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300/300 Club: Players with at least 300 HR and 300 SB

Posted by Andy on July 19, 2011

I have posted on this before, but let's do it again anyway.

Carlos Beltran has 294 homers and 292 stolen bases and is a good bet to reach 300 in each category (although he has just 3 steals this year and 3 all of last year, so it may take a bit of time yet.)

If he does it, he'll become just the 8th player in history to join the 300/300 club. See if you can name the other 7, and then click through for the answer.

1 Barry Bonds 762 514 1986 2007 2986 141 .298 .444 .607 1.051 PIT-SFG
2 Bobby Bonds 332 461 1968 1981 1849 169 .268 .353 .471 .824 SFG-NYY-CAL-TOT-CLE-STL-CHC
3 Andre Dawson 438 314 1976 1996 2627 109 .279 .323 .482 .806 MON-CHC-BOS-FLA
4 Steve Finley 304 320 1989 2007 2583 118 .271 .332 .442 .775 BAL-HOU-SDP-ARI-TOT-LAA-SFG-COL
5 Willie Mays 660 338 1951 1973 2992 103 .302 .384 .557 .941 NYG-SFG-TOT-NYM
6 Alex Rodriguez 626 305 1994 2011 2383 73 .302 .386 .569 .955 SEA-TEX-NYY
7 Reggie Sanders 305 304 1991 2007 1777 115 .267 .343 .487 .830 CIN-SDP-ATL-ARI-SFG-PIT-STL-KCR
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/19/2011.

The toughest one is Reggie Sanders although many forget about Finley too.

93 Responses to “300/300 Club: Players with at least 300 HR and 300 SB”

  1. Mike Says:

    5 of 7 played for Giants, who are certainly not thought of as a running franchise.

  2. Mr. Dave Says:

    Knew of Finley because he is an interesting borderline Hall guy for me, but I never would have thought Sanders was in the 300/300 club.

  3. Library Dave Says:

    I have to say I've never thought Finley was anywhere close to the HOF. Wouldn't mind seeing a post debating his merits (or did I already miss that one?).

  4. Zack Says:

    Bobby Abreu may join the club too.

    279 home runs
    385 stolen bases

    Alfonso Soriano is only 37 stolen bases shy, but he's basically stopped stealing bases.

  5. Dr. Doom Says:

    To echo Library Dave, I actually miss the whole Hall of Fame debate feature in general.

    Besides that, though, I actually forgot about Alex Rodriguez. It's just so hard for me to remember his running days. He's about to pass Mays for the greatest HR-SB disparity among the group, too, so that's probably part of it. I remembered Finley because of how close it was when he joined the club. And I remembered Sanders because of a debate with a friend on players who were "well-rounded" in their offensive skills. But remembering young, base-stealin' A-Rod is actually pretty difficult, I think.

  6. topper009 Says:

    Mike Cameron has 273 HRs and 296 SBs, but it looks like he wont get to 300 HRs.

    Alfonso Soriano has 300+ HRs but 263 SBs and only 15 over the past 3 years, looks like he wont get there either.

    Bobby Abreu has 300+ SBs and 279 HRs, seems like he has a pretty good shot to get 21 more dingers before he's done. He did hit 20 HRs last season but so far this year he only 3 and is slugging maybe he wont get to 300?

    Also, Carlos Beltran had the best SB% in MLB history, since 1951 when CS were kept in both leagues, among players with at least 100 SB, until he was passed this season. Who is the player who passed him and now has the best career SB% since 1951 among players with > 100 SB?

  7. Zack Says:

    Chase Utley.

  8. Tmckelv Says:

    I would too like to see the Steve Finley HOF discussion. This list both helps and hurts his cause.

    the fact that he is just one of seven to ever do it helps him.

    If you look at the player with similar HR/SB totals (with both totals at 320 or less), Reggie Sanders...Sanders accomplished this feat in 800+ fewer games and has a much higher OPS (as contemporaries)...this HAS to hurt Finley's HOF chances, as I don't think anyone will be pulling for Reggie to get in the Hall.

  9. Dave Says:

    nobody for one franchise

  10. Timmy p Says:

    Steve Finley had 124 career triples which is a pretty good number for a modern player.

  11. John Q Says:

    Steve Finley had one of those red flag possible steroid careers.

    From the ages of 24-30, Finley had 47 home runs with a career .392 slugging percentage.

    From the ages of 31-42, Finley hit 257 home runs and had a .472 slugging percentage.

    He never hit more than 11 home runs in a season and then suddenly he hit 30 at age 31 in 1996 at Jack Murphy stadium no less. That was the year that Ken Caminiti became the first Padre to hit 40 or more HR in a season. Finley became only the 9th Padre to hit over 30 hr in a season.

    At age 39 in 2004, Finley hit 36 home runs which is the third highest total by a 39 year old in baseball history. Only Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds hit more HR at age 39.

  12. topper009 Says:

    @7 Chase Utley is correct, he also holds the record for most SB in a season with 0 CS, 23 in 2009.

    Utley is 105 for 118 in his career for a 88.98% SB rate, best ever.
    Beltran is 292 for 331 in his career for a 88.22% SB rate.

    Of all retired players with at least 100 SB, the career rate leader is Kaz Matsui, but he only had 102 SBs along with 18 CS, for a 85% rate.

    Among retired players in the top 200 of SBs, 265 or more, the rate leader is.....who?

  13. Genis26 Says:

    Just looked up players with 200+ HR and 200+ SB to see if anyone got really close, and here are some of my findings:

    Don Baylor hit 338 HR, and stole 285 bases, falling just 15 SB shy.
    Craig Biggio stole 414 bases, but hut just 291 HR, falling just 9 HR shy.
    Eric Davis and Ryne Sandberg both stole 340+ bases, and both hit just 282 HR, 18 shy.

    Also, there are only 7 active 200/200 players.
    Alex Rodriguez (626 HR/305 SB), Alfonso Soriano (328/263), Carlos Beltran (294/292), Bobby Abreu (279/385), Mike Cameron (273/296), Derek Jeter (237/331), and Johnny Damon (224/393).

    So of those 7, I say only Beltran and Abreu join Alex. Mike Cameron may if he can hold on somewhere, but I don't think he has 27 HR left in him. Jeter doesn't seem like he can hit 63 more and Damon most likely won't hit 76 more, so we may not see another 300/300 guy for a while, and surely not a 400/400.

    Some players who may get there someday:
    -David Wright is at 175/147 and is still only 28. He pretty much needs to stay a 20/20 guy for the next 8 or so years, which would put him at 36. It will be tough, but it could happen.
    -Hanley Ramirez is at 133/213 and is just 27. Hopefully this season is just a serious fluke. He could be the next guy to get there if this is just a fluky season for Hanley.
    -Matt Kemp is at 113/131 and is 26. Lots can happen in the next 10 years, but he has the potential to do it.

    Outside chance for other young players:
    Ryan Braun, Chris Young, and the Upton Brothers are all young and are perennial 20/20-type threats.

  14. Zack Says:

    @12: Tim Raines.

  15. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    I think that the "Power-Speed #" is more useful for measuring the most impressive combination of HRs and SBs. Comparing the list above to the list below, Finley and Sanders just don't "belong" on the same level as the Power-Speed leaders below:

    1. Barry Bonds 613.90
    2. Rickey Henderson+ 490.41
    3. Willie Mays+ 447.05
    4. Alex Rodriguez (35) 410.16
    5. Bobby Bonds 386.01
    6. Joe Morgan+ 385.90
    7. Andre Dawson+ 365.78
    8. Hank Aaron+ 364.22
    9. Craig Biggio 341.77
    10. Sammy Sosa 338.09

    Rickey Henderson, who just misses the 300/300 club for HRs (297), has his unique power/speed combination reflected much better by the Power-Speed number.

  16. spaceship777 Says:

    Grady Sizemore is a good candidate IF he can ever stay healthy.

  17. Nash Bruce Says:

    I guessed Ron Gant, but he was about 60 SB short.

  18. Bobby Says:

    This list was compiled on June 22nd, which was right before Utley recorded his 100th SB...

    1. Carlos Beltran - 88.18
    2. Ian Kinsler - 85.71
    3. Kazuo Matsui - 85.00
    4. Eric Byrnes - 84.87
    5. Tim Raines - 84.70
    6. Eric Davis - 84.01
    7. Michael Bourn - 83.54
    8. Jimmy Rollins - 83.45
    9. Henry Cotto - 83.33
    10. Willie Wilson - 83.29
    11. Barry Larkin - 83.11
    12. Tony Womack - 83.07
    13. Davey Lopes - 83.01
    14. Jacoby Ellsbury - 82.90
    15. Stan Javier - 82.83
    16. Doug Glanville - 82.35
    17. Shane Victorino - 81.91
    18. Carl Crawford - 81.60
    19. Willy Taveras - 81.56
    20. Ichiro Suzuki - 81.34
    21. Joe Morgan - 80.96
    22. Vince Coleman - 80.95
    23. Rickey Henderson - 80.76
    24. Alex Rodriguez - 80.69
    25. Roberto Alomar - 80.61
    26. Andy Van Slyke - 80.59
    27. Mickey Mantle - 80.10
    28. Brett Gardner - 80.00

  19. kds Says:


    Guys who got close; Rickey hit 297 HR but did just manage to squeek over 300 SB.

  20. topper009 Says:

    Tim Raines is correct as far as the retired record among guys in the top 600 base stealers, so I would consider him the leader in SB%. Utley and Kinsler have a ways to go, but Beltran is 34 and seems to have stopped stealing a lot.

    Beltran would need to have 14 CS the rest of his career with 0 SBs to fall below Raines' record. If Beltran stole 8 more bases, giving him 300, he would have to have 16 CS to bring him below Raines. Looks like Betran has a pretty good chance to retire with the all-time SB%.

  21. Johnny Says:

    There are only 4 players with 500 homeruns & 250 Steals

    1. Willie Mays
    2. Barry Bonds
    3. A-Rod

    Can anyone else name the 4th?

  22. stan cook Says:

    I saw Finley the last year of his career in Denver. Could barely get the ball out of the infield.

  23. topper009 Says:

    @21, if you lower the SB threshold to 200 you get 5 more players in addition to Mays, Bonds and A-Rod...who are they?

  24. Janis Joplin Says:

    @21: Is it Gary Sheffield?

  25. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @21/ 250+ SB:
    Gary Sheffield (253 SB)

    @23/ 200+ SB:
    Sammy Sosa (234 SB)
    Reggie Jackson (228 SB)
    Dave Winfield (223 SB)
    Frank Robinson (204 SB)
    Junior Griffey (200 SB)

  26. kds Says:


    What did you do to Hammerin' Hank. He stole 240 and hit a homer or two.

  27. topper009 Says:

    @25, Winfield only hit 465 HRs so hes not in the 500/200 club. Also, Griffey Jr only had 184 SBs so hes out too.

    Sosa, Jackson and Robinson are correct in addition to the Shef, but you are still missing one member of the 500/200 club

  28. Jeff Says:

    WOW, Tim Raines that high with that many steals...HOF!!!

  29. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @27/ Topper009 - Whoops! - I got my Griffey's mixed up

    @26 got Hank Aaron (240 SB), he was actually the first person that I thought of who should belong on this sort of power/speed list, but was not.

  30. Johnny Says:

    @23 & 24

    Yes, it was Sheffield.

    I found it a bit surprising because he wasn't known for his speed. But I think his ability to get on base (304 more walks than Ks) helped him get so many steals.

    Also, in 2007 (age 38 season and 1st in Detroit) he stole 22 bases at an 81.48% clip. That also included two steals of 3rd and a steal of home. All that was pretty remarkable for a player who hadn't had a 20 steal season since his age 29 season.

    His entire season that year was going very well until he was injured playing in the outfield against the Royals in late July.

    From May 1st-July 21st (Date of Injury) Sheffield went:
    .341/.425/.647/1.073 with 21 homeruns, 57 rbi, 12 steals, 63 runs.

  31. Ben Trotsky Says:

    The top two for worst SB% (min. 200 attempts) is among my all-time favorite trivia questions. (hint: they were teammates for over a decade)

  32. topper009 Says:

    @31, just a random guess, Ruth and Gehrig?

  33. Timmy p Says:

    Ruth and Gehrig

  34. Pat Says:

    I've actually been tracking this on a spreadsheet for years. I have my doubts about Abreu due to his power decline. I used to think Cameron was a shoo in, but he finally ran into injuries. I don't think either one is a good bet at this point, age is a big factor, but both have an outside shot.

    Soriano and Beltran used to track each other very closely, but as some have noted Soriano has essentially stopped running the past couple of seasons. He certainly still has time to do it if he feels his legs can stand it, but he does not look like a good bet going forward based on his recent performance.

    Projecting young players for this combination of milestones is a real crap shoot. Someone mentioned Sizemore above. Yes, for several years he looked like a great bet; not so much anymore. In fact, I'll be surprised if he does it. Wright looks pretty good, but he's getting older and is still a long way off on SB's, which are the much tougher category of the two. You have to get them young before the legs go.

    Ramirez is legit! He's already made great progress on the SB and has plenty of time to pick up the HR. Kemp has put himself in the conversation this year and Justin Upton is interesting due to his extremely early start. I haven't ever looked at B. J. as a legit candidate though. I suppose it's possible, but he's going into his age 27 season next year and has not developed any real HR power. I think he's a very long shot at best considering he'll have to hit over 200 HR from 27 on and, so far, his one season of 20+ looks like a fluke.

  35. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @31-@33/ To be fair, it is possible (or even probable) that other pre-WWII players have worse career SB%, as Caught Stealing was not first tabulated till the 1912 AL, and not for both leagues until 1951. This is especially true for any pre-1951 NL player.

    Looking at (for example) Charlie Hollocher (led in CS in 1922), he had 23 more CS than SB, but there are no CS data for his two years. I doubt he was +24 those first two years.

  36. Doug Says:

    Just looking at the active 300 HR club, it's kind of interesting how many teams have multiple guys from this club.

    Yankees: Rodriguez, Jones, Texeira
    White Sox: Konerko, Dunn
    Cardinals: Pujols, Berkman
    Rockies: Giambi, Helton
    Orioles: Guerrero, Lee
    Cubs: Soriano, Ramirez

    So, just those 6 teams account for 13 of the 21 guys in the club.

  37. jim Says:

    really though, why is tim raines not in the hall?

  38. Mike L Says:

    @37, Jim Maybe part of the reason why Tim Raines isn't in the Hall is right here in these numbers. If you look at the 300/300 guys (and add in the active possible), some are in, but many are not, and many of the active possibles will never make it. Steroids might keep a few out, like Barry Bonds, but Finley, Bobby Bonds and Reggie Sanders aren't going to make it. The active guys who are close-Mike Cameron and Soriano have no chance, Abreu is going to take a Byleven-like campaign, and Beltran is going to need to do a lot more than he has. The fact is that we don't value steals very much at all (Otis Nixon stole 620, Vince Coleman 752). And, for all the lip service and higher math in the modern stats, we don't value walks perhaps as much as we should. It's an interesting skill, it's good to have, but it's not a wow. If steroids weren't a factor, Barry Bonds, A-Rod, and Willie Mays would have been Hall-worthy if they never stole a single base.

  39. Steve Says:

    11 I made the same point on another thread and got snarked on by a couple guys.

  40. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Raines is one of the few guys whose steals are worth a lot, due to the volume and the success rate. But you're right, for most players they are essentially decorative.

    B-R WAR says Raines was worth 121 runs more than average as a baserunner. That's tied for 2nd best ever.** That number isn't broken down into base stealing and other baserunning. Baseball Prospectus does break its seasonal baserunning numbers down like that, but I don't remember seeing it tallied for careers, and I don't feel like going through each season to add them up. Still, if you accept the WAR numbers, and figure half of his baserunning value was due to stealing bases, that's a good 6 wins right there. That's huge, when we're talking about borderline HOF cases.

    ** We do have numbers from prior to 1950, but due to the lack of not only play-by-play stats, but even caught stealing totals, they are questionable.

  41. Steve Says:

    I was just looking at Jimmy Rollins career stats and had a good idea for a search.Lowest OBP by a player who scored 100 or more runs in a season.Rollins had 100 in 2009 with a measly .296 OBP.

  42. Timmy p Says:

    I think Raines is hurt by playing in Montreal for sure. Twisto has mentioned before that those Montreal teams actually won a lot of games, but they never reached the playoffs much, and never reached the WS. By the time Raines reached the Yankees he was a part time player. He's an awesome player but not the first guy to come to mind when filling out a HoF ballot. Now if Raines would have been in the outfield for the 2004 AL championship series knocking down outfield walls and racking up big hits he would be high on the list of future HoF'ers!

  43. Zack Says:

    Raines was mostly "hurt" by not really being a HOFer. He was very good for 6-8 years, got some well-deserved MVP votes, but those years were compact and he was not a significant factor for the rest of the time. He sure put together some nice seasons, but he's on the wrong side of the fence. A really good player, but he was never that stand-out guy. He's really the definition of a close-but-not-quite non-HOFer.

    Depends what you want for the HOF I guess. What I DON'T want is to progressively water down the HOF line so that eventually, election to the hall is less special.

    On the other hand, it's just a damn museum for baseball fans, not a Supreme Court seat - who cares. Let the dude in. But wait - then someone will argue for Steve Finley. Never mind. No on Raines.

  44. Gerry Says:

    So, 3 of the 7 players in the 300/300 club played for TOT.

  45. ToddWE Says:

    @44 - And yet no player has entered the Hall of Fame wearing a Totowa, New Jersey cap.

  46. Nash Bruce Says:

    @45: LOL
    @43: Mystery player's OPS+, first 10 seasons (from 1982-91):
    127 150 125 151 156 173 166 142 121 140
    T. Raines's OPS+, first 10 seasons (from 1981-90):
    135* 101 129* 138 151 145 149 120 131* 117

    Raines would have led his counterpart, in OPS+, in the years marked by an asterisk, had their careers ran parallel, instead of being offset, by one year. As you can see, Raines would have led in only three of these 10 seasons. In fact, Raines loses by a sizeable amount, in a couple of years. However, in Raines's low OPS+ year, his sophomore campaign of 1982 (a year of adjustment?), he still put up 78 SB, at a whopping 83% success rate. Also, during his high OPS+ years of 1985-87, his SB-CS numbers were an astounding 70-9, 70-9, 50-5. At that success rate, I'd say that this means, that just about every couple of games, one could be totally justified, in adding another base to Raines's slugging percentage.

    Mystery Player's corresponding OPS+, during Raines's high OPS+ years, are 156 173 166. Solid leads over Raines, all. But, during these years, his high in SB, was "2" (and not even at a high success rate). In fact, during the above mentioned first ten years, his SB high was 3........adding absolutely nothing to his other contributions. Nor was this player a homerun hitter, either. In fact, Raines hit 52 more career homers than this player.....

    .....who I am sure, that you have all long figured out, by now, is Hall Of Famer Wade Boggs.
    I am an ardent supporter of Raines being in the Hall.

  47. Andy Says:

    I feel very strongly on both Raines and Finley---Raines in, Finley out. The only reason that Raines is not in already is the existence of Rickey Henderson, against whom Raines does not compare favorably. But Henderson was a unique standout player in the history of MLB. Raines still easily surpasses HOF criteria when compared to the general population of MLB players. Finley, on the other hand, was a good player for a number of years but did very little to merit HOF discussion other than amass some counting stats thanks to a long career.

  48. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    I remember Reggie Sanders being talked about as a perennial MVP candidate after 1995, but he never really had a great season after '95.
    He did have a strange career, having at least 11 homers for 8 different clubs in a span of 9 years.
    The same for SBs, except 13+ for 7 teams in 8 years.
    Also he played in 3 WS, for 3 different teams in a 4 year span. That is pretty hard to do.
    It also seemed that his constant changing of teams wasn't via trade. He just signed tons of 1 year deals. I can't say if it was the clubs or his agent or him, maybe hoping for a bigger payday, but I think he was hurt financially by the short deals.
    He also had a 20 HR season for 6 different clubs. Not to many guys can say that.
    He also only played 140 games once. I don't know if he was injury prone or got sat against tough righties, but a player of his caliber should of made it to 150 games one or two years.
    Also, for someone who had some decent OPS years with nice SB totals, he never scored more than 90 runs.
    Just a weird career.

  49. Dave Says:


  50. MLS Says:

    If Brock is in..Raines should be a shoo-in.Many would point to Brock's 3,000 hits and total stolen bases BUT stolen bases aren't worth squat IF the player is unsucessful..should be calculated like #18 described. As far as 3,000 takes 2 things to accumulate and the opportunity to be in line up. Brock was less than a lousy left fielder, IF he wasn't a fan favorite and a big financial draw..he'd NEVER been given the opportunity to make 3,000 hits, his defense was that poor! Besides, of all the players that have made 3,000 many would be in your personal starting all-time great line-ups??? Two, perhaps three??? Milestones doesn't eqate to greatness!

  51. Library Dave Says:

    Here's another HOF comparison:

    during the years they were teammates in Montreal, 1981-1986:
    Andre Dawson: 127 OPS+
    Tim Raines: 133 OPS+

    Dawson: 119
    Raines: 123

    There's definitely an argument to be made that the wrong Expo is in the HOF

  52. stan cook Says:

    Agree with # 50 and would add that it takes three things to accumulate lots of total hits: not walking much.

  53. Mike L Says:

    Reggie Sanders and Eric Davis (282/349) were in many ways similar types of players-high ceiling power speed guys who very often couldn't stay on the field and who moved around a bit (eight teams for Sanders, six for for Davis). You would watch these guys at their best and think they were top tier, but they couldn't sustain it. Davis never played more than 135 games in a season, Sanders topped out at 140.

  54. MLS Says:

    Library Dave..aren't you comparing apples with oranges? Dawson was a 5 tool player. How many such players have played the game? Dawson was paid to drive men in..Raines was paid to get on base to be driven in...why complicate the matter? To me OBP for middle of the order guys come down to this...did they score alot of runs? If not...give some credit to the pitchers/mgrs please. Mr. Cook..a point WELL of the order guys is WHERE OBP should really be scrutinized! Raines knew his job in the line-up...Brock on the otherhand, I always had some doubts.

  55. nightfly Says:

    High walk guys are really only now being more appreciated. In 1974 Rose led the league in doubles and walked a career-best 106 times, but the Reds were annoyed that he hadn't hit .300 again, so they cut his pay.* And Boggs was continually excoriated for taking walks instead of being more aggressive with runners on base - he was called selfish for not trying to drive home the run, even though he was A. not burning up an out and B. putting another runner on for the guys behind him.

    Of all the things in "Moneyball," the one that really gets me is hearing that the Red Sox themselves were constantly annoyed by Boggs' approach... and now, post-Moneyball, they have been first in walks and OBA four times from '03-'10, and second each three other times. (They lead in both again so far this season.)

    * source - "The Long Ball," a solid (if dry) account of the 1975 baseball season by Tom Adelman.

  56. Andy Says:

    Good stuff, Nightfly.

    It's funny to me how some people deny the ignorance about OBP in the 1980s and all times earlier than that. Walking was looked in many circles as almost a zero-sum game, in the sense that there was absolutely no harm in walking a good hitter who comes up with RISP.

    We now know that a walk is almost always beneficial in terms of run expectancy, with a few exceptions such as walking the 8th place hitter to get to a very weak-hitting pitcher.

    But even as recently as the 1980s, if your #4 hitter came up with a runner on 3rd and walked, it was viewed as a failure that he didn't drive in the run. As we can see here: expectancy goes up by 0.2 to 0.4 runs when going from runner on third to runners on first and third, depending on the number of outs.

  57. stan cook Says:

    Didn't Bill James once find a guy who was released by his team-this was long ago-and the GM said he was a lazy player who was happy to just get on base via a walk. Don't remember the story well

  58. MLS Says:

    News flash...this game is all about scoring is it not? To toss out meaningless scoring probability is next to tells you WHAT the score is of the game. Baseball is situational. Walks can be beneficial to either team..given the score of the game! What comman sense tells you is that standing on 1st is NOT in scoring position...dependant on the "situation"...McGwire standing on first base was many times more beneficial,,than having him taking his hacks..was it not? In other words, put some meat with those potatoes!

  59. Andy Says:

    MLS I strongly disagree with your statements.

    Many who feel the same as you suffer from all-or-noting thinking. In this case, it would be that McGwire homers every time he swings the bat, and the guy hitting after McGwire never homers or even gets a hit.

    McGwire's career batting average on balls put in play (BAbip) was .255. That means that more than 74% of the time he swung away, he made an out. He homered in 583 of his 6187 at-bats, or less than 10%. So, most of the time, he made an out when he didn't walk. Getting on base via walk clearly has a lot more value than making an out.

    McGwire was most often followed in the batting order by Terry Steinbach, Carney Lansford, Dave Henderson, Ruben Sierra, Jason Giambi, Danny Tartabull, Phil Plantier, Geronimo Berroa, Jose Canseco, Ray Lankford, Brian Jordan, Eric Davis, Fernando Tatis, Jim Edmonds, Albert Pujols, and Edgar Renteria. Yeah, these guys didn't homer as often as McGwire but many of them were productive hitters and guys I wouldn't mind having hit with first base occupied.

  60. nightfly Says:

    @58... the thing about run expectancy is, it is the grand total of all such situations in the past, and how many runs teams have scored in those situations. It's therefore not "next to useless." It's based on the record of what actually happens in baseball games.

    To take what Andy shared about the walk with a guy on third - every ten games, a team will score from 2 - 4 more runs with first and third than they will with a guy just on third. This already takes into account that the man on first is possibly a better hitter than the guy now coming up; it already accounts for double plays now being possible in situations with fewer than two outs; it accounts for pinch-hitters and pitching changes and different run-scoring levels over the years... it pretty much includes everything for a hundred seasons of baseball.

    Sure, there are late and close situations, and times you have no pinch-hitters left, and times you need your guy to "take his hacks." Nobody's saying ALWAYS take that walk. What we're saying is, the extra baserunner tends to make it harder on the defense and easier on the offense. Over time, that means more big innings and more won ballgames, especially in a higher-scoring environment where one-run strategies are less beneficial.

  61. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @47/ Andy - well-stated

    @50/ MLS - I think Lou Brock defines the lower limits of HOF-qualifications for a 3,000 hit player. In most cases, "3,000" hits" is not merely an automatic HOF qualification, but also an indication of how great a player is, by being outstanding enough for long enough to accumulate that 3,000 number.

    However - Brock was not quite as good at reaching base as other similar non-HOFers; he is 23rd in Hits, but only 57th in Times On Base, less than Raines. He was a very good but never a truly dominant player,unlike Raines from 1983-1987. His reputation (as reflected in the MVP voting) exceeded his actual performance.

    Of course, with 3000+ hits, the SB record, and his great WS performance, there's no way he was _not_ going to being elected to the HOF.

  62. MLS Says:

    Ahhh...knew this would get a rise..LOL. If you guys would read what I said "the game is situational"..hence...the walk "should" be viewed accordingly. The proof is always in the pudding. McGwire scored 39 % of the time he reached base including HRS...BUT..he only scored 24% of the time when you discount his HRS. That's what he "actually" scored, not what he could've scored. The pitchers/mgrs didn't KNOW who was hitting behind him? It's all about the percentages men. Why your at it..IF reaching 1st base was a top priority..please explain the Williams/Howard shifts...a bunt down 3rd base line get you on 1st everytime..does it not? Pena of the Cubs has bunted twice thus far for base hits after the shift...BTW...he didn't score on either occassion. All I can say to all the huge OBP fans out there...use your noggin..NOT your calculator...LOL

  63. stan cook Says:

    "If you guys would read what I said "the game is situational"..hence...the walk "should" be viewed accordingly"

    Same with RBIs, not so? The ground out driving in a runner from third while trailing by a large margin. And all sportswriters and MVP voters are huge RBI fans.

  64. MLS Says:

    @63..couldn't agree with you more! First thing every morning, Tony Perez must pray to God for having the likes of Rose and Morgan (high OBP guys, ya know...the ones OBP SHOULD be viewed more favorly) hitting in front of him! Take any .270 semi-power guy and place him in that Reds the RBI's roll in!

  65. Mike L Says:

    @62, MLS, too much of a "good thing" in situational hitting is really too much. Joe Carter is a great example-he did drive in a lot of runs, but he made outs 70% of the time. That's a tremendous amount of outs.

  66. MLS Says:

    Mike L....concerning tell you one of two things...he was clutch when he had to be..and/OR..perhaps the pitcher/mgrs didn't pitch around him near as much as they should've...Mitch Williams probably could answer that question better than moi...LOL

  67. MLS Says:

    On a serious a nutshell..does it really matter IF you struck out or left standing on a base when the inning is over? I'm all about scoring..IF it doesn't the scope of things (besides looking good on paper)...isn't it a mute point?..Really??

  68. Andy Says:

    OMG WTF "clutch when he had to be"...

    On a separate note, does anybody out there happen to have a clue on a list of all baseball cards issued that mention Jon Lester's no-hitter? I am collecting them.

  69. Mike L Says:

    MLS-as to the managers, if you knew that 70 percent of the time you were going to get Carter out, wouldn't you have your pitchers throw to him (carefully, but, since he doesn't walk more than 40 times..). In 1990, Carter had 115 RBIs, but only 51 extra base hits, a .232 BA, a .391 SP, and made nearly 500 outs. I'd take my chances and pitch to him.

  70. MLS Says:

    It's hard to say Mike again, depends on the situation. As I stated about McGwire (.394 OBP) who scored 39 % of the time he reached base including HRS and scored 24 % of the time discounting HRS..Carter's (.306 OBP) was 42% and 32% respectfully. It all depends on who was hitting behind him and how many outs there were, ect..that's what makes baseball has to play the odds in almost every's not easily evaluated and I don't pretend to know all the answers. I do know that although McGwire reached base many more times than Carter...McGwire scored 1167 runs and Carter scored 1170 much for that all important OBP thingy for middle of the order guys huh?

  71. stan cook Says:

    >"On a serious a nutshell..does it really matter IF you struck out or left standing on a base when the inning is over? I'm all about scoring..IF it doesn't the scope of things (besides looking good on paper)...isn't it a mute point?..Really??"<

    It is neither mute or moot. In the case where you walk and are left standing on base, you have not used one of your team's 27 outs, which will be available at the end of the game

  72. Mike L Says:

    MLS-Joe Carter had more than 1500 additional plate appearances than McGwire. In those 1500+ plate appearanced, Carter scored 3 more runs than McGwire did.

    Or, you could put it a different way: if Carter would have had the same number of appearances as McGwire, he projected to score 979 runs.

    I'd take McGwire.

  73. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I do know that although McGwire reached base many more times than Carter...McGwire scored 1167 runs and Carter scored 1170 much for that all important OBP thingy for middle of the order guys huh?

    McGwire reached base a bit more than Carter, not many times more. Since his OBP doesn't matter, would it make no difference if he had reached based fewer times? And therefore scored fewer runs? Or even if he managed to score the same number of runs, he's made more outs and therefore given his teammates fewer opportunities to score.

    You say you're all about scoring, but all that matters is the team scoring. It doesn't matter who gets the runs or RBI.

  74. Timmy p Says:

    @56 I think it is a mistake to give walks a value compared to hits. Walks are certainly important, but you can not compare walks to hits. Walks have their own value and some could argue a walk is better than a hit because of the BTTF ratio.

  75. MLS Says:

    I concur...making an out is a bad thing..unless of course if it's a sac fly or bunt...LOL..too many variables in this game to explain away all that we all hold dear. As I stated time and again, it's all situational.It's NOT like I'm ragging on a man for getting on base...I'm more inclined to look at what the player "actually" accomplished on the field and giving credit to managers and pitchers for their hard work! Is that so lame? OBP should be put into perspective...should it not? "Don't let that man beat you"..."Pitch around that guy"..."Don't give that man anything to hit"....does anyone of these old baseball adages strike a familiar note?? There's "reasons" WHY these statements are made....what more can I say?

  76. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Didn't Bill James once find a guy who was released by his team-this was long ago-and the GM said he was a lazy player who was happy to just get on base via a walk.

    New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, p. 831, entry on Roy Cullenbine, RF #68:

    "'Cullenbine wouldn't swing the bat,' [Bill] DeWitt [Sr.] recalled. '[Browns manager Luke] Sewell would give him the hit sign and he'd take it, trying to get the base on balls. Laziest human being you ever saw.' — William B. Mead, Baseball Goes to War"

    DeWitt may have felt a little defensive about Cullenbine, whom, as GM of the Browns, he traded to the Senators on June 7, 1942, for pitcher Steve Sundra and outfielder/first baseman Mike Chartak. Cullenbine had finished tenth in the AL MVP voting in 1941, posting 98 RBIs, a .317 batting average, 121 walks and a 139 OPS+, though he was hitting only .193 at the time of the trade. He would go on to have four seasons better than his 1941 Browns season. Meanwhile, Sundra, the player DeWitt really wanted, had a fine 1943 season, but had gone into the military early in 1944. Both he and Chartak missed the 1944 World Series, in which the Browns scored just 12 runs. Cullenbine would have been available to play in the 1944 Series.

  77. stan cook Says:

    Thanks, tuna. That's the story I remember.

  78. Chuck Says:

    Tim Raines is the new Ron Santo.

    More words will be written every year for him not getting in than for those who did, and forty years from now those same words will still be written.

    The presence of Henderson helped Raines; not hindered.

  79. SocraticGadfly Says:

    Steve Finley isn't close to sniffing jockstraps at the HOF. Per John Q, makes you wonder about a roiding ring at the Jack, doesn't it?

  80. Jimbo Says:

    Hendersons SB total would've looked really cool on that list. Just 3 close.

  81. Jimbo Says:


    You've used McGwire's Babip in a deceiving way. You say he made an out 74% of the time that he swing away, but BABIP doesn't recognize home runs as ball put in play.

    So that statement "74% of the time he swung away he made an out" is way, way off.

  82. Evil Squirrel Says:

    Awwww... when I saw 81 comments, I thought there'd be a bunch of posts celebrating the ultimate under the radar career of Reggie Sanders.... I knew he was a 300/300 player!

    Hard to play for 8 teams in 9 years without ever switching teams midseason. He was one of my faves. I hope he at least gets some token support for the HoF when he comes up....

  83. Jimbo Says:

    LOL @ "Laziest human being you ever saw."

  84. Nash Bruce Says:

    @78Chuck: I'm sorry I'm so late to respond, maybe you'll never see this, but I've gotta ask: What in the hell else, do you expect, from a top of the order guy??? Raines did everything, to a T.
    I'm not even meaning to be a smartass, by asking the question this way.....but, I've read, that you are a baseball man, right? So, as such, what else would you expect, from a top of the order guy?
    He is very deserving of the Hall.

  85. Chuck Says:

    Mr. Bruce,

    You know that Raines only hit from the leadoff spot in 63% of his career games?

    You're not being a smartass.

    Being a "baseball man" and being a stat guy are different things.

    The sabermetric infatuation with walks has a tendency to over-value some players, none moreso than Raines.

    It takes much more than a few walks and a few stolen bases to be a HOFer.

    Compared to the length of his career, his peak value wasn't impressive, he was a below average defensive player, and his drug use didn't help him.

  86. Jimbo Says:

    2605 hits, 7 straight all star selections, 808 stolen bases at one of the best percentages ever, a batting title, 2 times leading the league in runs scored, played in 4 different decades, led the league in doubles once, and had 813 career extra base hits, and even had a son that made it to the big leagues for whatever that's worth.

    Yeah, just a few walks and a few stolen bases.

  87. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Compared to the length of his career, his peak value wasn't impressive

    I know this came up several weeks back. Recognizing there are multiple legitimate ways to measure player value and worthiness for the HOF, I must strongly disagree with you on this one. Based on this and your earlier posts, it seems like you count it against Raines that he kept playing as a part-timer. If he had (say) six great years in a 16-year career, that's one thing, but having those six great years in his 23 seasons is worse. How can it be worse to be good enough to stay in the league?

  88. Nash Bruce Says:

    Chuck, being a Phillies fan, as a youngster, I know that ANYtime, throughout the '80's, (through good Phils teams, and much worse, lol) that Tim Raines came up, I was like, "oh s***, he is going to do some major damage."
    also, please remember, that the 80's were a much lower run scoring environment......if that doesn't matter, then we are going to have to delete entire generations of players, that didn't hit 900 HRs, like the juicers in the 90's did.
    Penalizing his longevity, and part-time status?? the guy posted a .413 OBP, at forty-one years of age.... . If walks are overrated, well, ok, he also hit .303.
    Raines's career 162-game average, much of it which was over his allegedly "long-extended beyond productive phase": 102 Runs, 52-9 SB-CS, for an 85%success ratio(!!!!!).294BA, .385OBP.
    No new numbers, or new math. The guy was money. I'd say he's even, maybe, the most forgotten/underrated player, of the 80's......

  89. Nash Bruce Says:

    and, also Chuck, I do apologize, for the mis-understanding re:'top of the order guy'. I didn't mean 'leadoff guy', when I said that....I had meant, as announcers would say, 'top of the order'. 75% of Raines's career AB's, were in either the 1 or 2 spot.....
    If this is about Raines's drug use, let me be clear- I don't advocate cocaine use, at all, but it would be like me drinking antifreeze, to improve my air hockey game.
    It's nothing like steroids.........
    If the coke equals a 'morality issue', and we are going to start going that route, then get ready to boot Ty Cobb (one of the greatest players ever, IMO) out of the Hall.......
    I just don't understand. Again, I am not meaning to be a smartass:)

  90. MLS Says:

    @Nash have made some very valid points and wish everyone would look at the 162 game average more often when evaluating a player! When he played, regardless of what capacity, Raines did what he was paid to do. Also, Raines was NOT a poor fielder..I think people confuse him with Brock..who was a horrible one. Whereas I look with a skewed eyeball at OBP for middle of the order guys, I do however believe OBP is a very good tool for top of the order guys. Cause that's what they're paid to it not? After evaluating Raines vs Brock, the question I would like to ask anyone...IF you were to pick either one in a pick-up game...who would YOU pick?? I believe Raines outweighs Brock in almost EVERY catagory, does he not? Which goes back to my previous comment...if Brock is in..Raines should be too!

  91. Nash Bruce Says:

    nice one, MLS, last comment for me here, it's getting late.....but, using that 162 game average as comparison, Raines has 2 more runs than my above 'Mystery Player' (Wade Boggs), and 4 less RBI's....a dead wash essentially.
    Boggs was a worthy HOF. Well done, Tim!!!
    (Again, no saber-math here.....smiles)

  92. MLS Says:

    I've been called "old school" and "over-simplistic" kinda guy. Perhaps I am. But..if you give me a players 162 game ave in H,2B,3B,HR, BA and TB...I could tell you if that player was a great hitter or not. Sorry, I don't Bill James to tell me who was great...I can do that pretty much on my own thank you. people go viral on me..that ONLY concerns "hitting"! LOL

  93. MLS Says:

    Addendum: "want" Bill James. Also, I would be almost willing to tell you how good a "hitter" was by just his BA and his 162 game ave TB.