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Friday, July 06, 2012

Jim Thome, Three True Outcomes King

Last night Jim Thome, recently acquired by Baltimore, made history, breaking a record previously held by Barry Bonds. Before that this record belonged to Reggie Jackson, and before that, to Babe Ruth. That is impressive company for any man to keep, yet no one seems to have noticed this momentous occasion. Perhaps that’s because it happened after most of the country was in bed, or perhaps (and more likely) it’s because no one but me was paying any attention to this particular bit of baseball history. But whether anyone but me knew it or not, Jim Thome became baseball’s all-time “three true outcomes” leader.

The three true outcomes for any plate appearance are the strikeout, the walk, and the home run. They are the possible outcomes that involve only the hitter and pitcher (give or take a catcher to throw the ball back). The term was coined during the 1980s in reference to seemingly every appearance by Rob Deer going one of those three ways.

Thome has also had a knack for all three of the outcomes during his career, he is currently 2nd all-time in strikeouts, 7th in walks, and tied for 7th in home runs. Add his totals up, and as I said, he is #1…

[Adam] Dunn or Mark Reynolds could each pass Branyan’s percentage someday… Today though, let us celebrate Jim Thome. Long live the king.

The District Attorney Posted: July 06, 2012 at 06:28 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers, hall of fame, indians, jim thome, orioles, phillies, twins, white sox

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   1. Juan V Posted: July 07, 2012 at 04:49 AM (#4175333)
It's somewhat impressive that Rickey! is fourth despite giving up quite a bit of ground in homers, and another bit (specially to his contemporaries) in strikeouts.
   2. RMc's Got a Lot of Trouble at Stake Posted: July 07, 2012 at 06:54 AM (#4175338)
Fun fact: Johnny Sain had 104 PA in 1946 without a single BB, HR or SO. (He hit .298 that year. Oh, and he won twenty games, too.)
   3. Morty Causa Posted: July 07, 2012 at 07:32 AM (#4175339)
And he wasn't afraid to climb those golden stairs.
   4. The District Attorney Posted: July 07, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4175653)
I think it should be pretty apparent that Mark Reynolds isn't going to play long enough to break the record.

Dunn does have a good shot. Without getting too fancy here, Thome should finish with about 5000 TTO; Dunn should begin 2013 with about 3600 at the age of 33; Dunn has been averaging about 300/year. So if Dunn keeps doing for the next five years what he has been doing for his career, he can catch Thome by the end of 2017, when he'll be 37. Now, I wouldn't be the least surprised if Dunn and his "old players' skills" collapsed before the finish line. But hey, he's already 32 and he looks just fine so far. (And although a lot of people on the top TTO list had skills well beyond taking and raking, Jim Thome was not one of them.)

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