Ben Revere does not yet qualify for the Batting Title. His 4 for 5 evening against Cleveland sent his batting average up to .331 — which would be good enough for second place in the American League. Except that to qualify for the leader board, he needs 3.1 plate appearances for every game his team has played. The Twins have played 109 games, which means that his 331 plate appearances fall 7 short of qualifying.
So in just a few days he should debut on the charts with a bullet, likely landing in the top 5.
But wait! If you apply the “Tony Gwynn Rule” he’s already near the top of the charts. In one of my favorite obscure baseball rules, a batter can win the batting title if he remains in the lead even if he goes hitless in those missing plate appearances. Official Major League Rule 10.22(a).
I wrote about this back in 2009 — when Mauer missed April to injury but stormed into mid-summer with a batting average over .400 but not enough plate appearances to qualify on the leader board. Here’s what I wrote then:
Call it the “Tony Gwynn” rule, if you will. The rule has been around since 1967, but it was Tony who benefitted from the rule in 1996 — a season where he ended up 5 plate appearances short of the batting title threshold of 3.1 plate appearances per game.
Tony’s season ending average was .353, ahead of Ellis Burks’ .344. Ellis had the highest batting average of any National Leaguer who qualified for the batting title. Did he take home the batting crown? No. The rule allows for trading in a player’s deficient PA’s for outs. Apply a theoretical zero-for-five day to Tony’s stats to get him to 503, and Tony’s batting average would have been .349, keeping him ahead of Ellis. […]
As of close of business today (Sunday, June 14, 2009), Joe Mauer’s batting average is .413. His 181 plate appearances leave him 21 short of the 202 necessary for the Twins’ 65 games to date. Adding a hypothetical O-fer 21 streak to Joe’s season gives him a .364 [average]. Ichiro has a batting average […] of .360 as I type this. A season-ending strike breaks out overnight and Joe is the champion.