A lot has been noted this season about the Brewers scoring a lot of runs in the first inning (it happened again on Sunday when they tallied three runs in the first inning). Let’s take a look a few individual stats for Brewers players in the first inning.
A look at the Brewers players stats in the first inning shows that Robin Yount has the team record for most career first-inning hits (578), Ryan Braun holds the team mark for most career first-inning home runs (69) and RBIs (211) and Paul Molitor holds the team record for most first-inning stolen bases (119).
I was a little surprised, however, when I discovered that a current player (not Ryan Braun) holds the team-best batting average in the first inning. For all Milwaukee players who have at least 100 plate appearances in the first inning, right-fielder Domingo Santana has the best first-inning batting average at .368 (I guess Counsell needs to make sure that Santana is batting either 1-2 or 3 in the Brewers batting order).
Here are the six Brewers players who have a .320 or better first-inning career batting average with the club (again, minimum of 100 plate appearances in the first inning to qualify for the list).
Domingo Santana .368
Bill Spiers .358
Jeff Cirillo .333
Dave Nilsson .325
Sixton Lezcano .320
Scooter Gennett .320
With all due respect to the great Hank Aaron, the worst career first-inning batting average for the Brewers (minimum of 100 plate appearances in the first inning) is Aaron’s .184.
Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun slugged his sixth career grand slam home run last night in the Brewers 9-5 win over Philadelphia. Braun now holds the team record for most career grand slams.
The MLB record for most career grand slams is held by Alex Rodriguez with 25. He is followed on this list by Lou Gehrig (23) and Manny Ramirez (21).
The most grand slams in a season by one player is six, held jointly by Don Mattingly and Travis Hafner. Mattingly hit six grand slams in 1987; Hafner hit his half-dozen in 2006.
If you are a Brewers fan, you already know that Jonathan Villar led the majors last season with 62 stolen bases and that Chris Carter tied for the National League home run title with 41 homers. But what you may not know is that these (now-former) Brewers teammates in 2016 became the fifth set of MLB teammates to have a 60-40 season… one player with 60 or more steals and a teammate with 40 or more HRs.
Here’s a look at the five sets of teammates who had a 60-40 season in the same year:
Milwaukee Brewers, 2016: Chris Carter, 41 HRs, Jonathan Villar, 62 stolen bases.
New York Mets, 2006: Carlos Beltran, 41 HRs, Jose Reyes, 64 stolen bases.
New York Mets, 1999: Mike Piazza, 40 HRs, Roger Cedeno, 66 stolen bases.
Cleveland Indians, 1996: Albert Belle, 48 HRs, Kenny Lofton, 75 stolen bases.
New York Yankees, 1931: Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, 46 HRs each, Ben Chapman, 61 stolen bases.
The combined stats of HRs and stolen bases has always been a way to evaluate those players who have that rare, much-desired combination of speed and power. The most common stat has been the “30-30” players, those who get 30 or more HRs and 30 or more steals in the same season. The Brewers franchise has had two 30-30 players in its history: Ryan Braun has done it twice (in 2011 and 2012), and Tommy Harper did it in 1970. In fact, Braun and Mike Trout are the last two players to have a 30-30 season, both accomplishing this feat in 2012. Braun is one of 13 MLB players in history to have two or more 30-30 seasons… father and son Barry and Bobby Bonds top this list, each with five 30-30 seasons in their careers.
In addition to Braun’s two 30-30 seasons and Harper’s lone 30-30 campaign, the Brewers team has had nine other seasons where teammates accomplished a 30-30 season… one player with 30 or more HRs and a teammate with 30 or more stolen bases. Here’s a look at those seasons:
2016: HRs-Chris Carter (41) and Ryan Braun (30)/Stolen Bases-Jonathan Villar (62) and Hernan Perez (34)
2012: HRs-Corey Hart (30) and Ryan Braun (41)/Stolen Bases-Nori Aoki (30), Carlos Gomez (37) and Ryan Braun (30)
2011: HRs-Prince Fielder (38) and Ryan Braun (33)/Stolen Bases-Ryan Braun (33)
2003: HRs-Richie Sexson (45)/Stolen Bases-Scott Podsednik (43)
1983: HRs-Cecil Cooper (30)/Stolen Bases-Paul Molitor (41)
1982: HRs-Ben Oglivie (34) and Gorman Thomas (39)/Stolen Bases-Paul Molitor (41)
1980: HRs-Ben Oglivie (41) and Gorman Thomas (38)/Stolen Bases-Paul Molitor (34)
1979: HRs-Gorman Thomas (45)/Stolen Bases-Paul Molitor (33)
1978:HRs-Gorman Thomas (32) and Larry Hisle (34)/Stolen Bases-Paul Molitor (30)
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
Let’s start this blog with a quiz:
There have been 15 players who played one or more games in 10 or more different seasons with the Brewers. Can you name these 15 Brewers who have played 10 or more seasons with the Brew Crew? (Answer below.)
One thing free agency did for baseball was it made staying with one team for an entire career almost a thing of the past. While many players may play 10 or more years in the majors, and some may play more, it’s pretty rare to find more than a handful who stayed with one team for an entire career.
Last season there were 24 players on rosters who had played (or were playing) their 10th season (or more) with that club. Two teams, Boston and Cincinnati, toped this list each with three players with 10 or more seasons with the Reds or Red Sox. For the Reds, Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and Homer Bailey each had 10 or more campaigns with the team, while David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Clay Buchholz were 10-year players with the Red Sox.
Here’s a look at the 30 MLB franchises and how many 10-year players were with the team in 2016.
3: Boston (Buchholz, Ortiz, Pedroia), Cincinnati (Bailey, Phillips, Votto)
2: Minnesota (Mauer, Perkins), New York Mets (Reyes, Wright), Philadelphia (Howard, Ruiz), St. Louis (Molina, Wainwright)
1: Chicago White Sox (Danks), Detroit (Verlander), Kansas City (Gordon), L.A. Angels (Weaver), L.A. Dodgers (Ethier), Milwaukee (Braun), New York Yankees (Rodriguez), San Francisco (Cain), Seattle (Hernandez), Washington (Zimmerman)
0: Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, Colorado, Houston, Miami, Oakland, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Tampa Bay, Texas, Toronto
If we look at the list of 24, we see that one-third of these players are no longer with the teams they played for last season. Retirement ended the careers of Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz, Ryan Howard is still a free agent, and five players have new teams: Brandon Phillips (Atlanta), Carlos Ruiz (Seattle), Clay Buchholz (Philadelphia), Jered Weaver (San Diego) and John Danks (Atlanta).
Now to answer the trivia question at the start of the blog…
Last season Ryan Braun became the 15th Brewers player to play in 10 or more seasons with the team. He joined the following players (numbers of seasons with the Brewers also noted):
20: Robin Yount
17: Jim Gantner
15: Paul Molitor
14: Charlie Moore
12: Jim Slaton
11: Rickie Weeks, Bill Wegman, Cecil Cooper, Gorman Thomas, Don Money
10: Ryan Braun, Geoff Jenkins, Bob McClure, Moose Haas, Jerry Augustine
It’s anyone’s guess whether or not another player will join this above list of Brewers. When you consider that after Braun the player on the current roster with the most seasons with the team is Wily Peralta with five, chances of anyone joining this in the near future is not likely.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
The Brewers entered this weekend with a three-game series against the American League’s Seattle Mariners in Seattle. That meant that the team would be utilizing the designated hitter in their line-up during these games. This series is also the last interleague play for the Brewers this season.
Ryan Braun was in the lineup on Friday as the team’s DH. He went one-for-five with a pair of RBIs on a ninth-inning single. It was Braun’s 12th career game as the Brewers DH.
Over the long history of the Brewers, the DH has been an important part of the lineup, especially going back to when the team was in the American League (through 1997). Hall of Famer Paul Molitor played many games as the Brewers DH; in fact, his 1,904 plate appearances as the DH for the Brewers tops the team in that category. The only other Brewers player with 1,000 or more plate appearances as a DH is Ted Simmons with 1,175.
Molitor was the team’s most successful DH when the Brewers were an A.L. team. He leads the team with 519 hits as a DH, most HR with 37 and most RBI with 186.
Here’s a look at the Brewers players who lead various hitting categories as the team’s DH.
Paul Molitor, 519
Ted Simmons, 282
Cecil Cooper, 232
Greg Vaughn, 176
Dave Nilsson, 168
Dave Parker, 168
Hank Aaron, 167
Batting Average (minimum of 100 at-bats to qualify)
Kevin Seitzer, .325
B.J. Surhoff, .304
The DH position when the Brewers went over to the National League has certainly not been as productive as their A.L. brethren. Consider this: Of the nine Brewers players who have 20 or more plate appearances as a DH for the team since 1998, only one has a batting average above .250 as the DH (Rickie Weeks, .276).
The recently-retired and former Brewer Prince Fielder has the most DH plate appearances for the team since ’98 with 73. He is followed by Aramis Ramirez with 67 and Braun with 54.
Here’s a look at the Brewers players who lead various hitting categories as the team’s DH since 1998, the team’s time in the National League.
Batting Average (minimum of 20 at-bats as DH)