Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Teen phenom Bryce Harper made his major league debut on April 28 with Washington going one-for-three with a double. There has been a lot of speculation about whether or not Harper will stay with the Nationals for the entire season, but if he does and continues to play as well as he has in his first eight MLB games, he would have a legitimate shot at establishing some new batting records for players in their teen years.
Harper does not turn 20 until October 16, so if he stays with the parent club and stays in the starting lineup, he may join Phil Cavarretta, Robin Yount, Mickey Mantle, and Ken Griffey, Jr., as one of the most successful teenagers in MLB history. Which hitting records for teenagers could Harper challenge? Following is a look a few stats that may have to make room for Harper at the end of this season.
Players that rank in the Top Ten for most hits before their 20th birthday
1. Phil Cavarretta, 295
2. Robin Yount, 235
3. Mel Ott, 209
4. Buddy Lewis, 178
5. Ed Kranepool, 166
6. Sibby Sisti, 164
7. Bob Kennedy, 155
8. Paul Hines, 151
9. Ty Cobb, 149
10. Al Kaline, 146
Although Harper has yet to hit a home run, here are the five teenagers with the most home runs in MLB history
1. Tony Conigliaro, 24; 2. Mel Ott, 19; 3. Phil Cavarretta, 18; 4. Ken Griffey, 16; 5. Mickey Mantle, 13.
Here are the five teenagers with the most RBI
1. Phil Cavarretta, 144; 2. Met Ott, 100; 3. Jimmy Sheckard, 78; 4. Robin Yount, 78; 5. George Davis, 73.
The one category where Harper may challenge a teenager record is doubles. Through Harper’s first eight games and 28 at-bats, he has five doubles. Should he stay with the Nationals for the entire season and get 300 or more at-bats, he could make a run at Phil Cavarretta’s teenage record of 46 doubles in his MLB career before he turned 20.
Did you know? Harper has a .308 batting average as of May 6. The best career batting average of any player before turning 20 was Mel Ott who had a .318 career batting average before he turned 20. Could Harper challenge Ott’s .318 average?
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog that is published every Wednesday and Friday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.
With his three HRs in Game Three of the World Series, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols continues to build an impressive resume that will likely get him into baseball’s Hall of Fame five years after his retirement. He has won three National League MVP awards (and finished second in the balloting three times), was the N.L. Rookie of the Year in 2001, and has been selected to nine N.L. All-Star teams.
But here’s the question: Where does Pujols rank among baseball’s all-time greatest hitters? Consider… a .328 career batting average, 445 homers and 100 or more RBIs in ten of his 11 seasons. Great credentials and numbers!
Let me offer the following criteria to analyze Pujols and how he compares with the other great hitters in the game’s history. My definition of a great hitter would include a player who hits for a high average, someone who hits for power, and a hitter with a great eye at the plate. To quantify what I just said, let’s look at how many hitters have accomplished the following in a season (Why the following criteria? It’s my blog!):
* Hit .300 or better
* Hit 30 or more home runs
* Walk 100 or more times
* Strike out less than 100 times.
With these numbers as a definition of a player who had a “great hitter” season, we see that only 28 players have had one or more “great hitter” seasons in major league history. In fact, this year only one player met the above criteria: Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. Cabrera hit .344, slugged 30 home runs, walked 108 times and struck out 89 times.
Following are the players in baseball history who had one or more seasons where they batted over .300, hit 30 or more HRs, walked 100 or more times, and had less than 100 strikeouts.
‘Great Hitter’ Seasons, Player
11….. Babe Ruth
9….. Lou Gehrig, Barry Bonds
8….. Ted Williams
5….. Jimmie Foxx, Frank Thomas
3….. Stan Musial, Gary Sheffield, Albert Pujols
2….. Ralph Kiner, Jason Giambi, Todd Helton
1….. Hack Wilson, Hank Greenberg, Duke Snider, Norm Cash, Willie McCovey, Carl Yastrzemski, Reggie Smith, George Brett, Dwight Evans, Jeff Bagwell, Chipper Jones, Brian Giles, Luis Gonzales
There’s no doubt that Pujols is one of the game’s greatest players and is definitely one of its great hitters. Exactly where does he rank among the greatest hitters? You be the judge! In fact, send me your ranking of your three greatest hitters in major league history. We’ll see how the voting plays out.
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday
Jim Thome became the eighth member of the majors’ 600-HR Club with a pair of homers tonight (August 15). He also becomes the first member of that club who won only one HR crown in his career. Thome led the National League in home runs when he hit 47 for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2003. That was the only year he won an HR crown in his career. All other members of the 600-HR Club led their league in HRs in two or more seasons.
In looking at the 25 members of the 500-HR Club, we discover that three players hit 500 or more home runs in their career yet never led the league in home runs. The three: Rafael Palmeiro, Gary Sheffield and Frank Thomas.
Here’s a look at the 25 members of the 500-HR Club and the number of times they led the league in home runs in a season in their career.
League HR crowns, Player (career HRs)
0: Rafael Palmeiro (569), Gary Sheffield (509), Frank Thomas (521)
1: Eddie Murray (504), Manny Ramirez (555), Frank Robinson (586), Jim Thome (600)
2: Ernie Banks (512), Barry Bonds (762), Eddie Mathews (512), Sammy Sosa (609)
3: Willie McCovey (521)
5: Alex Rodriquez (626)
6: Harmon Killebrew (573), Mel Ott (511)
8: Mike Schmidt (548), Babe Ruth (714)
(WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG FOR A TRIVIA QUESTION: Can you name the five members of the 500-HR club who hit all of their home runs with only one team? Answer below.)
Did you know? Hank Aaron wore uniform number 44 and hit 44 home runs in a season four times!
TRIVIA ANSWER: Mel Ott (NY Giants), Ernie Banks (Chicago Cubs), Ted Williams (Boston), Mickey Mantle (NY Yankees) and Mike Schmidt (Philadelphia)
Did you know? Gary Sheffield hit 509 career HRs yet did not hit more than 130 for one team. He hit 129 for the LA Dodgers, most with one team in his career.
Did you know? Alex Rodriquez is the only player to hit 150 or more HRs for three different teams. Rodriquez hit 156 for Texas, 189 for Seattle and has hit 281 for the Yankees.
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday
Seventeen major league players played 20 or more seasons in the majors with one team. Topping the list are Brooks Robinson and Carl Yastrzemski who played 23 years with the same team… Robinson with the Orioles; Yaz with the Red Sox.
Following are the players who played 20 or more seasons in the majors, all with the same team.
Brooks Robinson, Baltimore, 1955-77
Carl Yastrzemski, Boston, 1961-83
Al Kaline, Detroit, 1953-74
Stan Musial, St. Louis, 1941-63
Mel Ott, NY Giants, 1926-47
George Brett, Kansas City, 1973-93
Walter Johnson, Washington, 1907-27
Ted Lyons, Chicago White Sox, 1923-46
Cal Ripken, Jr., Baltimore, 1981-2001
Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh, 1962-82
Luke Appling, Chicago White Sox, 1930-50;
Craig Biggio, Houston, 1988-2007;
Red Faber, Chicago White Sox, 1914-33;
Tony Gwynn, San Diego, 1982-2001;
Mel Harder, Cleveland, 1928-47;
Alan Trammell, Detroit, 1977-96;
Robin Yount, Milwaukee, 1974-93
On the other side of the coin, here’s a list of the players who played 20 or more seasons in the majors with the most teams.
Teams Player, years
12 Mike Morgan, 1978-2002 (22 seasons)
11 Deacon McGuire, 1884-1912 (26 seasons)
11 Terry Mulholland, 1986-2006 (20 seasons)
10 Paul Hines, 1872-1891 (20 seasons)
Note: Current Washington Nationals player Matt Stairs is knocking at the door to match Morgan. Stairs is playing for his 12th franchise in his 19th season. If he can play another season in 2012, he will match Morgan with 20 or more seasons in the majors with 12 teams.