by John Dewan

Mike Murphy, my radio partner for over twenty years on our Stat of the Week segment here in Chicago, is one of the original Bleacher Bums.  Needless to say, he remains a huge Cubs fan.  He sent me an email last week suggesting a Stat of the Week.

Who is the leader in hitting the ball directly back to the pitcher?

He also guessed the answer, stealing a page from his old “I Predict” radio spot:  “I Predict”…Tony Campana!

Campana has become the regular center fielder for the Cubs this season.  He is an exceptionally speedy slap-hitter with no power whatsoever.  But he gets the bat on the ball with regularity.  Sometimes right back to the pitcher.  And sure enough, Murph is right.  Campana, along with Emilio Bonifacio of the Marlins, are the Kings of the Comebackers:

Most Batted Balls Hit Back to the Pitcher for an Out — 2012

Player

Total
Comebackers

Tony Campana, Cubs

14

Emilio Bonifacio, Marlins

14

Alcides Escobar, Royals

12

Denard Span, Twins

12

Eight tied with

10

Another Cub, Darwin Barney, is one of the eight players tied with 10.  We can see why this play is driving Murph nuts!

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