Canaan Smith has walked a lot this season – 53 bases on balls in 38 games.
As noted by The Dallas Morning News, the Rockwall-Heath (Rockwall, Texas) star could set a national record if the team continues to advance in the 6A state playoffs. The team begins a series with The Woodlands on Thursday.
The national record is 72, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations record book, and was set by Jeff Clement of Marshalltown (Iowa) in 2002.
He is four walks away from cracking the top 10 even if he doesn’t end up with the record. It might be a long shot to get to 72, given the potential number of games remaining.
Smith was walking at a higher clip than Barry Bonds was when Bonds set the major league record for walks in a season with 232 in 147 games.
“Time will tell, but if I get the record, it would be cool,” Smith, an Arkansas signee, told USA TODAY High School Sports.
All the walks have not prevented him from putting up good numbers for his team at the plate.
“Of course, I want to hit and score runs for my team,” he said, “but winning is the most important thing so if I walk four times and we win, that is a great day.”
Smith said his “consistent hitting since my freshman year has gained the respect from opponents” and that has put him in a situation where he sees fewer good pitches to hit.
The challenge: Not get frustrated at the plate and chase bad pitches.
“At times I haven’t remained disciplined,” he said. “It has been difficult. It is something I think about weekly, to remain patient. I know teams are trying to pitch around me.
“I feel like I have matured this season in choosing the right pitches to swing at. My reward for that is having only six strikeouts this year.”