Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger sets NL rookie home-run record with 39th

Bellinger breaks the NL rookie home run record in the same game the Dodgers clinch their 5th straight division title. And he’s still got 8 games left to pad the record.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 23, 2017 at 01:35 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cody bellinger, dodgers, home runs, rookie of the year

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 23, 2017 at 01:04 PM (#5537314)
It should also be noted that Bellinger was in the minors for the Dodgers' first 20 games. He hit 5 homers in AAA before the callup. Do you think this is a potential regular 40 HR/season guy or be like Puig and peak as a rookie?
   2. Walt Davis Posted: September 23, 2017 at 05:53 PM (#5537446)
"Regular 40" is a lot to ask. For 2013-17, Nelson Cruz leads with 190 HR. Only 7 guys have made it to 150 although Todd Frazier (!) is 1 shy and Goldschmidt 3 shy so it could be 11 by season's end.

But sure, the #2 guy on the list at 189 is Chris Davis and Bellinger clearly has the chance to become Chris Davis. Or Khris Davis who is at 141 in about 4 full seasons. Or of course Trumbo who is at 140.

Obviously he has the chance to be a better overall player than those guys ... and it's a very high HR era so if that continues, presumably a few guys will hit 200+ from 2017-2021.

Will he be at least as good as Trumbo or C Davis? Very high he's as good as Trumbo and probably as good as Davis. His breakout is out of line with his minors record and the on-contact production and HR/FB don't seem sustainable. But he's only 21, the K-rate is not crazy high (and might come down as he matures), the on-contact production is high but not crazy high, the BABIP is normal. He's basically matching Davis's 2nd-best season right now.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 23, 2017 at 05:59 PM (#5537450)
How many players peak, for any important category, in their rookie year? My impression is that it is pretty rare, especially when totals are among the league leaders.
   4. flournoy Posted: September 23, 2017 at 07:01 PM (#5537474)
My first thought was of Mark McGwire, who of course didn't peak as a rookie, but it took him nine years to surpass his rookie total. His rookie year was the famous home run outlying year of 1987, though, so there are probably some other 1987 rookies. Wally Joyner was a second-year player that year, and never came close to those kind of power numbers again.

Anecdotally, it seems more common for slap hitting speedsters to set career highs in stolen bases as a rookie, often largely because they never get that much playing time again. (Pat Listach, Quilvio Veras, Chuck Carr, etc.)
   5. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 23, 2017 at 08:51 PM (#5537520)
Peaking as a rookie is a Dodger tradition. James Loney did, Yasiel Puig did, the jury is still out as to whether Seager did, though he still looks really good anyway. One encouraging thing about Bellinger is that the K-rate has dropped quite a bit in the second half- from 29% to 22%, though not sure if that's particularly meaningful with the sample sizes. His K-rate isn't much worse than Thome's career rate (and his second half K-rate is better), but Thome also drew a lot more walks.
   6. Booey Posted: September 23, 2017 at 09:50 PM (#5537541)
My first thought was of Mark McGwire, who of course didn't peak as a rookie, but it took him nine years to surpass his rookie total. His rookie year was the famous home run outlying year of 1987, though, so there are probably some other 1987 rookies.


Matt Nokes for sure.

But yeah, you need to consider context with McGwire's rookie total. Even before his sillyball numbers dwarfed it, his 42 homers in 139 games in offense starved 1992 was probably more impressive than his 49 in 151 games in homer happy 1987 (his .987 OPS in 1987 produced a 164 OPS+, whereas his .970 in 1992 was good for a 176 OPS+).

With one more Bellinger HR, we'll see two 40 homer rookies this season after seeing just one in all previous seasons of baseball history. I love random little quirks like that.

Too bad individual league records like this are so easily forgotten. No one refers to Maris as the single season AL record holder (he's either the "true" overall record holder, or not a record holder at all, depending on who you ask). Hack Wilson held the NL HR mark for 68 years and no one seemed to notice. Interestingly, with one more Stanton HR he'll now be just 10th on the NL single season list, but during that same span (1998-2017) he's been passed by just one AL season, and just barely (ARod in 2002).
   7. DavidFoss Posted: September 24, 2017 at 09:01 AM (#5537636)
How many players peak, for any important category, in their rookie year?

This is a tough search because "rookie status" is not a simple check. If someone knows of a CSV download of playerID's and the seasons where they exceeded their rookie limits, let me know. For now, I'll just throw out all years where AB <= 130 and see if the first year matches the max year. I'll try to manually check the top of the list, but I'll still end up with Adam Duvall-type false positives.

name_common           yearID     age      HR  playerYr  playerHRRank  
--------------------  ------  ------  ------  --------  ----------
Wally Berger            1930      24      38         1           1
Jose Abreu              2014      27      36         1           1
Ron Kittle              1983      25      35         1           1
Rudy York               1937      23      35         1           1
Walt Dropo              1950      27      34         1           1
Jimmie Hall             1963      25      33         1           1
Earl Williams           1971      22      33         1           1
Matt Nokes              1987      23      32         1           1
Tony Oliva              1964      25      32         1           1
Chris Young             2007      23      32         1           1
Pete Incaviglia         1986      22      30         1           1
Willie Montanez         1971      23      30         1           1 


Duvall was the only one I removed after the manual check.
   8. Booey Posted: September 24, 2017 at 11:36 AM (#5537665)
How many players peak, for any important category, in their rookie year?


I guess it didn't technically count as his rookie year, but ARod had career highs in avg (by far), hits, runs, and doubles in his first full season in 1996. Trout's rookie season avg and stolen bases are thus far career highs (and I doubt he'll ever surpass the 49 steals). Ryan Braun's .634 slg as a rookie is easily his career high.
   9. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 24, 2017 at 12:11 PM (#5537676)
Walt dropo had career highs in just about everything in his rookie year. Ditto for Jose Abreu (so far), but he is a special circumstance.

In addition to HR, Tony Oliva had career highs in runs, hits, doubles, triples, slugging, and TB. Ditto for Dick Allen minus slugging

Dwight Gooden had his career high in Ks as a rookie.
   10. DavidFoss Posted: September 24, 2017 at 12:18 PM (#5537677)
The RBI list (for simpler filter I used the first AB>130 season as the 'rookie' one):
name_common          yearID     age     RBI  
-------------------  ------  ------  --------
Walt Dropo             1950      27       144
Dale Alexander         1929      26       137
Buck Freeman           1899      27       122
Joe Vosmik             1931      21       117
Alvin Davis            1984      23       116
Maurice Van Robays     1940      25       116
Jimmy Williams         1899      22       116
Jimmy Bannon           1894      23       114
Smead Jolley           1930      28       114
Ray Jablonski          1953      26       112
Dusty Miller           1895      26       112
Johnny Rizzo           1938      25       111
Ryan Zimmerman         2006      21       110 
   11. DavidFoss Posted: September 24, 2017 at 12:23 PM (#5537679)
SB's are a "young players' skill" so more common here:

name_common           yearID     age      SB  
--------------------  ------  ------  --------
Vince Coleman           1985      23       110
Benny Kauff             1914      24        75
Juan Samuel             1984      23        72
Eric Yelding            1990      25        64
Chuck Carr              1993      25        58
Hap Myers               1913      26        57
Ichiro Suzuki           2001      27        56
Quilvio Veras           1995      24        56
Pat Listach             1992      24        54
Donie Bush              1909      21        53
Frank Isbell            1901      25        52
Hanley Ramirez          2006      22        51
John Cangelosi          1986      23        50
Larry Lintz             1974      24        50
Sonny Jackson           1966      21        49
Mike Trout              2012      20        49
Rollie Zeider           1910      26        49 


The 19th century Billy Hamilton actually tops the list at 111, but if I didn't cut off at 1901, the top of the list was all 1800s guys.
   12. DavidFoss Posted: September 24, 2017 at 12:27 PM (#5537683)
The Runs Score list:

name_common           yearID     age       R  
--------------------  ------  ------  --------
Willie Keeler           1894      22       165
Roy Thomas              1899      25       137
Vada Pinson             1959      20       131
Jimmy Bannon            1894      23       130
Mike Trout              2012      20       129
Roy Johnson             1929      26       128
Johnny Frederick        1929      27       127
Ichiro Suzuki           2001      27       127
Shoeless Joe Jackson    1911      23       126
Jimmy Williams          1899      22       126
Dick Allen              1964      22       125
Jim Gilliam             1953      24       125
Jackie Robinson         1947      28       125
Nomar Garciaparra       1997      23       122
Bill Joyce              1890      22       121
Benny Kauff             1914      24       120 
   13. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 24, 2017 at 12:34 PM (#5537687)
The Runs Score list:


I wonder why your search didn't pick up on Tony Oliva or Walt Dropo?

edit: OK, I see it's not an exhaustive list, just the top seasons.
   14. cardsfanboy Posted: September 24, 2017 at 12:42 PM (#5537691)
This is a tough search because "rookie status" is not a simple check. If someone knows of a CSV download of playerID's and the seasons where they exceeded their rookie limits, let me know. For now, I'll just throw out all years where AB <= 130 and see if the first year matches the max year. I'll try to manually check the top of the list, but I'll still end up with Adam Duvall-type false positives


If you are using bb-ref, rookie status is a simple check.

As to simple csv for that if you wanted, I guess you could also create one in bb-ref.
It would probably take about ten-twenty minutes manually doing it, since bb-ref limits it's page to 200 names. (it would also include pre-rookie seasons, but that would also be fairly simple to eliminate) (roughly speaking I would just do a pi search with rookie status checked, select the "find totals for career" and then delete all the columns other than name and year under "to", and then convert to csv and then go to the next page and keep doing until you have them all, it would be a bit more than 20 minutes of work, but probably less than an hour. (or if you are good with scripting, obviously you could write a python script to do that)
   15. DavidFoss Posted: September 24, 2017 at 12:43 PM (#5537692)
I wonder why your search didn't pick up on Tony Oliva or Walt Dropo?


Because I sorted the final list by the runs total. Lots of guys below 120 starting with Whitey Lockman at 117.
Skimming the list for names that stick out (for me at least). Dale Alexander (on other lists), Tony Oliva, Dick Howser, Buck Freeman, Wally Moon, Kevin Seitzer, Bobby Thomson, Jeff Heath, Troy Tulowitzki, Austin Jackson, Walt Dropo, Scott Podsednik... dips below 100 ... Wally Berger, Bill North, Tom Tresh, Rondell White, etc
   16. DavidFoss Posted: September 24, 2017 at 12:47 PM (#5537693)
If you are using bb-ref, rookie status is a simple check.

I have Lahman Database and bb-ref's WAR CSV downloads merged into SQL tables. Baseball trivia questions are a great way to learn SQL because you never know how the questions will be framed.
   17. cardsfanboy Posted: September 24, 2017 at 01:06 PM (#5537698)
Just doing it manually, it would take about 95 page loads to get the 19,177 names that bb-ref lists as playing under rookie status from 1871 to now. I timed my self doing the first one, and it takes less than 15 seconds to do one table, I'm pasting it into a notepad document as a csv(although they have changed the formatting, as it's including the player id and both comma separated and \ separated.) then saving it each time, adding to the end of the page(ctrl-end, return ,then paste) so the first step would take about 24 minutes, and then importing it another minute or so, it just depends on how frequently you think you might want to use that data. (I would just make it a two column table, player id, and year rookie status exceeded(which would be the to column) and then link it. (I know I could just paste it in excel, then when I'm down highlight the cell and text to columns, but I'm in a bad habit of saving everything as notepad first so that I still have a backup in case something weird happens or I mess up)
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: September 24, 2017 at 01:21 PM (#5537701)
I have Lahman Database and bb-ref's WAR CSV downloads merged into SQL tables. Baseball trivia questions are a great way to learn SQL because you never know how the questions will be framed.


One of the harder query's I ever had to create was baseball related, it was something relatively simple concept, but apparently not simple implementation. I was wondering how come bb-ref doesn't have a way to search 'led league' in a category...in other words, we frequently have a conversation around here, 'who had the lowest total of rbi,(war, hr etc) to lead the league.' When I started to research how to make that query, I was surprised how difficult it was to find, and at the same time how frequently the question came up. Eventually I did get it working, and even got it to work where I could create my own gray ink... (I'll have to rebuild that database since my computer took a crap this July) but I want a gray ink that is based upon the number of teams in the league for each year(top 15 now would put you in the gray, while top 8 would put you in the gray in the 40's.)
   19. Lest we forget Posted: September 24, 2017 at 01:32 PM (#5537704)
Holy Wally Berger!
   20. Heart of Matt Harvey Posted: September 24, 2017 at 04:53 PM (#5537759)
the jury is still out as to whether Seager did,

Probably should trade him in the offseason.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: September 24, 2017 at 05:33 PM (#5537777)
#5 ... and as you probably know, there is nothing writers love more than giving RoY to Dodgers players. Bellinger should make it 18 out of 71 RoYs won by the Dodgers. 4 in a row for 79-82 -- Sutcliffe, Howe, Fernando, Sax all had solid enough careers with 15 AS and 2 CYAs. Howe had the worst career but was an increasingly solid reliever through age 25.

Then the 5-year run of Karros, Piazza, Mondesi, Nomo and Hollandsworth from 92-96. Hollandsworth was easily the worst of this bunch and of the worse RoY careers (no AS games, 6.5 WAR). As his only qualifying season, I think we have to say that was Hollandsworth's best season. It was also his highest OPS+ in a season with 200+ PA (just 113) and his best oWAR year but just 4th best WAR year (hated his defense in his rookie year).

Nomo barely had his highest WAR in his RoY, along with his best ERA and ERA+. His 2nd season had more innings, worse performance and just 0.1 less WAR. He also led the NL in strikeouts in his rookie year and that was his best season total (barely). He led the AL in Ks 6 years later. So his rookie year was probably his best and his first two years were certainly his best two.

I was going to say that Mondesi never lived up to the hype ... but actually he's credited with 15 WAR in the 3 seasons following his rookie year. And talk about consistency: 120 OPS+ in his cup of coffee, 123 OPS+ in his rookie year, 123 OPS+ in his 2nd year, 123 OPS+ in his 3rd year.

Karros was a thoroughly mediocre player who got lots of PT -- 10 WAR, -11 WAA in 7100 PA. But his RoY year was far short of his best year -- it was barely above replacement according to WAR. But he was the only rookie position player with a qualifying season or anything close to it. Donovan Osborne was the only full-time SP and he had negative WAR. With hindsight, you'd give it to Moises, Wakefield or Reggie Sanders.

But that Piazza kid turned out OK.

Bellinger presumably makes it 2 in a row this year. So which Dodger is winning it next year?
   22. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 24, 2017 at 05:36 PM (#5537780)
So which Dodger is winning it next year?


Alex Verdugo would be the most likely one, though Walker Buehler is a potential sleeper candidate.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
A triple short of the cycle
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 11 December, 2017 - GOP strategist: Moore would have 'date with a baseball bat' if he tried dating teens where I grew up
(2241 - 6:17pm, Dec 15)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogWinter Meeting Signings
(28 - 6:15pm, Dec 15)
Last: Shredder

NewsblogRyan Thibs has his HOF Ballot Tracker Up and Running!
(452 - 6:06pm, Dec 15)
Last: Baldrick

Gonfalon CubsLooking to next year
(347 - 5:46pm, Dec 15)
Last: Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington

NewsblogDerek Jeter Was Once the Captain. But Now He’s the Apprentice. - The New York Times
(93 - 5:40pm, Dec 15)
Last: Blanks for Nothing, Larvell

NewsblogA's reportedly acquire OF Stephen Piscotty
(5 - 5:31pm, Dec 15)
Last: A triple short of the cycle

NewsblogTaking Back the Ballparks - Mariners voting thread
(19 - 5:28pm, Dec 15)
Last: QLE

NewsblogESPN: Bob Costas wins Hall of Fame's Frick Award for broadcasting
(23 - 5:02pm, Dec 15)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogMets agree to two-year deal with Anthony Swarzak
(22 - 4:52pm, Dec 15)
Last: Dog on the sidewalk

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-15-2017
(8 - 4:10pm, Dec 15)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogOT - NBA 2017-2018 Tip-off Thread
(2009 - 4:01pm, Dec 15)
Last: don't ask 57i66135; he wants to hang them all

NewsblogOT Gaming: October 2015
(717 - 3:52pm, Dec 15)
Last: GGIAS (aka Poster Nutbag)

NewsblogOT: Winter Soccer Thread
(360 - 2:40pm, Dec 15)
Last: There are a lot of good people in alt-Shooty

Sox TherapyA Container of Milk, A Loaf of Bread and a Dude Who Can Hit Home Runs
(30 - 2:39pm, Dec 15)
Last: jmurph

Hall of Merit2018 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(394 - 2:23pm, Dec 15)
Last: Fridas Boss

Page rendered in 0.4625 seconds
49 querie(s) executed