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Slugging In Late 20’s & Not Always Playing

Posted by Steve Lombardi on April 12, 2011

I was looking at Josh Hamilton's career to date, since he got hurt tonight and is expected to be out two months, and wanted to see what players had the highest slugging percentage between ages 26 and 30, where the player played a fair amount of the time but didn't play all the time.

So, I decided to look at Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, From 1901 to 2011, From Age 26 to 30, (requiring PA<=2500 and At least 2000 plate appearances), sorted by greatest Slugging %, since 1901. Here's the ones that came up with a SLG% of .475 or better:

Rk Player SLG PA From To Age G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP OPS Pos Tm
1 Johnny Mize .582 2490 1939 1942 26-29 576 2157 379 694 139 42 113 455 304 0 182 15 14 0 35 14 0 .322 .409 .991 *3 STL-NYG
2 Nap Lajoie .552 2357 1901 1905 26-30 548 2183 437 822 185 47 35 426 111 0 0 32 31 0 0 108 0 .377 .415 .967 *4/635 PHA-TOT-CLE
3 Chick Hafey .551 2471 1929 1933 26-30 603 2234 414 741 174 38 80 425 192 0 200 17 28 0 11 37 0 .332 .389 .940 *7/8 STL-CIN
4 Josh Hamilton .541 2020 2007 2011 26-30 478 1814 293 565 114 12 93 337 169 22 375 17 1 19 32 29 8 .311 .372 .913 *87/9D CIN-TEX
5 Cliff Floyd .540 2435 1999 2003 26-30 593 2111 378 634 161 7 110 390 266 50 402 33 0 25 37 65 17 .300 .383 .923 *7/9D FLA-TOT-NYM
6 Nomar Garciaparra .534 2456 2000 2004 26-30 554 2226 390 715 168 24 86 370 172 27 213 26 2 30 46 33 11 .321 .372 .906 *6/D BOS-TOT
7 Matt Williams .530 2451 1992 1996 26-30 584 2240 359 626 95 14 146 422 168 39 425 20 0 23 56 12 12 .279 .332 .862 *5/36 SFG
8 Jeromy Burnitz .528 2094 1995 1999 26-30 547 1777 306 482 113 11 107 353 269 24 440 29 4 15 32 38 21 .271 .373 .901 *9/87D CLE-TOT-MIL
9 Adrian Gonzalez .522 2116 2008 2011 26-29 492 1796 285 512 94 4 108 326 291 76 368 15 3 11 64 2 1 .285 .387 .909 *3/D SDP-BOS
10 Jose Canseco .522 2385 1991 1995 26-30 546 2067 371 560 105 5 135 426 268 23 549 30 0 20 67 57 27 .271 .360 .882 D9/1 OAK-TOT-TEX-BOS
11 Carlos Pena .521 2112 2004 2008 26-30 526 1754 304 445 86 7 123 352 304 21 559 29 3 22 28 9 3 .254 .369 .890 *3/D7 DET-BOS-TBD-TBR
12 Gabby Hartnett .518 2017 1927 1931 26-30 529 1747 256 534 123 19 70 338 221 0 189 7 42 0 0 9 0 .306 .386 .904 *2 CHC
13 Justin Morneau .516 2351 2007 2011 26-30 545 2048 321 596 137 9 102 398 264 46 325 11 0 28 56 1 2 .291 .370 .887 *3/D MIN
14 Phil Nevin .515 2209 1997 2001 26-30 588 1955 295 546 116 3 113 380 223 18 485 15 1 15 48 7 5 .279 .355 .870 *52/7D39 DET-ANA-SDP
15 Ripper Collins .514 2103 1931 1934 27-30 524 1921 298 590 114 37 70 346 151 0 190 11 20 0 24 14 0 .307 .361 .875 *3/97 STL
16 Roy Campanella .510 2417 1948 1952 26-30 610 2125 330 610 103 10 117 421 268 0 242 13 11 0 72 16 6 .287 .370 .880 *2 BRO
17 J.D. Drew .507 2374 2002 2006 26-30 598 1975 371 560 106 19 99 327 351 17 424 25 7 16 24 25 11 .284 .395 .902 *9/8D7 STL-ATL-LAD
18 Troy Glaus .506 2333 2003 2007 26-30 566 1989 343 507 103 5 129 355 308 17 506 19 0 17 53 16 10 .255 .357 .864 *5/D6 ANA-ARI-TOR
19 Jeff Heath .505 2364 1941 1945 26-30 578 2098 309 636 112 48 72 372 249 0 244 7 10 0 27 35 31 .303 .379 .884 *79/8 CLE
20 Gorman Thomas .504 2321 1978 1981 27-30 558 2000 299 491 101 4 136 379 279 22 563 8 14 20 27 16 19 .246 .337 .841 *8/9D MIL
21 Trot Nixon .503 2427 2000 2004 26-30 605 2084 352 586 127 22 97 352 287 10 427 18 15 23 32 23 9 .281 .369 .872 *9/8D BOS
22 Johnny Frederick .503 2418 1929 1932 27-30 554 2239 382 692 158 27 74 278 141 0 149 18 20 0 0 10 0 .309 .355 .858 *8/97 BRO
23 Javy Lopez .500 2274 1997 2001 26-30 583 2068 264 594 104 5 109 374 153 19 370 28 3 22 69 7 7 .287 .341 .842 *2/D ATL
24 Honus Wagner .498 2347 1901 1904 27-30 537 2085 400 723 141 60 18 393 199 0 0 32 31 0 0 190 0 .347 .412 .910 *6/9375841 PIT
25 Dmitri Young .496 2462 2000 2004 26-30 607 2240 311 659 136 18 93 329 176 41 397 27 2 17 74 12 10 .294 .350 .846 7D3/59 CIN-DET
26 Mark McGwire .496 2085 1990 1994 26-30 523 1692 278 407 69 0 121 336 351 32 396 16 2 24 39 4 4 .241 .372 .867 *3/D OAK
27 George Selkirk .496 2025 1934 1938 26-30 488 1751 287 529 89 32 62 369 255 0 189 10 9 0 0 33 21 .302 .394 .890 *97 NYY
28 Todd Hundley .494 2028 1995 1999 26-30 542 1732 259 429 82 3 113 316 264 39 494 16 2 14 28 8 7 .248 .350 .844 *2/7D NYM-LAD
29 Kevin Young .493 2031 1995 1999 26-30 523 1822 283 508 114 11 85 333 154 7 425 29 2 24 46 52 25 .279 .341 .834 *3/597D PIT-KCR
30 David Justice .493 2320 1992 1996 26-30 565 1972 325 541 76 13 110 354 320 31 310 10 0 18 28 12 16 .274 .375 .869 *9 ATL
31 Ernie Lombardi .493 2113 1934 1938 26-30 622 1993 221 660 117 11 61 348 105 0 75 15 0 0 92 2 0 .331 .369 .862 *2 CIN
32 Henry Rodriguez .491 2052 1994 1998 26-30 554 1867 238 482 109 8 103 335 161 23 508 7 1 16 36 6 8 .258 .317 .808 *7/39D LAD-TOT-MON-CHC
33 Reggie Sanders .491 2251 1994 1998 26-30 542 1964 341 533 110 23 92 309 247 14 552 22 6 12 38 114 45 .271 .357 .849 *98 CIN
34 Ron Gant .490 2419 1991 1995 26-30 583 2121 367 561 103 17 114 390 257 20 430 17 1 23 41 115 42 .264 .345 .836 *78 ATL-CIN
35 Morgan Ensberg .487 2169 2002 2006 26-30 584 1841 287 497 89 10 97 304 288 18 346 21 6 13 50 22 17 .270 .373 .860 *5/6D HOU
36 Carlton Fisk .486 2357 1974 1978 26-30 574 2044 359 598 108 18 84 326 253 18 294 26 10 24 42 35 17 .293 .374 .860 *2/D7 BOS
37 Milton Bradley .485 2070 2004 2008 26-30 499 1773 289 514 93 5 81 271 258 21 388 22 7 10 46 41 19 .290 .385 .870 89/D7 LAD-OAK-TOT-TEX
38 Jose Guillen .483 2292 2002 2006 26-30 586 2082 299 582 110 8 99 337 121 18 380 58 10 21 65 12 13 .280 .333 .816 *97/D8 TOT-ANA-WSN
39 Ben Oglivie .483 2278 1975 1979 26-30 614 2070 303 587 109 14 92 297 167 27 311 10 13 18 53 52 33 .284 .337 .820 79/D38 DET-MIL
40 Chris Hoiles .481 2077 1991 1995 26-30 542 1754 263 468 78 2 98 264 283 12 368 21 5 14 46 4 5 .267 .373 .854 *2/D3 BAL
41 Home Run Baker .481 2324 1912 1916 26-30 548 2071 362 669 120 42 41 388 202 0 98 24 27 0 0 108 46 .323 .390 .871 *5 PHA-NYY
42 Josh Willingham .480 2123 2005 2009 26-30 537 1824 264 484 111 11 86 279 231 7 422 55 2 11 43 17 6 .265 .363 .843 *7/92D3 FLA-WSN
43 Rondell White .480 2232 1998 2002 26-30 550 2031 298 594 113 9 83 295 146 9 363 37 2 16 53 33 18 .292 .348 .828 *78/D MON-TOT-CHC-NYY
44 Tony Clark .479 2309 1998 2002 26-30 576 2049 282 562 121 4 97 343 234 24 477 11 0 15 65 5 5 .274 .350 .829 *3/D DET-BOS
45 Shane Mack .479 2434 1990 1994 26-30 633 2161 351 668 119 24 67 315 200 5 381 36 23 14 50 71 33 .309 .375 .854 *789/D MIN
46 Leon Durham .478 2342 1984 1988 26-30 607 2062 294 559 111 15 95 307 265 63 407 2 0 13 25 33 24 .271 .353 .830 *3 CHC-TOT
47 Vic Wertz .478 2321 1951 1955 26-30 585 2002 283 541 88 17 98 350 296 3 259 7 5 11 45 3 10 .270 .364 .842 *93/78 DET-TOT-SLB-CLE
48 Jose Bautista .477 2160 2007 2011 26-30 551 1832 290 460 101 8 99 283 274 9 400 20 18 16 47 21 6 .251 .352 .829 *59/783D4 PIT-TOT-TOR
49 Edd Roush .477 2466 1919 1923 26-30 581 2193 339 748 116 62 19 344 180 0 70 20 73 0 0 90 59 .341 .396 .873 *8/34 CIN
50 Andre Thornton .476 2077 1976 1979 26-29 515 1724 291 419 84 12 98 306 301 8 293 26 5 21 35 16 16 .243 .360 .836 *3/D9 TOT-CLE
51 Jack Clark .475 2293 1982 1986 26-30 540 1932 310 530 102 9 89 323 335 38 348 5 0 21 57 14 18 .274 .379 .854 *93 SFG-STL
52 Bobby Doerr .475 2437 1944 1948 26-30 562 2139 363 605 110 35 77 403 266 0 194 5 27 0 64 16 13 .283 .363 .838 *4 BOS
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/12/2011.

.

It's an interesting list.  Granted, some eras had higher SLG% numbers than others - for different reasons.  But, it's still fun to see who came out on this list, where, as well as to see Hamilton's ranking.  It's funny to see Cliff Floyd so close to Hamilton.  Even though he retired not too long ago, I haven't thought about Floyd in a while.  And, I enevr would have guessed him to be so high on this list.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 at 10:50 pm and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

19 Responses to “Slugging In Late 20’s & Not Always Playing”

  1. Adrian Gonzalez from 2008-2011? He played 158+ every season.

  2. Johnny Mize probably shouldn't be on this list because he was in the Navy during his age 30 season.

  3. Poor 'ol Josh. And to think he beat out other MVP candidates last year by not playing. (Sorry, residual Bautista bitterness here.)

    Steve, a difficult list to digest and find meaning in! It contains injury-prone X-base hitters?!?

    Why the 26-30 age window?

  4. Bobby Doerr was also in the military. And the seasons were shorter in the very early 1900s so I think Wagner's another false positive. Lajoie had some weird legal issues surrounding his 1902 season which kept him from playing full time.

  5. This search only started in 1901 so it cut off Honus Wagner's age 26 season in 1900. He shouldn't be on this list because he had 2927 plate appearances from age 26-30.

    Matt Williams was a full-time player it's just that his age 28-29 seasons happened during the strike of 94-95.

    Doerr missed all of '44 because of WW2.

    The strike of 94-95 also affected Canseco, Henry Rodriguez, Reggie Sanders, David Justice, Ron Gant, Chris Hoiles, Shane Mack, and Dmitri Young.

    Hundley, Mcgwire and Young probably wouldn't have surpassed 2500 even without the strike.

    It's a little tricky with catchers because of the wear & tear the position puts on their body, Harnett, Lopez, Fisk, Campanella, Hoiles, Lombardi,

    Gorman Thomas was affected by the strike of '81.

    Campanella didn't make it because of racial discrimination, he only played about 1/2 of the '48 season.

    Frank Baker sat out the entire 1915 season because of a contract dispute.

  6. Some other names that didn't make the list which I still expected to see:

    Kevin Mitchell - 2620 PA, but injuries were beginning to set in.
    Charlie Keller - Not enough PA. Was actually in the service somehow but by age 30 his health was keeping him off the field. Still slugged when he could play though.
    Eric Davis - His SLG was too low. He slugged well from 26-28 but was too hurt at 29-30 to keep it on the list.
    Willie Stargell - 2704 PA is too high. He usually missed 3-4 weeks a year. This was the healthiest stretch of his career.
    Roger Maris - 2506 PA just misses the cutoff. The 61 season is age 26 but was banged up a lot from 63-65

  7. @4 DavidRF, Good Point on Lajoie.

    In 1901 Lajoie went from the Phillies to the Athletics because he was going to be paid more money by the A's. In 1902 the Phillies filed an injunction barring him to play baseball for any other team than the Phillies.

    A lawyer discovered that the injunction only applied to Pennsylvania so Connie Mack traded him to Cleveland in June of the '02 season. For the rest of '02 and part of '03 Lajoie had to avoid playing any games in Pennsylvania for fear of subpoena.

    The leagues finally made peace in Sept of '03 and injunction was dissolved.

  8. To follow up what Brian said @1 2011 is only about 1 month old so Gonzales shouldn't be on this list.

    Realistically neither should Morneau and Bautista.

  9. Hafey (2471), Roush (2466), Doerr (2437), Frederick (2418), probably would have surpassed the 2500 plate appearance cut-off had they played in the 162 game schedule.

    Jeff Heath (2364) might have come close in a 162 game schedule.

  10. lol wow so much nitpicking in this thread.

  11. Ifre #10--whart was the point of the original list? Dealing with injuries or any facto--e.g. war or strikes that lowered the total PAs? The war and the 94-95 schedule affected everyone, not selected players, hence the "nitpicking".

  12. @10
    I wouldn't call it nitpicking. That's half the fun of these lists is to follow up and dig deeper. I suppose 154 vs 162 is quite a minor quibble though. The pre-1961 guys still missed time for some reason or another.

    Like someone pointed out Gorman Thomas was affected by the strike. That's true, but he also spent his entire age 26 season in the minors. I'd keep him on for that reason.

  13. A random observation about Lajoie and Wagner...the list above gives 0 for total strikeouts, but on their player pages those years now have totals for strikeouts in the seasons. I know for years batter K numbers were not listed for the years prior to 1912-ish, but I noticed here last week the numbers are now given. Does anybody have any more info about that ? Are those numbers to be "trusted" ?

  14. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Don't forget that for Lajoie, his absence for a couple of those years can be at least partly attributed to the fact that he was restrained -- by Pennsylvania courts -- from playing in that state after he "jumped" from the Phillies to the Indians. Because of the order, Larry couldn't travel with Cleveland when they played in Pennsylvania until either '02 or '03.

  15. @12 David RF,

    You're right, Thomas spent his entire age 26 season in the Minors. However, if you take out 1981, he averaged 665 plate appearances from 1979-1980, 1982-1983. He only had 420 plate appearances in 1981 so it's safe to say he missed about 200 plate appearances because of the strike. He had 2321 plate appearances so he only needed 179 plate appearances to surpass the cut-off.

  16. @10 Jimbo,

    My comments weren't meant to be snarky, petty or mean-spirted. The spirit of the question was about players from ages 26-30 who had high slugging percentages but missed time because of injury or because they weren't full-time starters.

    There were extenuating circumstances for many of these players such as Strikes, War, Institutional Racism, Shorter Seasons, or early 20th century contract disputes.

    And then there's a situation like Honus Wagner where the search didn't count his age 26 season.

    Then there are unique situations that limit playing time for certain positions like Catchers.

  17. Agreed, 100%, it's not a perfect list. Some lost time to the war, others lost time because of the date cut off, etc.

    It was never meant to be a end-all be-all cut and dried list. More so, it was on the fly, back of the envelope, quick and dirty with loose filters.

    Take it in the spirit in which it was meant. ;-)

  18. @1 - It includes the current season for Gonzalez, and he's only played like 10 games so far.

  19. I was just joking guys. Everyone was nit-picking little details about why the players missed time.

    I think the point of this list is to show which excellent hitters didn't get their share of PA's during their peak.

    The list should've stopped at 2010 though, don't see the point of including the current young season.