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Max Alvis and Carlos Zambrano

Posted by Andy on June 3, 2011

In 1967, Max Alvis was an All-Star 3rd baseman for the Cleveland Indians. He had 697 plate appearances, a slash line of .256/.301/.403, 21 HR, and 70 RBI.

Through yesterday, Carlos Zambrano's career hitting stats are quite similar: 688 plate appearances, a slash line of .240/.248/.393, 22 HR, and 68 RBI.

It's an interesting comparison, although there isn't really much of a comparison. Alvis' season was good for a 105 OPS+ while Zambrano is at just 62 for his career. Alvis also has a significant edge in OBP, thanks in large part to 38 walks while Zambrano has managed just 8.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2011 at 7:11 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

35 Responses to “Max Alvis and Carlos Zambrano”

  1. Can't wait for whomever the recent poster talking about Zambrano's catlike quickness to weigh in on this!

  2. Max Alvis: Another name from my box full of 1960s baseball cards. He was another (along with Tony Conigliaro) what-could-have-been from that era. Illness sapped his strength earlier in his career.

  3. Pete Cottrell Says:

    My first glove was a "Max Alvis" model.

  4. In 1965 Max Alvis hit 21 homers and had a slugging percentage of .397. I'm curious about how many times a player has hit 20 or more players with a slugging percentage of less than .400. That might make an interesting post.

  5. Typo in my post!!!!! I meant to say "20 or more homers" not "20 or more players".

  6. If you did mean "20 or more players," I would think Billy Martin would make that list...

  7. Hitting twenty or more players may be an interesting topic. I was thinking maybe Ty Cobb and Billy Martin near the top of that list.

  8. Holy crap...two different Steves made the same joke at the same time. Weird.

    Following are the lowest SLG for a guy with 20 homers (since 1901).

    It seems that most of these guys had very low batting averages, and thus their SLG are low because they didn't get a lot of other hits.

    Rk Player SLG HR Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB SO BA OBP OPS Pos
    1 Dale Murphy .361 20 1989 33 ATL 154 647 574 60 131 16 0 84 65 142 .228 .306 .667 *89
    2 Willie Kirkland .377 21 1962 28 CLE 137 470 419 56 84 9 1 72 43 62 .200 .272 .649 *98
    3 Gorman Thomas .379 22 1983 32 TOT 152 629 535 72 112 23 1 69 80 148 .209 .310 .690 *8
    4 Darrell Evans .380 22 1988 41 DET 144 522 437 48 91 9 0 64 84 89 .208 .337 .717 *D3
    5 Ken McMullen .382 20 1968 26 WSA 151 626 557 66 138 11 2 62 63 66 .248 .326 .708 *56
    6 Mark McGwire .383 22 1991 27 OAK 154 585 483 62 97 22 0 75 93 116 .201 .330 .714 *3
    7 Matt Williams .384 20 1992 26 SFG 146 576 529 58 120 13 5 66 39 109 .227 .286 .670 *5
    8 Rob Deer .386 21 1993 32 TOT 128 532 466 66 98 17 1 55 58 169 .210 .303 .689 *9/D8
    9 Rob Deer .386 25 1991 30 DET 134 539 448 64 80 14 2 64 89 175 .179 .314 .700 *9/D
    10 Graig Nettles .386 22 1973 28 NYY 160 641 552 65 129 18 0 81 78 76 .234 .334 .720 *5/D
    11 Ruben Sierra .390 22 1993 27 OAK 158 692 630 77 147 23 5 101 52 97 .233 .288 .678 *9D
    12 Kevin Maas .390 23 1991 26 NYY 148 592 500 69 110 14 1 63 83 128 .220 .333 .723 *D3
    13 Joe Carter .391 24 1990 30 SDP 162 697 634 79 147 27 1 115 48 93 .232 .290 .681 *873
    14 Gary Carter .392 20 1987 33 NYM 139 573 523 55 123 18 2 83 42 73 .235 .290 .682 *2/39
    15 Tony Batista .393 26 2003 29 BAL 161 670 631 76 148 20 1 99 28 102 .235 .270 .663 *5/D
    16 Aaron Hill .394 26 2010 28 TOR 138 580 528 70 108 22 0 68 41 85 .205 .271 .665 *4/D
    17 Kevin Millar .394 20 2008 36 BAL 145 610 531 73 124 25 0 72 71 93 .234 .323 .717 *3D
    18 Juan Uribe .394 20 2007 27 CHW 150 563 513 55 120 18 2 68 34 112 .234 .284 .678 *6
    19 Dale Murphy .394 23 1978 22 ATL 151 583 530 66 120 14 3 79 42 145 .226 .284 .679 *32
    20 Roy Campanella .394 20 1956 34 BRO 124 461 388 39 85 6 1 73 66 61 .219 .333 .727 *2
    21 Jim Wynn .395 20 1973 31 HOU 139 581 481 90 106 14 5 55 91 102 .220 .347 .742 *98/7
    22 Ken McMullen .395 21 1971 29 CAL 160 657 593 63 148 19 2 68 53 74 .250 .312 .707 *5
    23 Brooks Robinson .395 23 1969 32 BAL 156 670 598 73 140 21 3 84 56 55 .234 .298 .693 *5
    24 Greg Brock .396 20 1983 26 LAD 146 543 455 64 102 14 2 66 83 81 .224 .343 .738 *3
    25 Max Alvis .397 21 1965 27 CLE 159 670 604 88 149 24 2 61 47 121 .247 .308 .706 *5
    26 Rudy York .397 21 1947 33 TOT 150 643 584 56 136 25 4 91 58 87 .233 .302 .699 *3
    27 Richie Sexson .399 21 2007 32 SEA 121 491 434 58 89 21 0 63 51 100 .205 .295 .694 *3/D
    28 Joe Carter .399 21 1997 37 TOR 157 668 612 76 143 30 4 102 40 105 .234 .284 .683 D379
    29 Jeff Newman .399 22 1979 30 OAK 143 552 516 53 119 17 2 71 27 88 .231 .267 .666 *23/D5
    30 Frank Thomas .399 21 1960 31 CHC 135 509 479 54 114 12 1 64 28 74 .238 .280 .678 375/9
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 6/3/2011.
  9. Given the organizational genius of the Indians in the 60's, they probably would have tried to make Zambrano a third baseman.

  10. OT a bit...with Izzy getting a "W" yesterday with the Mets, 12 years after his first Met win, wondering what the biggest gap between wins with 1 team is...can you look that up?

  11. #10 Not searchable in the PI but I can post a 'readers research' question about that.

  12. I don't know about my co-Steve, but I was only half-joking.

  13. Dave-

    They were laughing about that on the local ESPN affiliate this morning, saying Paul Wilson and Bill Puhlsiper were up next.

    GENERATION K!

  14. Andy, in that chart, Joe Carter almost had ABs = OPS (or OPS*1000). Has that ever been done outside of tiny sample sizes? 600+ ABs at <700 OPS. YIKES! Yet, with 24 HRs and 115 RBIs, I'm sure people thought quite highly of him.

  15. FWIW, Carter had a negative WAR that year, though that is a function of an amazingly bad defensive year. He had an oWAR of 1.7 and a dWAR of -3.1 for a total of -1.4. I'm surprised he was even that "high".

  16. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I believe Sean Smith (the designer of Total Zone) has said there are problems with the coding of plays for San Diego games around that time (or something like that). Anyway, Carter was almost certainly not nearly that bad defensively.

  17. Johnny Twisto Says:

    See here:
    http://apps.baseballprojection.com/blog/?e=52097&d=07/25/2010&s=Evaluation%20of%20Defensive%20Projections#comment

    "It's bad data. Those were some of the first years retrosheet had project scoresheet batted ball data. It looks like they had some trouble scoring consistently year to year in San Diego. I choose to use it for the league, for most teams the additional detail in the data gives you better ratings than not using them. And I will always use the same system for every team in the league, so I have to live with San Diego ratings that don't make sense. I think the Mets and Braves, to a lessor extent, have some data issues as well."

  18. JT-

    Makes sense. Does that impact offensive numbers or just defense?

  19. John Autin Says:

    @10/11 re: Izzy's 12-year gap between Mets wins:

    I don't know what the record is, but Jesse Orosco went 14 years between wins for the Dodgers (1988-2002).

  20. @10/11

    Dennis Eckersley was traded by the Red Sox in midseason '84, and finished his career there in 2008. That's the farthest apart I thought of off the top of my head.

    Greg Maddux matches Isringhausen, going 12 years between wins for the Cubs - left as a free agent after the '92 season, came back for 2004.

    I figured Blyleven would be up there too, but he actuatlly only went 9 years between wins for the Twins.

  21. Al Leiter had 1 win in 1989 for the Yankees and then 4 wins in his return in 2005 (not sure if we are calling that 16 years inclusive/15 seasons not on Yanks 1990-2004).

  22. I'm just remembering that Raphy and I discussed this recently. I came up with Eckersley and he came up with Leiter, who he thinks holds the record. He might have posted it to the blog--not sure.

  23. Johnny Twisto Says:

    BSK, I don't know. I suppose it could affect underlying information like Tony Gwynn's line drive rate or something. (I don't know enough about what data was being collected or what the flaws were.) It's certainly not going to affect any of the basic offensive stats, or numbers which are derived from those stats.

  24. depending on the situation in that table of mine I'm so confused now

  25. Richard Chester Says:

    It's not a record but Babe Ruth went 8 years and 363 days between wins for the Yankees.

  26. Leiter does hold the record for most years in between wins with the same team, though I may be missing someone who returned to a franchise that relocated during his time away.

    16 years
    Al Leiter, NYA 1989-2005

    14 years
    Dennis Eckersley, BOS 1984-1998
    Chris Hammond, CIN 1992-2006
    Jesse Orosco, LAN 1988-2002 (Pitched for Dodgers in 2001, did not win)

    13 years
    Doug Brocail, SDN 1993-2006 (Pitched for Padres in 1994, did not win)
    Jack McFetridge, PHI 1890-1903 (Did not appear in majors 1891-1902)
    Harry Kelly, WS1 1925-1938 (Pitched for Senators in 1926, did not win)
    Al Maul, PHI 1887-1900

    12 years
    Doug Brocail, HOU 1996-2008
    Mark Davis, PHI 1981-1993
    Greg Maddux, CHN 1992-2004
    Bob (Righty) Miller, NYN 1962-1974 (Pitched for Mets in 1973, did not win)
    Herb Pennock, BOS 1922-1934
    Jim Perry, CLE 1962-1974 (Pitched for Indians in 1963, did not win)
    Rudy Seanez, LAN 1995-2007

    11 years
    Joe Bush, PHA 1917-1928
    David Cone, NYN 1992-2003
    Danny Darwin, TEX 1984-1995
    Bill Dietrich, PHA 1936-1947
    Burleigh Grimes, PIT 1917-1928
    Rick Honeycutt, TEX 1983-1994
    Don Larsen, BAL 1954-1965

    10 years
    Steve Farr, CLE 1984-1994
    Danny Graves, CLE 1996-2006 (Pitched for Indians in 1997, did not win)
    Mike Hampton, HOU 1999-2009
    Art Herring, BRO 1934-1944
    Rick White, PIT 1995-2005

  27. Michael E Sullivan Says:

    Zambrano's 62 isn't all that good, but it sure is good for a pitcher.

    I did a play index search and found 25 players who did not pitch who had at least 3000 PAs in their career and a career OPS of 62 or less. So basically he hits well enough to make it for a while as a defensive ace catcher or SS (everyone on my list spent time at either 2 or 6).

  28. Thomas Court Says:

    Hitting 20 or more players will give you a very high SLUGGING percentage.

  29. LOL

  30. John Autin Says:

    Speaking of hitting 20 players ... In the past 40 years, there have been 6 pitcher-seasons of 20 or more HBP. All 6 fell in the 4-year span of 2001-04, and 5 of the 6 featured exactly 20 HBP. The culprits:
    -- Bronson Arroyo and Carlos Zambrano, 2004;
    -- Kerry Wood and Victor Zambrano, 2003; and
    -- Chan Ho Park and Jamey Wright, 2001.

    Footnote: There have been just 2 pitchers named Zambrano in MLB history. Each one led his league in HBP once, with a total of 20. Each one led his league twice in walks, including one year leading the majors.

  31. Johnny Twisto Says:

    But only one of them won the wildness triple crown (BB, HBP, and WP).

    And only one of them exhibits qualities reminiscent of the feline family.

  32. @31
    JT, stop taking shots at a defenceless poster! :-)

  33. Where else can you see Max Alvis and Carlos Zambrano in the same sentence?

    Hell, where else can you see a reference to Max Alvis?

    I love this site.

    (don't forget Retrosheet.org, where alot of the boxscores come from)

    Like the old saying goes, two heads are better than one.

  34. @33
    Chuck, don't stop checkin' in here.

    The raw data in the PI makes and breaks reputations.

  35. D J Jones Says:

    Just a note on why Max Alvis never reached his potential...He had spinal meningitis in 1964 this caused him to decline prematurely...