Walks are essential to a player's success. While hits per year can fluctuate, walks are one thing that a hitter can control. A high hits season usually means that the player got a little lucky. They're still good players, but good players can get lucky. So right now I'm going to explain why walks are essential to a player's success.
Let's go back to 2010. In 2010, Josh Hamilton led the MLB with a .359 AVG. The next year, his walks stayed the same while his average went way down. His luck had spiked in an enormous way for one season.
The next hitter was Carlos Gonzalez, who hit .336. The next year his walks stayed the same, while his average went down.
In 2011, the number one hitter for average was Miguel Cabrera. He had a .344 average. The next year, his average went down. The number 2 hitter was Adrian Gonzalez. He had a .338 average, and the next year it also fell off.
I'll save you some time, over a span of 10 years, out of the top 3 qualified hitters for the batting title, only 3 people's averages went up the next year.
So while the batting average can go up and down, the walks can stay the same, allowing the player to still get on base even in a down year.