Baseball’s New Low
Major League Baseball went to a 162-game schedule in 1961 and no one has hit this poorly until now.
Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles posted the lowest batting average of all-time for qualified hitters in the modern era. (Yes that sounds like asterisks over asterisks.) In a 162 game season, a player must come to the plate at least 502 times to qualify for a batting title. 502 times because that comes out to an average of 3.1 plate appearances a game which is pretty normal.
Since 1961, when the league went to a 162 game schedule, Chris Davis, is now the owner of the worst batting average of all-time. Davis (an all-star in 2013) hit an abysmal .168 in 122 games and 522 plate appearances. Davis shattered the previous mark of a batting average for a player with over 500 plate appearances, which was .200 set in 1968. (Don Wert of the Tigers.)
There is a difference between plate appearances and at-bats. You can reach base without it counting as an at-bat. Walks and sacrifices don't count as an at-bat, but they both count as a plate appearance. A player could have 5 plate appearances, but can go 3-for-4 with a walk.
The Orioles lost a franchise record 115 games and during all this Davis' contract allows him to make $161 million a year.