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Home Runs Newsbeat

Monday, June 22, 2020

2019 BASEBALL WAS ONLY ABOUT THE HOMERS, LITERALLY

This got me thinking though: Were home runs less important last season? Thirty home runs used to be a milestone; in 2019, nearly 40 percent of qualified hitters eclipsed that mark, those as good as Mike Trout (180 wRC+) to as bad as Rougned Odor (77 wRC+). Thirty home runs seemingly meant very little.

But, for every home run hit, there was a home run surrendered. Trout went yard 45 times last season. Three of those came off of Ariel Jurado. Lance Lynn, Mike Fiers, Mike Leake and Aaron Sanchez allowed two each. That means that nearly one-quarter of Trout’s 2019 home runs can be accounted for through just five pitchers.

On a macro level, this begs the question: How does home run differential factor into a team’s success? If home runs were so prevalent in 2019, then teams who both hit a lot of them and surrendered few likely did well overall, one would think.

After running the results, they did better than I ever would have expected.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 22, 2020 at 03:02 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dongs, home runs

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Today in Baseball History: Barry Bonds joins the 300-300 club

I was initially going to devote today’s baseball history post to a different exclusive club as, on this day in 1971, Hank Aaron hit his 600th career homer in a Braves loss. At the time, there were only two other players in that exclusive club and one of them — Willie Mays — was on the team that beat Aaron’s Braves that day, the San Francisco Giants. The other, of course, was Babe Ruth.

The thing is, though, the 600-home run club isn’t as exclusive as it used to be. Since Aaron joined that club, six other men have joined him, the Bambino and the Say Hey Kid: Barry Bonds (762), Alex Rodriguez (696), Albert Pujols (656 and counting), Ken Griffey Jr. (630), Jim Thome (612), and Sammy Sosa (609).

A lot of that, obviously, is because of the differences between eras and, in some cases, the help of banned substances. More homers were hit from the mid-1990s through the present day, making a hyper-exclusive club into a somewhat less-hyper-exclusive club. It happens.

There’s a different club, however, that two of those men belong to which also has a history item tied to is on April 27: the 300-300 club, for guys who have smacked 300 dingers and stole 300 bases. On this day in 1996 Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants homered twice in a 6-3 victory over the Florida Marlins to gain entry. He had stolen his 300th base in 1994. Bonds, of course, would go on to become the only member of both the 400-400 and 500-500 club. He was pretty good.

Something for those of you curious as for who has combined power and speed to the greatest degree.

 

QLE Posted: April 28, 2020 at 12:52 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: 300-300, barry bonds, history, home runs, stolen bases

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Who Could Be MLB’s Home Run King in 2020?

If you were asked a year ago who would lead baseball in home runs in 2019, who would you have said? Mike Trout, probably? Nolan Arenado, maybe? Nelson Cruz, as a joke? It’s doubtful anyone outside of the five boroughs would have guessed Pete Alonso. His 53 dingers led the sport last year, followed by Eugenio Suarez (49) and Jorge Soler (48).

The point is that this exercise is unpredictable, and the answer often isn’t the best player in the league (Trout has never led even the AL in homers).

We don’t know when, or even if, baseball will come back in 2020. But if only for a moment, let’s imagine it does.

In case of emergency, I’m willing to accept the title.

 

QLE Posted: March 26, 2020 at 12:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs, kings

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Luis Arraez, Sui Generis

The 2019 Minnesota Twins hit, roughly speaking, all of the home runs. That’s not precisely accurate of course, but it’s close enough for government work; they set an all-time record for home runs. Of the 12 Twins who came to the plate 300 times in 2019, 11 hit 10 or more bombs. Bomba Squad isn’t just a nickname; it’s an accurate description of a team filled to the brim with home run hitters.

This article is about that 12th Twin. Luis Arraez had 366 plate appearances last year. He hit just four home runs. That was the sixth-lowest home run total among players with 350 or more PA, and the names below him aren’t inspiring; Billy Hamilton, Tony Wolters, Yolmer Sánchez, Nicky Lopez, and Dee Gordon weren’t exactly offensive powerhouses.

All told, only 29 batters hit less than 10 home runs in 350 or more plate appearances. That reflects the democratization of home runs, but it also means that it’s difficult to contribute offensively without dingers. In fact, 27 of those 29 players had a wRC+ below 100. The only two exceptions? Nick Markakis, who squeaked over the finish line with nine bombs and a 102 wRC+ — and Arraez, who batted .334/.399/.439 on his way to a scintillating 125 wRC+.

It’s not weird, not even a little bit, that players who don’t hit home runs are generally bad at offense. There’s no single outcome as helpful to a team’s cause as a home run. If you had to predict a player’s offensive output and you could only have access to one outcome type, you’d pick home runs, right? Walks might be okay, and doubles might be as well, but singles? Triples? Heck, throw in BABIP and strikeouts if you want. Nothing comes close to home runs.

Some remarks on a man who didn’t get a bunch of dingers when everyone around him was accumulating them by the truckload.

 

QLE Posted: March 12, 2020 at 01:39 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs, luis arraez, twins

Sunday, March 01, 2020

Chris Davis turns back the clock, hits another home run in spring training game

Yes its just Spring Training, but Chris Davis is on fire.

The Orioles defeated the Marlins Saturday 12-6, largely in part to this three-run shot over right center field by “Crush:”

This has become a constant theme in Sarasota, as Davis is now 5-for-6 with 3 HR and 4 BB this spring. Of his 11 plate appearances he’s reached base nine times and tallied two singles as well.

How long this lasts in the regular season, on the other hand….

 

QLE Posted: March 01, 2020 at 01:09 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: chris davis, home runs, spring training

 

 

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