Tag Archives: MLB

Today’s Sportstat: March 28, 2020

The quest to be a career .300 hitter in the majors can be tough

Baseball, more than any other sport, in my humble opinion, is more stats-oriented than the other professional sports. Numbers have always seemed to drive baseball and is a tool by which we evaluate the success or greatness of a player.

Baseball stats are used to label players. A pitcher who reaches 20 wins in a season has achieved a much-desired milestone. The same with a batter who reaches 100 RBI in a season. Even career numbers are a yardstick to how well of a season a player has had.

With that in mind, a .300 hitter in baseball is not only a season milestone to hope for, but a .300 career hitter has a special place in baseball.

But what about a player who plays several seasons in the majors but ends his career with a .299 career batting average… falling one point short of reaching that .300 milestone. How many hitters have experienced that?

Based on research on baseball-reference.com, there are a dozen batters who had 1,000 or more plate appearances in their careers and ended their time in the majors with a batting average one point short of .300.

Here are those players with a career .299 batting average (also noted is the years of their careers). Note: I researched stats from 1901 through 2019.

Harry Rice, 1923-33
Buck Jordan, 1927-38
Sam West, 1927-42
Frank Demaree, 1932-44
Frank McCormick, 1934-48
Carl Furillo, 1946-60
Rico Carty, 1963-79
Bake McBride, 1973-83
Shane Mack, 1987-98
Dante Bichette, 1988-2001
Kenny Lofton, 1991-2007
Matt Holliday, 2004-18

There was another player on this list… Dustin Pedroia. He currently holds a career .299 batting average, but was active in 2019. He has missed good portions of the last two seasons due to injury, but still remains under contract with the Red Sox through the 2021 season.

Let’s balance the “just missed it” list with those players who ended their MLB careers with exactly a .300 batting average. Of players who had 1,000 or more plate appearances, there have been 12 players whose career batting average is right at .300. They are:

Ted Easterly, 1909-15
Cliff Lee, 1919-26
Earl Sheely, 1921-31
Ethan Allen, 1926-38
Wally Berger, 1930-40
Enos Slaughter, 1938-59
Billy Goodman, 1947-62
Pedro Guerrero, 1978-92
John Kruk, 1986-95
Reggie Jefferson, 1991-99
Roberto Alomar, 1988-2004
Michael Young, 2000-13

Similar to the previous list, we had an additional name. Albert Pujols, who has played in the majors from 2001-19, has a career .300 batting average. He is considered a sure-fire Hall of Famer, and is still listed on the Angels roster. Will he end his career with a .300 average?

Taking a look at the Brewers, they have five players who have career .300 or better batting averages with the team (minimum of 1,000 plate appearances). Think you can name all five?

Well, Christian Yelich tops the list with a .327 career average in a Brewers uniform. He is followed by Jeff Cirillo (.307), Paul Molitor (.303), Cecil Cooper (.302) and Kevin Seitzer (.300). Current Brewer player Ryan Braun, who has played his entire career with Milwaukee, has a career batting average of .298. Chances are he would love to not only end his Brewers career above the .300 mark but also have a final career batting average of .300 or better.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: March 5, 2020

Franchise with the best winning percentage in baseball history

Which baseball franchise is the most successful in history?

It doesn’t take an expert to guess that team is the New York Yankees… and you’d be right. The Yankees have won 40 pennants and 27 World Series.

Based on wins and losses, the Yankees have an overall record of 10,378-7,840 (a .570 winning percentage), which includes games when the franchise was known as the New York Highlanders (from 1903-12).

But here’s a little tougher question. Which franchise is second to the Yankees with the highest winning percentage?

If you guessed the San Francisco Giants franchise, which includes stints as the New York Gothams and New York Giants, you would be correct. The Giants franchise has a .535 winning percentage, good enough for second place on the list.

The worst? The San Diego Padres have the lowest winning percentage of the MLB franchises at .461.

Of the current 30 MLB franchises, 12 have an all-time winning percentage above .500 while the other 18 franchises are below .500.

Here’s a look at the winning percentage of the current 30 MLB franchises.

New York Yankees, .570
San Francisco Giants, .535
Los Angeles Dodgers, .528
St. Louis Cardinals, .520
Boston red Sox, .519
Chicago Cubs, .514
Cleveland Indians, .512
Cincinnati Reds, .505
Detroit Tigers, .504
Pittsburgh Pirates, .503
Chicago White Sox, .502
Atlanta Braves, .501
Los Angeles Angels, .499
Houston Astros, .496
Arizona Diamondbacks, .495
Toronto Blue Jays, .495
Washington Nationals, .489
Oakland A’s, .489
Milwaukee Brewers, .481
Minnesota Twins, .481
New York Mets, .481
Kansas City Royals, .480
Texas Rangers, .478
Baltimore Orioles, .474
Tampa Bay Rays, .473
Philadelphia Phillies, .472
Colorado Rockies, .471
Seattle Mariners, .471
Miami Marlins, .462
San Diego Padres, .461

(Stats cultivated from baseball-reference.com)

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: November 21, 2019

Is Mike Trout making a case to be considered baseball’s greatest player?

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout became the 11th player in baseball history to win a third MVP Award. Trout was the 2019 American League MVP, an award he also won in 2014 and 2016.

In eight years in the majors, Trout has three MVP Awards, has finished second in the balloting for the award four times (2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018) and was fourth in the voting for the honor in 2017. That’s eight Top 5 finish in the A.L. MVP voting in the first eight years of his career, and seven Top 2 finishes in the first eight years of his career. Oh, did I mention, Trout just turned 28 in August of this past year.

These are some pretty staggering numbers. Trout’s third MVP award this past season came in his age 27 year; of the other 10 players who have won three or more MVP awards, only one player, Stan Musial, won his third MVP honor in his age 27 season.

Here is a look at what age each of the 11 players with three or more MVP Awards won their third MVP honor. (Barry Bonds leads this group with seven MVP Awards; the other 10 players listed each won three MVP Awards.)

Age 27: Stan Musial, Mike Trout

Age 28: Barry Bonds

Age 29: Albert Pujols

Age 30: Yogi Berra, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle

Age 31: Alex Rodriguez

Age 32: Joe DiMaggio

Age 33: Roy Campanella

Age 36: Mike Schmidt

Trout won his three MVPs over the course of six seasons. All of the players who have won three MVPs won their first three over the span of four to seven years. Barry Bonds won his first three MVP Awards over the course of four seasons, while Musial, Berra, Campanella, Rodriguez and Pujols each won their three MVPs over a five-year span. Trout and Joe DiMaggio each won their three MVP Awards over a six-season span, while Foxx, Mantle and Schmidt won their three MVPs over seven years.

Here’s three more stats about Trout’s MVP honors:

  • His four second-place finishes in the MVP voting are tied for the most in MLB history. Musial, Pujols and Ted Williams also finished second in the MVP voting four times in their careers.
  • Trout’s seven Top 2 finishes in the MVP Award are tied for second most in baseball history. Bonds tops the list with nine, while Trout is tied for second with Musial and Pujols.
  • Trout’s eight Top 5 finishes in the MVP voting is tied for sixth most all-time. Bonds finished in the Top 5 of the MVP Award 11 times, most in MLB history. He is followed by Pujols with 10 Top 5 finishes, Mantle, Willie Mays and Ted Williams with nine, and Trout and Hank Aaron with eight Top 5 MVP appearances. Trout is the only player in history to finish in the Top 5 of MVP balloting in each of his first eight seasons in majors.

When you consider that Trout is only 28 years of age, the scary thought is that if he stays healthy, he may still have some more MVP seasons ahead of him. Of the 11 men who have won three or more MVPs, eight of them won an MVP in their 30s.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: October 31, 2019

93-win Nationals make World Series history

Four different teams won 100 or more games in the majors in 2019: Houston, the L.A. Dodgers, the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins. When the ’19 post-season started, the common opinion and baseball wisdom had one of these four, especially either the Dodgers or the Astros, hoisting the championship trophy at the end of the World Series. In fact, many people had penciled in the Dodgers and Astros as the World Series combatants.

So much for common opinion and baseball wisdom. Of course, no one told the Washington Nationals what was supposed to happen.

The Nats, who won 93 games in the ’19 regular season, defeated the Dodgers three games to two in the National League Divisional Series and then won four road games against the Astros to win the title.

The World Series featured the 93-win Nats and the 107-win Astros, who led the majors in regular season victories this past season. That’s a 14-win disparity. In the history of the World Series, there has now been 32 times where the two teams playing in the Fall Classic had a 10-win or more disparity. The team with 10 or more regular season wins has now won the World Series in 20 of those 32 while the team with 10 or more fewer regular season wins have won 12 times, including this year’s Nationals.

This was the 10th time in World Series history that one of the teams had 14 or more regular season wins than their World Series opponent. Here are those ten times:

2019: Houston-107 wins vs. Washington-93 wins (14-win difference)
2018: Boston-108 wins vs. Los Angeles Dodgers-92 wins (16-win difference)
1998: New York Yankees-114 wins vs. San Diego-98 wins (16-win difference)
1961: New York Yankees-109 wins vs. Cincinnati-93-wins (16-win difference)
1954: Cleveland-111 wins vs. New York Giants-97-wins (14-win difference)
1944: St. Louis Cards-105 wins vs. St. Louis Browns-89 wins (16-win difference)
1932: New York Yankees-107 wins vs. Chicago Cubs-90 wins (17-win difference)
1927: New York Yankees-110 wins vs. Pittsburgh-94 wins (16-win difference)
1907: Chicago Cubs-107 wins vs. Detroit-92 wins (15-win difference)
1906: Chicago Cubs-116 wins vs. Chicago White Sox-93 wins (23-win difference)

Of the ten times listed above, in only three of those matchups did the teams with the fewer regular season wins win the World Series: the 1906 Chicago White Sox, the 1954 New York Giants, and the 2019 Washington Nationals.

One final stat: The Astros became only the eighth team in World Series history to enter the World Series with 105 or more regular season wins and then lose the World Series. The eight teams:

2019 Houston (107 wins)
2004 St. Louis (105 wins)
1969 Baltimore (109 wins)
1954 Cleveland (111 wins)
1953 Brooklyn (105 wins)
1943 St. Louis (105 wins)
1931 Philadelphia A’s (107 wins)
1906 Chicago Cubs (116 wins)

 

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Today’s Sportstat: October 10, 2019

Washington Nationals make history

It was an itch that certainly needed to be scratched… especially for their long-suffering fans.

With their win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Divisional Series, the Washington Nationals are going to the National League Championship Series (NLCS) for the first time in the history of the franchise in Washington.

As a point of historical perspective, the Nationals have been in existence since 2005. Prior to that, the franchise called Montreal home where the Expos played from 1969 to 2004. They then left Montreal for D.C. and a new start as the Nationals in ’05.

The Expos made the post-season only once in their history, losing in the NLCS three games to two in 1981. It was the first and only time the franchise had made it to the NLCS until this year, the longest drought of all franchises. In fact, of the current 30 franchises, 26 have played in either an ALCS or NLCS this century. The four teams that had not played in the ALCS or NLCS this century prior to this year were Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Washington.

Here’s a look at the last time each MLB team has played in the ALCS or NLCS with a chance to reach the World Series.

American League
Seattle-2001
Minnesota-2002
Chicago White Sox-2005
Oakland-2006
Tampa Bay-2008*
L.A. Angels-2009
Texas-2011
Detroit-2013
Baltimore-2014
Kansas City-2015
Cleveland-2016
Toronto-2016
Boston-2018
Houston-2018*
N.Y. Yankees-2019

National League
Pittsburgh-1992
Cincinnati-1995
San Diego-1998
Atlanta-2001
Miami-2003
Arizona-2007
Colorado-2007
Philadelphia-2010
San Francisco-2014
N.Y. Mets-2015
Chicago Cubs-2017
L.A. Dodgers-2018
Milwaukee-2018
St. Louis-2019
Washington-2019

*At the time of this post, the ALDS series between Tampa Bay and Houston had not been decided, therefore their years may not be current

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp