You Are Here > Baseball-Reference.com > Blog >

SITE NEWS: We are moving all of our site and company news into a single blog for Sports-Reference.com. We'll tag all B-R content, so you can quickly and easily find the content you want.

Also, our existing B-R blog rss feed will be redirected to the new site's feed.

Baseball-Reference.com » Sports Reference

For more from Andy and the gang, check out their new site High Heat Stats.

Archive for January, 2009

Fewest homers 1990 to 1995

Posted by Andy on January 30, 2009

I'm reading "Birth of a Dynasty" by Joel Sherman right now, a book about the rise of the Yankees to eventually win 4 World Series titles in 5 years from 1996 to 2000. Much of the early part of the book is about the 1995 Yankees, Buck Showalter, and the decline of Don Mattingly.

Sherman points out that among players with as many AB as Mattingly over 1990 to 1995, only 8 players (including Mattingly) had as few as 58 HR. I found that stat shocking, until I looked at the list:

  Cnt Player             **HR**   AB  From  To   Ages   G    PA    R    H   2B  3B  RBI  BB  IBB  SO  HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions Teams
+----+-----------------+-------+-----+----+----+-----+----+-----+----+----+---+---+----+----+---+----+---+---+---+---+----+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+-----------+
    1 Lance Johnson        17    3255 1990 1995 26-31  862  3489  444  941  94  74  305  187  16  223   6  23  18  71  204  66  .289  .327  .379  .706 *8/79D    CHW
    2 Brett Butler         18    3327 1990 1995 33-38  874  3946  543 1011  99  53  234  514  10  380  17  66  22  23  228 103  .304  .397  .382  .779 *8        SFG-LAD-TOT
    3 Jody Reed            21    3055 1990 1995 27-32  822  3497  375  829 175   6  259  351  20  274  16  56  19  84   29  28  .271  .348  .353  .701 *4/6D     BOS-LAD-MIL-SDP
    4 Tony Fernandez       30    3091 1990 1995 28-33  815  3490  421  841 147  45  300  324  23  331  21  33  21  70  108  65  .272  .343  .378  .721 *6/54     TOR-SDP-TOT-CIN-NYY
    5 Wade Boggs           39    3065 1990 1995 32-37  808  3571  464  944 175  17  341  459  75  259   6   3  38  73    5   8  .308  .395  .414  .809 *5/D3     BOS-NYY
    6 Tony Gwynn           42    3066 1990 1995 30-35  770  3353  456 1047 192  29  388  243  77  111   5   9  30  95   64  28  .341  .387  .464  .851 *9/8      SDP
    7 Steve Finley         45    3147 1990 1995 25-30  838  3487  451  881 127  53  267  247  20  360  15  59  19  45  168  61  .280  .333  .397  .730 *89/7     BAL-HOU-SDP
    8 Don Mattingly        58    2981 1990 1995 29-34  770  3299  392  853 170   5  382  274  54  206  11   0  33  90    6   2  .286  .345  .405  .750 *3/D7     NYY

Right away I realized that these are all full-time players and most of them are leadoff guys. Mattingly makes the list because he didn't walk very much. The complete list is here and only 35 guys had at least Mattingly's 2,981 AB over that span. Correct reporting by Sherman, if a bit misleading.

Lowering the bar to 2000 AB over that span yields this list, with Mattingly having the 51st fewest homers among a field of 138, a much more intuitive measure of his relative performance.

I'm going to feature some other stats gleaned from Sherman's book. Incidentally I think the book is quite good and reveals a lot of interesting info about Buck Showalter, Joe Torre, Lou Piniella, and numerous others.

7 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Wily Mo Pena

Posted by Andy on January 29, 2009

My friend Brian asked for a post about Wily Mo Pena so here it is.

Fewest walks for a player with at least 500 career strikeouts:

  Cnt Player             **BB**   SO  From  To   Ages   G    PA    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI IBB HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions Teams
+----+-----------------+--------+----+----+----+-----+----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+---+---+---+---+---+----+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+-----------+
    1 Milt Pappas           36    510 1957 1973 18-34  527  1174  1073   72  132  13   3  20   67   0   8  52   5  13    1   0  .123  .157  .197  .354 *1/4      BAL-CIN-TOT-ATL-CHC 
    2 Miguel Olivo          79    557 2002 2008 23-29  640  2215  2092  239  505 110  13  73  265  12  22  12  10  43   32  17  .241  .275  .411  .686 *2/D3     CHW-TOT-FLA-KCR 
    3 Bob Feller           100    505 1936 1956 17-37  570  1485  1282   99  193  28  13   8   99   0   3 100   0  15    1   2  .151  .214  .211  .425 *1        CLE         
    4 Lefty Grove          105    593 1925 1941 25-41  619  1579  1369  119  202  27   5  15  121   0   2 103   0   1    1   1  .148  .209  .207  .416 *1        PHA-BOS     
    5 Wily Mo Pena         106    520 2002 2008 20-26  560  1725  1590  196  402  67   5  77  225   5  21   1   7  35   12   8  .253  .307  .447  .754 978/D5    CIN-BOS-TOT-WSN 
    6 Craig Paquette       120    620 1993 2003 24-34  814  2766  2591  304  620 128  10  99  377   6  12  17  26  70   27  13  .239  .274  .411  .685 *573/946D OAK-KCR-NYM-STL-DET 
    7 Charley Smith        130    565 1960 1969 22-31  771  2686  2484  228  594  83  18  69  281  19  14  38  20  60    7  12  .239  .279  .370  .649 *5/64     LAD-TOT-CHW-NYM-STL-NYY-CHC 
    8 Kurt Abbott          133    571 1993 2001 24-32  702  2227  2044  273  523 109  23  62  242  11  17  21  12  37   22  11  .256  .305  .423  .728 64/5739D8 OAK-FLA-TOT-COL-NYM-ATL 
    9 Jerry Kindall        145    535 1956 1965 21-30  742  2261  2057  211  439  83   9  44  198  17   8  36  15  45   17  11  .213  .266  .327  .593 *46/53    CHC-CLE-TOT-MIN 
   10 Russ Davis           146    503 1994 2001 24-31  612  2176  1980  261  508 108   6  84  276   7  16  18  16  42   16  11  .257  .310  .444  .754 *5/D376   NYY-SEA-SFG 

That's right. Of the 4 guys ahead of Pena, three are pitchers and one is a catcher.

If we restrict the above list to just outfielders or DH, Pena looks really bad:

  Cnt Player             **BB**   SO  From  To   Ages   G    PA    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI IBB HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions Teams
+----+-----------------+--------+----+----+----+-----+----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+---+---+---+---+---+----+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+-----------+
    1 Wily Mo Pena         106    520 2002 2008 20-26  560  1725  1590  196  402  67   5  77  225   5  21   1   7  35   12   8  .253  .307  .447  .754 978/D5    CIN-BOS-TOT-WSN 
    2 Junior Felix         158    509 1989 1994 21-26  585  2339  2132  309  562 105  24  55  280  10  19   7  23  35   49  40  .264  .317  .413  .730 *98/D7    TOR-CAL-FLA-DET 
    3 Bobby Darwin         160    577 1962 1977 19-34  646  2436  2224  250  559  76  16  83  328  13  37   3  12  75   15   9  .251  .311  .412  .723 *9/8D71   LAA-LAD-MIN-TOT 
    4 Corey Patterson      169    768 2000 2008 20-28  991  3728  3466  479  876 161  30 104  363  19  29  43  21  32  182  50  .253  .291  .407  .698 *8/79     CHC-BAL-CIN 
    5 Gerald Williams      180    530 1992 2005 25-38 1168  3323  3059  474  780 183  18  85  365   8  31  31  22  60  106  57  .255  .301  .410  .711 879/D     NYY-TOT-MIL-ATL-TBD-NYY-FLA-NYM 
    6 Don Demeter          180    658 1956 1967 21-32 1109  3730  3443  467  912 147  17 163  563  31  42  33  32  65   22  25  .265  .307  .459  .766 *857/93   BRO-LAD-TOT-PHI-DET-TOT 
    7 Craig Monroe         181    567 2001 2008 24-31  780  2837  2612  360  661 144   9 112  417  11  11   3  30  66   19  18  .253  .301  .444  .745 *79/D8    TEX-DET-TOT-MIN 
    8 John Shelby          182    671 1981 1991 23-33 1036  3326  3090  389  739 128  24  70  313  15   4  32  18  51   98  40  .239  .281  .364  .645 *87/9D4   BAL-TOT-LAD-DET 
    9 Ruben Rivera         185    510 1995 2003 21-29  662  1818  1586  237  343  67  11  64  203   4  29   6  12  28   50  20  .216  .307  .393  .700 *89/7D    NYY-SDP-CIN-TEX-SFG 
   10 Cito Gaston          185    693 1967 1978 23-34 1024  3339  3120  314  799 106  30  91  387  14   9  10  15  85   13   7  .256  .298  .397  .695 89/73     ATL-SDP-TOT 

The next lowest guy had 50% more walks than Pena. Ouch.

Here are the guys (pitchers excluded) who have struck out the most with no more than 2000 career PA's (for the uninitiated...that's plate appearances...)

  Cnt Player             **SO**    PA  From  To   Ages   G    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  IBB HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions Teams
+----+-----------------+--------+-----+----+----+-----+----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+----+---+---+---+---+---+----+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+-----------+
    1 Dave Nicholson       573    1661 1960 1967 20-27  538  1419  184  301  32  12  61  179  219   7   7   4  12  13    6  10  .212  .318  .381  .699 *79/8     BAL-CHW-HOU-ATL 
    2 Wily Mo Pena         520    1725 2002 2008 20-26  560  1590  196  402  67   5  77  225  106   5  21   1   7  35   12   8  .253  .307  .447  .754 978/D5    CIN-BOS-TOT-WSN 
    3 Shane Andrews        515    1924 1995 2002 23-30  569  1704  196  375  76   4  86  263  191  17   7   3  19  35    7  10  .220  .298  .421  .719 *5/3D7    MON-TOT-CHC-BOS 
    4 Ruben Rivera         510    1818 1995 2003 21-29  662  1586  237  343  67  11  64  203  185   4  29   6  12  28   50  20  .216  .307  .393  .700 *89/7D    NYY-SDP-CIN-TEX-SFG 
    5 Melvin Nieves        483    1392 1992 1998 20-26  458  1228  163  284  53   6  63  187  136   9  17   1  10  25    4  12  .231  .314  .438  .752 *9/7D83   ATL-SDP-DET-CIN 
    6 Todd Pratt           454    1869 1992 2006 25-39  662  1612  194  404  84   3  49  224  208  16  28   7  14  39    6   2  .251  .344  .398  .742 *2/3D7    PHI-CHC-NYM-TOT-PHI-ATL 
    7 Benji Gil            448    1767 1993 2003 20-30  604  1610  158  381  75  12  32  171  102   1   7  34  14  26   24  21  .237  .283  .358  .641 *6/43D58  TEX-ANA     
    8 John Buck            445    1914 2004 2008 23-27  525  1727  202  404  92   3  62  223  138   6  26   9  14  46    3   9  .234  .298  .398  .696 *2/D      KCR         
    9 Rickie Weeks         425    1907 2003 2008 20-25  445  1615  306  395  72  18  51  158  215   8  59   8  10  25   78  14  .245  .352  .406  .758 *4/D      MIL         
   10 Jayson Werth         424    1611 2002 2008 23-29  460  1394  229  367  66  12  57  222  188   4  16   4   9  17   44   5  .263  .355  .451  .806 *97/8D3   TOR-LAD-PHI 

Wily Mo is saved by Dave Nicholson. This comparison doesn't look to good for Pena, or for #10 Jayson Werth either.

There ya go, Brian.

4 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Papelbon

Posted by Andy on January 28, 2009

Jonathan Papelbon has had a fantastic career so far and appears likely to become one of the best closers of the next decade, taking over for Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman. But I have to say that the guy is a complete jackass. While I don't think it's his job to be a role model and do the job that parents are supposed to do, he has behaved like a complete idiot on numerous occasions. I think he would do better to shut his mouth and keep his inappropriate behavior limited to when there aren't TV cameras or journalists around. (FYI a few examples of his behavior are drunken rants after the Red Sox won the World Series in 2007, many public comments about how great it is to drink beer and get drunk, how "closers gotta get paid", and numerous other comments about how important money is.)

Anyway, during his recent negotiations with Boston that ended in a record contract for a relief pitcher with so little experience, I heard someone argue that Papelbon was overused by the Red Sox in 2008 and was lousy when he had to pitch on back-to-back nights. That's an easy thing to check just by looking at his 2008 pitching splits, specifically for pitching by number of days of rest.

 I Split         G   GS GF  W  L  S CG SHO   IP    ERA   H   R   ER HR  BB IBB  SO HBP
+-+------------+---+---+--+--+--+--+--+---+-----+------+---+---+---+--+---+---+---+---+
   0 Days,GR     18   0 17  2  1 14  0   0  18     2.00  16   5   4  1   1   0  13   0
   1 Day,GR      20   0 19  1  3 13  0   0  21     1.29  11   5   3  0   2   0  21   0
   2 Days,GR      8   0  6  1  0  3  0   0   8.1   6.48  10   6   6  2   2   0  12   0
   3 Days,GR      8   0  7  0  0  4  0   0   8.1   1.08   9   4   1  0   1   0  14   0
   4 Days,GR      5   0  5  0  0  2  0   0   5     1.80   4   1   1  0   0   0   8   0
   5 Days,GR      2   0  2  0  0  0  0   0   1.2   0.00   2   0   0  0   0   0   3   0
   6+ Days,GR     6   0  6  1  0  5  0   0   7     3.86   6   3   3  1   2   0   6   0

It's true that he was only a little worse on back-to-back days. He allowed 1 more earned run in 3 fewer innings, and his hit rate was higher, and his strikeout rate was lower. But his numbers with zero days rest were still excellent. Interestingly, his numbers with 2 days rest were pretty bad, thanks I'm guessing to those 2 HR he allowed. I doubt that has much to do with how much rest he had.

Going back to 2007, we can learn a few things:

 I Split         G   GS GF  W  L  S CG SHO   IP    ERA   H   R   ER HR  BB IBB  SO HBP
+-+------------+---+---+--+--+--+--+--+---+-----+------+---+---+---+--+---+---+---+---+
   0 Days,GR      8   0  8  0  1  6  0   0   8     1.12   2   1   1  1   2   0  12   0
   1 Day,GR      13   0 11  0  1  9  0   0  13     3.46  10   5   5  1   6   0  19   1
   2 Days,GR     18   0 16  1  1 11  0   0  18     1.00   7   2   2  0   2   0  23   1
   3 Days,GR      8   0  7  0  0  6  0   0   8.1   3.24   6   3   3  2   2   0   9   0
   4 Days,GR      8   0  7  0  0  3  0   0   7     1.29   3   1   1  1   3   0  14   1
   5 Days,GR      3   0  3  0  0  1  0   0   3     0.00   2   0   0  0   0   0   5   1
   6+ Days,GR     1   0  1  0  0  1  0   0   1     0.00   0   0   0  0   0   0   2   0

Firstly, he was used a lot less on back-to-back nights, although his pitching was awesome in those cases. He was used on 2 days' rest a lot more as well. My guess is that the Red Sox management felt that he had gotten stronger in 2008 (he had an arm injury previously) and were willing to pitch him more frequently last year.

Anyway, sorry about the rant on the guy. Great pitcher, just a total jerk. He may match Rivera and Hoffman in performance but I don't think he'll ever match either guy in class.

11 Comments | Posted in Splits

Albert Pujols

Posted by Andy on January 27, 2009

Statistically, Albert Pujols ranks as one of the greatest, or perhaps THE greatest, players in baseball history.

In a player's first 8 seasons, most qualified seasons with an OPS+ of at least 150:

                   From  To   Ages Seasons Link to Individual Seasons
+-----------------+----+----+-----+-------+------------------------------+
 Albert Pujols     2001 2008 21-28       8 Ind. Seasons                   
 Ted Williams      1939 1949 20-30       8 Ind. Seasons                   
 Frank Thomas      1991 1997 23-29       7 Ind. Seasons                   
 Hank Aaron        1956 1961 22-27       6 Ind. Seasons                   
 Mickey Mantle     1952 1958 20-26       6 Ind. Seasons                   
 Stan Musial       1942 1949 21-28       6 Ind. Seasons                   
 Johnny Mize       1937 1942 24-29       6 Ind. Seasons                   
 Rogers Hornsby    1916 1922 20-26       6 Ind. Seasons                   
 Tris Speaker      1909 1914 21-26       6 Ind. Seasons                   
 Ty Cobb           1907 1912 20-25       6 Ind. Seasons                   

Take a look at the names on this list. This ain't any old list. This list probably includes 8 or 9 of the 10 best offensive players ever.

Most homers through the first 8 seasons:

  Cnt Player             **HR** From  To   Ages   G    PA    AB    R    H   2B  3B  RBI  BB  IBB  SO  HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions Teams
+----+-----------------+-------+----+----+-----+----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+----+----+---+----+---+---+---+---+----+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+-----------+
    1 Ralph Kiner         329   1946 1953 23-30 1212  5223  4327  827 1214 167  34  888  870   0  613  22   4   0 101   20   2  .281  .404  .563  .967 *7/83     PIT-TOT     
    2 Albert Pujols       319   2001 2008 21-28 1239  5382  4578  947 1531 342  13  977  696 154  506  60   1  47 157   45  26  .334  .425  .624 1.049 *37/59D64 STL         
    3 Eddie Mathews       299   1952 1959 20-27 1177  5139  4346  821 1221 181  42  777  726  49  678  12  26  29  54   36  16  .281  .383  .548  .931 *5/7      BSN-MLN     
    4 Adam Dunn           278   2001 2008 21-28 1131  4749  3871  699  955 201   8  672  797  81 1256  58   2  21  57   59  19  .247  .381  .518  .899 *73/9D    CIN-TOT     
    5 Ernie Banks         269   1953 1960 22-29 1078  4632  4159  676 1213 188  55  778  398  95  502  27  10  38  92   36  37  .292  .354  .557  .911 *6/5      CHC         
    6 Ted Williams        265   1939 1949 20-30 1184  5348  4221 1082 1488 314  56 1038 1101   0  376  21   5   0  99   16  13  .353  .488  .642 1.130 *79/1     BOS         
    7 Frank Robinson      262   1956 1963 20-27 1190  5073  4377  831 1327 247  39  800  549  91  622  91  13  43 109  125  43  .303  .389  .557  .946 *793/85   CIN         
    8 Frank Thomas        257   1990 1997 22-29 1076  4789  3821  785 1261 246   8  854  879 118  582  26   0  63 123   18  15  .330  .452  .600 1.052 *3D       CHW         
    9 Hank Aaron          253   1954 1961 20-27 1194  5201  4717  829 1506 264  67  863  397  92  442  17  19  51 131   57  25  .319  .371  .565  .936 *987/45   MLN         
   10 Darryl Strawberry   252   1983 1990 21-28 1109  4549  3903  662 1025 187  30  733  580 108  960  26   1  39  45  191  75  .263  .359  .520  .879 *9/87     NYM         
   11 Todd Helton         251   1997 2004 23-30 1135  4798  4051  832 1372 328  22  836  667 109  542  31   2  47  97   30  23  .339  .432  .616 1.048 *3/79     COL         
   12 Willie Mays         250   1951 1959 20-28 1065  4629  4074  777 1291 204  79  709  505  69  435  14   1  35  89  179  53  .317  .391  .590  .981 *8/7      NYG-SFG     
   13 Mickey Mantle       249   1951 1958 19-26 1102  4770  3937  890 1238 185  50  766  799  48  773   7  11  16  37   77  22  .314  .430  .577 1.007 *89/645   NYY         
   14 Rocky Colavito      246   1955 1962 21-28 1006  4206  3608  580  979 167  12  712  537  27  526  15  12  34  94   10  20  .271  .365  .529  .894 *97/31    CLE-DET     
   15 Joe DiMaggio        244   1936 1946 21-31 1111  4984  4481  939 1495 263  90 1025  463   0  220  26  14   0  55   26   7  .334  .399  .596  .995 *8/79     NYY         
   16 Albert Belle        242   1989 1996 22-29  913  3922  3441  592 1014 223  16  751  396  49  622  37   4  44 114   61  25  .295  .369  .580  .949 *7D/9     CLE         
   17 Alex Rodriguez      241   1994 2001 18-25  952  4247  3758  760 1167 228  14  730  385  15  747  47  16  41  80  151  39  .311  .378  .571  .949 *6/D      SEA-TEX     
   18 Mike Piazza         240   1992 1999 23-30  981  4075  3653  611 1200 173   4  768  381  83  563  13   0  28 114   13  13  .328  .391  .575  .966 *2/D3     LAD-TOT-NYM 
   19 Roger Maris         240   1957 1964 22-29 1073  4457  3878  678 1021 143  31  681  511  32  545  30   9  29  50   21   9  .263  .351  .502  .853 *98/7     CLE-TOT-KCA-NYY 
   20 Ken Griffey         238   1989 1996 19-26 1057  4558  3985  695 1204 227  21  725  504 119  634  25   6  38  75  108  44  .302  .381  .549  .930 *8/D39    SEA         

Kiner played only 10 seasons total and if Pujols hits at least 33 HR in 2009, he'll pass Kiner on the list of most homers in the first 9 seasons. Overall, note how much less impressive this HR list is than the first list above. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling these guys shabby. I'll just take Ty Cobb over Darryl Strawberry.)

Pujols narrowly missed becoming the 4th player in history to amass 1000 RBI over his first 8 seasons:

  Cnt Player             **RBI** From  To   Ages   G    PA    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  BB  IBB  SO  HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB   CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions Teams
+----+-----------------+--------+----+----+-----+----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+---+----+---+---+---+---+----+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+-----------+
    1 Ted Williams        1038   1939 1949 20-30 1184  5348  4221 1082 1488 314  56 265 1101   0  376  21   5   0  99   16  13  .353  .488  .642 1.130 *79/1     BOS         
    2 Joe DiMaggio        1025   1936 1946 21-31 1111  4984  4481  939 1495 263  90 244  463   0  220  26  14   0  55   26   7  .334  .399  .596  .995 *8/79     NYY         
    3 Al Simmons          1005   1924 1931 22-29 1086  4752  4349  816 1580 315  89 173  292   0  327  13  98   0   0   61  45  .363  .405  .596 1.001 *78/9     PHA         
    4 Albert Pujols        977   2001 2008 21-28 1239  5382  4578  947 1531 342  13 319  696 154  506  60   1  47 157   45  26  .334  .425  .624 1.049 *37/59D64 STL         
    5 Earl Averill         892   1929 1936 27-34 1195  5378  4763  924 1547 309  95 190  550   0  345  28  37   0   0   56  48  .325  .398  .549  .947 *8/9      CLE         
    6 Ralph Kiner          888   1946 1953 23-30 1212  5223  4327  827 1214 167  34 329  870   0  613  22   4   0 101   20   2  .281  .404  .563  .967 *7/83     PIT-TOT     
    7 Jim Bottomley        885   1922 1929 22-29 1062  4690  4134  711 1354 261 104 146  406   0  337  24 126   0   0   40  15  .328  .391  .547  .938 *3/4      STL         
    8 Chuck Klein          880   1928 1935 23-30 1057  4677  4236  848 1467 287  56 232  385   0  347  11  45   0  19   58   0  .346  .402  .605 1.007 *97/8     PHI-CHC     
    9 Joe Medwick          873   1932 1939 20-27 1084  4706  4420  771 1492 353  81 145  241   0  376  18  27   0 106   28   0  .338  .374  .552  .926 *7/89     STL         
   10 Hank Aaron           863   1954 1961 20-27 1194  5201  4717  829 1506 264  67 253  397  92  442  17  19  51 131   57  25  .319  .371  .565  .936 *987/45   MLN         

OK, how about best batting average, first 8 seasons, minimum 4000 PAs?

  Cnt Player              **BA**    PA  From  To   Ages   G    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  IBB  SO  HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB   CS  OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions Teams
+----+-----------------+---------+-----+----+----+-----+----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+----+---+----+---+---+---+---+----+---+-----+-----+-----+---------+-----------+
    1 Ty Cobb              .366    4343 1905 1912 18-25 1021  3917  738 1433 230 109  43  684  286   0    0  37 103   0   0  398   0  .414  .513  .927 98/7      DET         
    2 Al Simmons           .363    4752 1924 1931 22-29 1086  4349  816 1580 315  89 173 1005  292   0  327  13  98   0   0   61  45  .405  .596 1.001 *78/9     PHA         
    3 George Sisler        .361    4574 1915 1922 22-29 1047  4155  732 1498 242 100  60  612  273   0  180  30 116   0   0  282  82  .404  .510  .914 *3/198745 SLB         
    4 Ted Williams         .353    5348 1939 1949 20-30 1184  4221 1082 1488 314  56 265 1038 1101   0  376  21   5   0  99   16  13  .488  .642 1.130 *79/1     BOS         
    5 Jesse Burkett        .353    4423 1890 1897 21-28  927  3863  940 1364 174  96  37  530  504   0  230  34  22   0   0  221   0  .432  .477  .909 *79/18    NYG-CLV     
    6 Wade Boggs           .352    5371 1982 1989 24-31 1183  4534  823 1597 314  36  64  523  754  87  339  17  23  43 123   14  22  .443  .480  .923 *5/3D7    BOS         
    7 Rogers Hornsby       .348    4281 1915 1922 19-26 1012  3807  641 1323 211 104  99  638  360   0  335  29  85   0   0  101  42  .408  .536  .944 465/3798  STL         
    8 Billy Hamilton       .348    4378 1888 1895 22-29  901  3656 1039 1274 147  67  26  455  642   0  189  71   9   0   0  638   0  .455  .447  .902 789       KCC-PHI     
    9 Stan Musial          .346    4747 1941 1949 20-28 1072  4133  815 1432 302 108 146  706  565   0  199  21  28   0  82   44   0  .428  .578 1.006 9378      STL         
   10 Chuck Klein          .346    4677 1928 1935 23-30 1057  4236  848 1467 287  56 232  880  385   0  347  11  45   0  19   58   0  .402  .605 1.007 *97/8     PHI-CHC     
   11 Paul Waner           .346    5429 1926 1933 23-30 1205  4753  901 1643 337 128  67  695  538   0  156  27 111   0  10   77   0  .415  .513  .928 *9/387    PIT         
   12 Lou Gehrig           .342    4024 1923 1930 20-27  921  3327  774 1139 248  89 187  811  581   0  414  18  98   0   0   42  45  .443  .639 1.082 *3/97     NYY         
   13 Honus Wagner         .342    4446 1897 1904 23-30 1031  4008  722 1372 275 102  41  750  326   0    0  58  54   0   0  311   0  .400  .493  .893 6953/8471 LOU-PIT     
   14 Heinie Manush        .340    4311 1923 1930 21-28 1048  3865  674 1313 265  84  66  628  262   0  191  46 138   0   0   81  43  .388  .503  .891 *78/93    DET-SLB-TOT 
   15 Todd Helton          .339    4798 1997 2004 23-30 1135  4051  832 1372 328  22 251  836  667 109  542  31   2  47  97   30  23  .432  .616 1.048 *3/79     COL         
   16 Joe Medwick          .338    4706 1932 1939 20-27 1084  4420  771 1492 353  81 145  873  241   0  376  18  27   0 106   28   0  .374  .552  .926 *7/89     STL         
   17 Hugh Duffy           .338    4702 1888 1895 21-28 1005  4256 1041 1438 219  76  73  766  414   0  192  16  16   0   0  413   0  .399  .477  .876 *89/675   CHC-CHI-BOS-BSN 
   18 Goose Goslin         .337    4293 1921 1928 20-27  999  3793  635 1277 212 103  90  730  353   0  248  37 110   0   0   98  45  .399  .518  .917 *7/89     WSH         
   19 Albert Pujols        .334    5382 2001 2008 21-28 1239  4578  947 1531 342  13 319  977  696 154  506  60   1  47 157   45  26  .425  .624 1.049 *37/59D64 STL         
   20 Joe DiMaggio         .334    4984 1936 1946 21-31 1111  4481  939 1495 263  90 244 1025  463   0  220  26  14   0  55   26   7  .399  .596  .995 *8/79     NYY         

There's Pujols at #19. He, Helton, and Boggs are the only players from the last 60 years to make the list, and both Helton and Boggs (though great hitters both) had a lot of help from theire home ballparks. Incidentally, just off the list at #21 is Tony Gwynn.

And finally, highest SLG, using the same criteria as BA above:

  Cnt Player             **SLG**    PA  From  To   Ages   G    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  IBB  SO  HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB   CS   BA   OBP   OPS  Positions Teams
+----+-----------------+---------+-----+----+----+-----+----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+----+---+----+---+---+---+---+----+---+-----+-----+-----+---------+-----------+
    1 Ted Williams         .642    5348 1939 1949 20-30 1184  4221 1082 1488 314  56 265 1038 1101   0  376  21   5   0  99   16  13  .353  .488 1.130 *79/1     BOS         
    2 Lou Gehrig           .639    4024 1923 1930 20-27  921  3327  774 1139 248  89 187  811  581   0  414  18  98   0   0   42  45  .342  .443 1.082 *3/97     NYY         
    3 Albert Pujols        .624    5382 2001 2008 21-28 1239  4578  947 1531 342  13 319  977  696 154  506  60   1  47 157   45  26  .334  .425 1.049 *37/59D64 STL         
    4 Todd Helton          .616    4798 1997 2004 23-30 1135  4051  832 1372 328  22 251  836  667 109  542  31   2  47  97   30  23  .339  .432 1.048 *3/79     COL         
    5 Chuck Klein          .605    4677 1928 1935 23-30 1057  4236  848 1467 287  56 232  880  385   0  347  11  45   0  19   58   0  .346  .402 1.007 *97/8     PHI-CHC     
    6 Frank Thomas         .600    4789 1990 1997 22-29 1076  3821  785 1261 246   8 257  854  879 118  582  26   0  63 123   18  15  .330  .452 1.052 *3D       CHW         
    7 Joe DiMaggio         .596    4984 1936 1946 21-31 1111  4481  939 1495 263  90 244 1025  463   0  220  26  14   0  55   26   7  .334  .399  .995 *8/79     NYY         
    8 Al Simmons           .596    4752 1924 1931 22-29 1086  4349  816 1580 315  89 173 1005  292   0  327  13  98   0   0   61  45  .363  .405 1.001 *78/9     PHA         
    9 Manny Ramirez        .592    4095 1993 2000 21-28  967  3470  665 1086 237  11 236  804  541  47  780  37   2  45  98   28  24  .313  .407  .999 *9/D      CLE         
   10 Willie Mays          .590    4629 1951 1959 20-28 1065  4074  777 1291 204  79 250  709  505  69  435  14   1  35  89  179  53  .317  .391  .981 *8/7      NYG-SFG     

There's Pujols at #3.

The man is absolutely incredible.

I also note that Frank Thomas appeared on most of these lists. It seems that 2008, his 19th season, was his last. That means that he and Greg Maddux should be heading to Cooperstown in 5 years. It's a bit early, but not way early, to suggest that Albert Pujols will be joining them there one day.

29 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Nontraditional Batters

Posted by Raphy on January 27, 2009

Traditionally,  certain types of players have been cast for specific positions in the batting order (speedy leadoff hitter, contact #2 hitter etc.).  Here are some players who bucked the trend. All lists are 1956-2008.

Disclaimer: This is by no means meant to be worst of list. To make this list a player has to play a tremendous amount of games hitting in a  particular slot in the batting order.  Additionally,  players who get their stats in bunches, as I suspect was the case with Billy Williams,  will be penalized as well. Nevertheless, I thought that it would still be fun to take a look.

Most games in a season batting leadoff, but not recording a stolen base.

 Pete Rose         1975   162 Ind. Games
 Chuck Schilling   1961   150 Ind. Games
 Dave Cash         1975   149 Ind. Games
 Pete Rose         1973   148 Ind. Games
 Pete Rose         1976   147 Ind. Games
 Pete Rose         1971   146 Ind. Games
 Pete Rose         1978   146 Ind. Games
 Don Kessinger     1969   146 Ind. Games
 Pete Rose         1968   145 Ind. Games
 Don Kessinger     1968   145 Ind. Games
 Pete Rose         1969   144 Ind. Games

Usually, the Batting Game tool  is not perfect for searches like this, because it doesn't take into account playing time and games with multiple occurrences. However, when a player can go an entire season, play every single game and get shutout in them all, then you know he is the champ.  In 1975 Pete Rose did just that. 162 games leading off  and not 1 stolen base.  In fact for his career Rose averaged 8.75 stolen bases per 162 games leading off.

Most games batting second and recording at least 1 strikeout.

 Dan Uggla         2007    95 Ind. Games
 Jay Bell          1999    93 Ind. Games
 Jay Bell          1993    91 Ind. Games
 Royce Clayton     2004    90 Ind. Games
 Lou Brock         1964    90 Ind. Games
 Phil Bradley      1985    89 Ind. Games
 Dwight Evans      1982    87 Ind. Games
 Alex Rodriguez    1998    86 Ind. Games
 Dwight Evans      1984    86 Ind. Games
 Robby Thompson    1989    85 Ind. Games

If you look further down the list Jay Bell's name pops up a few more times. For his career,  Bell averaged over 116 strikeouts per 162 games from the #2 hole.

Most games batting third without knocking in a runner.

 Carl Yastrzemski  1975   110 Ind. Games
 Billy Williams    1968   110 Ind. Games
 Dale Murphy       1986   109 Ind. Games
 Billy Williams    1967   107 Ind. Games
 Tony Gwynn        1989   106 Ind. Games
 Ryan Zimmerman    2007   105 Ind. Games
 Carl Yastrzemski  1963   105 Ind. Games
 George Brett      1976   105 Ind. Games
 Carl Yastrzemski  1968   104 Ind. Games
 Cal Ripken        1984   104 Ind. Games

If you click on the link, you'll see that two names dramatically  jump out from this search Carl Yastrzemski and Billy Williams.  Yastrzemski averaged 91 RBI per 162 games  as a number 3 hitter in his career. Williams's average was 100.5 per 162.

Most games batting fourth without hitting a homerun.

 Joe Torre         1969   141 Ind. Games
 Bobby Murcer      1973   141 Ind. Games
 Bob Watson        1973   140 Ind. Games
 Justin Morneau    2008   140 Ind. Games
 Ron Santo         1963   139 Ind. Games
 Greg Luzinski     1982   139 Ind. Games
 Joe Torre         1971   138 Ind. Games
 Alex Johnson      1970   138 Ind. Games
 Bobby Bonilla     1989   138 Ind. Games
 Bobby Bonilla     1991   138 Ind. Games

The two names that appear most often on this list are Joe Torre and Bobby Bonilla.  For his career Torre hit 20.25 home runs per 162 games batting fourth.   Bonilla's career was a mixed bag. In all he hit  26.39 home runs per 162 games batting fourth.

I'm going to leave it at that. If anyone wants to pick it up, I'd be interested to see what you come up with.  One word of caution: This doesn't work well on the career level. There are players who are so good at what they do that they dominate the playing time at their batting order postion and then by default finish at the top of the zero games as well. For example, the player with the second most career 0 SB games from the leadoff slot is Rickey Henderson.   So try it with single seasons, I think that the top few names are revealing.

4 Comments | Posted in Leaders, Splits

Worst OPS+ in a season with 50 doubles

Posted by Andy on January 26, 2009

Here's another Mark Grudzielanek fact for you. Worst OPS+ values in a season with at least 50 doubles:

  Cnt Player            **OPS+** 2B Year Age Tm  Lg  G   PA  AB  R   H  3B HR RBI  BB IBB  SO HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions
+----+-----------------+--------+--+----+---+---+--+---+---+---+---+---+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+
    1 Mark Grudzielanek     81   54 1997  27 MON NL 156 688 649  76 177  3  4  51  23   0  76  10   3   3  13  25  9  .273  .307  .384  .691 *6        
    2 Brian Roberts         90   50 2004  26 BAL AL 159 734 641 107 175  2  4  53  71   1  95   1  15   6   3  29 12  .273  .344  .376  .720 *4/D      
    3 Luis Gonzalez         99   52 2006  38 ARI NL 153 668 586  93 159  2 15  73  69  10  58   7   0   6  14   0  1  .271  .352  .444  .796 *7/D      
    4 Jeff Cirillo         100   53 2000  30 COL NL 157 684 598 111 195  2 11 115  67   4  72   6   1  12  19   3  4  .326  .392  .477  .869 *5        
    5 Baby Doll Jacobso    101   51 1926  35 TOT AL 148 635 576  62 172  2  8  90  31   0  36   2  26   0   0   5  3  .299  .337  .436  .773 *89/7     
    6 Michael Young        108   52 2006  29 TEX AL 162 748 691  93 217  3 14 103  48   0  96   1   0   8  27   7  3  .314  .356  .459  .815 *6/D      
    7 George Burns         109   51 1927  34 CLE AL 140 607 549  84 175  2  3  78  42   0  27   7   9   0   0  13 11  .319  .375  .435  .810 *3        
    8 Craig Biggio         113   56 1999  33 HOU NL 160 749 639 123 188  0 16  73  88   9 107  11   5   6   5  28 14  .294  .386  .457  .843 *4/7D     
    9 Odell Hale           114   50 1936  27 CLE AL 153 693 620 126 196 13 14  87  64   0  43   0   9   0   0   8  5  .316  .380  .506  .886 *5/4      
   10 Brian Roberts        117   51 2008  30 BAL AL 155 704 611 107 181  8  9  57  82   3 104   2   3   6   8  40 10  .296  .378  .450  .828 *4        
   11 Freddy Sanchez       119   53 2006  28 PIT NL 157 632 582  85 200  2  6  85  31   6  52   7   3   9  12   3  2  .344  .378  .473  .851 *564      
   12 Pete Rose            119   51 1978  37 CIN NL 159 729 655 103 198  3  7  52  62   6  30   3   2   7   8  13  9  .302  .362  .421  .783 *5/73     
   13 Johnny Hodapp        120   51 1930  24 CLE AL 154 687 635 111 225  8  9 121  32   0  29   1  19   0   0   6  5  .354  .386  .502  .888 *4        

I'm sort of dumbfounded about how anybody could have an OPS+ of 81 when hittin 54 doubles, which was the league-leading total that year. He must have been swinging for the foul lines, hitting lots of doubles and otherwise grounding out a lot. Bizarre.

8 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Triples and Stolen Bases in the Same Game

Posted by Raphy on January 26, 2009

I thought it might be fun to see which players were able to rack up the two main speed stats, triples and stolen bases in the same game.  What intrigued me about this is that, except for the adventurous few, these stats are not interrelated, getting a triple will not increase your ability to steal a base.

Comments Off | Posted in Game Finders

So, You Had A Bad Day…You Must Be In Houston

Posted by Steve Lombardi on January 25, 2009

A fun list via Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index Batting Game Finder...

Since 1956, players who had 10+  PA in a single game without reaching base:

  Cnt Player            Date          Tm   Opp GmReslt PA AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB TOB IBB SO HBP SH SF ROE GDP SB CS BOr Positions
+----+-----------------+-------------+---+----+-------+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+--+---+---+--+---+--+--+---+---+--+--+---+---------+
    1 John Shelby       1989-06-03 LAD @HOU L  4-5  10 10  0  0  0  0  0   0  0   0   0  2   0  0  0   0   0  1  0 6th CF
    2 Danny Thompson    1972-05-12 MIN  MIL L  3-4  11 10  1  0  0  0  0   0  0   0   0  2   0  1  0   0   0  0  0 2nd SS
    3 Tommie Agee       1968-04-15 NYM @HOU L  0-1  10 10  0  0  0  0  0   0  0   0   0  4   0  0  0   0   0  0  0 3rd CF
    4 Ron Swoboda       1968-04-15 NYM @HOU L  0-1  10 10  0  0  0  0  0   0  0   0   0  5   0  0  0   0   0  0  0 4th RF
   

Three times it happened in Houston.  Go figure.

Note that two Mets did it in the same game!  Don Wilson and Jim Ray must have been dealing that day.

5 Comments | Posted in Game Finders

.320+ BA in Last Season

Posted by Raphy on January 25, 2009

It is being reported that Sean Casey will be retiring after hitting .322 for the Red Sox.  Here are all the players who have batted over .320 with at least 200 PA in their final seasons. It is  interesting to note, that like Casey, 9 out of the previous 11 were under 35.

  Cnt Player              **BA**   PA Year Age Tm  Lg  G   AB  R   H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB IBB  SO HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB CS  OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions
+----+-----------------+---------+---+----+---+---+--+---+---+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+-----+-----+-----+---------+
    1 Joe Jackson          .382   649 1920  30 CHW AL 146 570 105 218 42 20 12 121  56   0  14   7  16   0   0   9 12  .444  .589 1.033 *7
    2 Happy Felsch         .338   613 1920  28 CHW AL 142 556  88 188 40 15 14 115  37   0  25   4  16   0   0   8 13  .384  .540  .924 *8
    3 Buck Weaver          .331   690 1920  29 CHW AL 151 629 102 208 34  8  2  75  28   0  23   6  27   0   0  19 17  .365  .420  .785 *56
    4 Monk Sherlock        .324   335 1930  25 PHI NL  92 299  51  97 18  2  0  38  27   0  28   0   9   0   0   0  0  .380  .398  .778 *3/48
    5 Zack Wheat           .324   276 1927  39 PHA AL  88 247  34  80 12  1  1  38  18   0   5   4   7   0   0   2  3  .379  .393  .772 *7/98
    6 Walt McCredie        .324   242 1903  26 BRO NL  56 213  40  69  5  0  0  20  24   0   0   2   3   0   0  10  0  .397  .347  .744 *9
    7 Ty Cobb              .323   393 1928  41 PHA AL  95 353  54 114 27  4  1  40  34   0  16   4   2   0   0   5  8  .389  .431  .820 *9
    8 Chicken Hawks        .322   366 1925  29 PHI NL 105 320  52 103 15  5  5  45  32   0  33   2  12   0   0   3  6  .387  .447  .834 *3
    9 John Sullivan        .322   274 1921  31 TOT NL  81 245  28  79 14  4  4  41  19   0  26   1   9   0   0   3  5  .374  .461  .835
   10 Bill Keister         .320   429 1903  31 PHI NL 100 400  53 128 27  7  3  63  14   0   0   6   9   0   0  11  0  .352  .445  .797 *9
   11 Sam Dungan           .320   610 1901  34 WSH AL 138 559  70 179 26 12  1  73  40   0   0   2   9   0   0   9  0  .368  .415  .783 *93/7

3 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Worst OPS+ in a season with 200 hits

Posted by Andy on January 23, 2009

On a recent post, commenters discussed the relative merits of Mark Grudzielanek, who has stuck around in the majors for a long time. People forgoet that he had 200 hits in his first full season, and yet it wasn't all that impressive as he had an OPS+ of just 93 that year. Here are the worst OPS+ figures for a guy with 200 hits in a season since 1901:

  Cnt Player            **OPS+**  H  Year Age Tm  Lg  G   PA  AB  R  2B 3B HR RBI  BB IBB  SO HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions
+----+-----------------+--------+---+----+---+---+--+---+---+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+
    1 Juan Pierre           82   204 2006  28 CHC NL 162 750 699  87 32 13  3  40  32   0  38   8  10   1   6  58 20  .292  .330  .388  .718 *8
    2 Doc Cramer            84   200 1940  34 BOS AL 150 712 661  94 27 12  1  51  36   0  29   1  14   0  13   3  5  .303  .340  .384  .724 *897
    3 Matty Alou            87   201 1970  31 PIT NL 155 718 677  97 21  8  1  47  30   3  18   4   4   3   9  19 11  .297  .329  .356  .685 *8/9
    4 Taylor Douthit        88   201 1930  29 STL NL 154 748 664 109 41 10  7  93  60   0  38   4  20   0   0   4  0  .303  .364  .426  .790 *8
    5 Juan Pierre           89   202 2001  23 COL NL 156 683 617 108 26 11  2  55  41   1  29  10  14   1   6  46 17  .327  .378  .415  .793 *8
    6 Mark Grudzielanek     93   201 1996  26 MON NL 153 696 657  99 34  4  6  49  26   3  83   9   1   3  10  33  7  .306  .340  .397  .737 *6
    7 Juan Pierre           94   204 2003  25 FLA NL 162 746 668 100 28  7  1  41  55   1  35   5  15   3   9  65 20  .305  .361  .373  .734 *8
    8 Michael Young         97   204 2003  26 TEX AL 160 713 666 106 33  9 14  72  36   1 103   1   3   7  14  13  2  .306  .339  .446  .785 *4/6
    9 Ralph Garr            97   200 1973  27 ATL NL 143 698 668  94 32  6 11  55  22   5  64   2   4   2  12  35 11  .299  .323  .415  .738 *97
   10 Pinky Whitney         98   207 1930  25 PHI NL 149 662 606  87 41  5  8 117  40   0  41   1  15   0   0   3  0  .342  .383  .465  .848 *5
   11 George Sisler         98   205 1929  36 BSN NL 154 686 629  67 40  8  2  79  33   0  17   4  20   0   0   6  0  .326  .363  .424  .787 *3
   12 Fresco Thompson       98   202 1929  27 PHI NL 148 715 623 115 41  3  4  53  75   0  34   1  16   0   0  16  0  .324  .398  .419  .817 *4
   13 Chick Fullis          99   200 1933  29 PHI NL 151 697 647  91 31  6  1  45  36   0  34   5   9   0  15  18  0  .309  .350  .380  .730 *8/5      

Juan Pierre makes it 3 times onto this list, and interestingly played for 3 different teams.

For the most part, these guys all didn't hit with a lot of extra-base power. The differences among them are interesting, though. Michael Young struck out 103 times while George Sisler struck out only 17. Pinky Whitney had 117 RBI while in 2006 Pierre had only 40. One thing they all had, though, was a lot of runs scored.

15 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Page 1 of 41234