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30-Year-Old Giants Infielder is MLB’s OBP King This Season

San Francisco Giants first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr. shouldn’t go unnoticed for the impressive stats he has put up. Heading into Friday’s action, he had come to the plate 158 times this season and reached base 76 times (over 48%). He has reached base safely in 67 of his last 134 plate appearances. With his incredible OBP, LaMonte Wade has shown MLB that he has the skills to be a Giant for a long time. San Francisco should be set at first base for the next decade.

LaMonte Wade Jr. is MLB’s OBP King

Wade is the OBP king of MLB by 50 points, and fans are happy to see him getting the much-deserved attention and respect he’s owed. His .481 OBP is far ahead of the next highest player, Mookie Betts (.430). He’s looking and playing like an All-Star. Also, when your BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) is .443, it is no surprise that he is the OBP King. Giants hitting coach Pat Burrell believes Wade has the best strike zone awareness since Barry Bonds. He continues to be blown away by Wade’s plate approach. The on-base machine is 30 years old and has been with the Giants since 2021.

Wade has 11 bases taken (advancing on fly balls, passed balls, wild pitches, balks, and defensive indifference), which is only two behind Nico Hoerner with 13. By May 13th, LaMonte Wade Jr. was second in both fWAR and bWAR among all first basemen in the majors. Wade Jr. has been off to a phenomenal start, finding himself in the top 3% for xBA, wOBA, xwOBA, and BB%. He’s one of the most surprising players of the early season. He is also one of only five qualified hitters to have as many or more walks as strikeouts this year (1.00+ BB/K). Wade ranks third in MLB with a .339 batting average. The list of his impressive stats seems never-ending, and to have a higher batting average and OBP than Betts is impressive.

Underrated Player

Wade Jr. is an incredibly underrated player. He puts up great at-bats, and there’s nothing more you want from a hitter than that. Wade Jr’s 21.6% walk rate leads the majors by 2.9 percentage points. He’s been on a heater since day one. What’s been more impressive are his at-bats vs lefties. Against southpaws, he has a .943 OPS this season. He appears like he’s coming into his own as an everyday guy. Getting the numbers he has put up requires incredible discipline. If you watch Wade’s at-bats closely, you will notice he takes borderline pitches, sometimes with two strikes. He is committed to his plan. But his swings are nearly always full go. His plan dictates that, and his plan is paying off.


Photo Credit: © John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports


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