TEMPE, Ariz. -- Erick Aybar drew seven walks in his first eight Spring Training games, which is pretty good for a guy who has averaged one walk every five and a half games throughout his career -- and no fluke, if you ask the Angels' speedy shortstop.
"I want to take more walks this year," Aybar said in Spanish on Wednesday. "I want to see the ball more, make the pitcher throw more strikes."
One-hundred and eighty-nine qualified hitters have a better plate-appearances-per-walk ratio than Aybar since he became an everyday player five years ago. The most he's ever drawn in a season is 35 in 2010, which was tied for 253rd in the Majors. And because of that, Aybar's career on-base percentage is only .317 -- pretty low for a guy who has good bat control, is a great bunter and sports above-average speed.
The question is: Is Aybar, 30 years old and entering his ninth season with the Angels, too late in his career to change his approach?
"I don't think so," he said. "You learn more and more the longer you're in this game. When you're looking for a pitch and you don't get it, you take it. That's what I've been doing. Just showing more patience, and letting the pitcher throw."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less