to score if there are good hitters coming up next. A few times that player will use his speed and generate a scoring chance, but he still depends on someone else to drive him in. Sure, Freel is an asset to any lineup with his speed, bus as far as producing runs goes (whether scoring them or driving them in) Dunn is by far the more productive hitter.