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Home Runs Newsbeat

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

Saturday, December 21, 2019

What Defined MLB in the 2010s?

As the decade comes to a close, we’re left with plenty of MLB storylines to unpack over the last 10 years. In a loaded, perhaps impossible exercise, we asked our baseball staff to outline what defined the 2010s to them. Here’s to the 2020s.

So, how would all of you answer this question?

 

QLE Posted: December 21, 2019 at 01:01 AM | 73 comment(s)
  Beats: 2010s, analytics, home runs, reviews, statcast, tanking, the sky is falling

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Juan Soto blasts historic home run - just as his hitting coach guaranteed

Juan Soto was the best teenage hitter in Major League Baseball history, and he might be the best 20-year old hitter in MLB history, too.

His exploits at the plate over the past two seasons have ranged from impressive to historic, and everything in between.

He grew his legend even more Tuesday evening, launching a jaw-dropping home run to the train tracks in Houston.

This is a flat-out bomb. Left-handed hitters just don’t hit home runs to this part of Minute Maid Park.

 

QLE Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:39 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: gerrit cole, home runs, juan soto, kevin long, predictions, world series

Zimmerman full circle with HR trot for Nats in World Series

HOUSTON (AP) — Ryan Zimmerman has come full circle, with a trot around the bases for the Washington Nationals.

The first amateur player ever drafted by the Nationals in 2005, and the only person to wear their jersey during all 15 seasons the team has existed, Zimmerman hit their first World Series home run.

With his deep blast to center field with two outs in the second inning Tuesday night — with Houston Astros starter Gerrit Cole immediately throwing his right arm up knowing the ball was long gone — the 35-year-old Zimmerman also scored the team’s first-ever run in the World Series.

Washington trailed when Zimmerman homered but 20-year-old Juan Soto tied the game with an impressive homer of his own leading off the fourth and added a two-run double an inning later and the Nationals held on for a 5-4 victory.

Feels symbolic, doesn’t it?

 

QLE Posted: October 23, 2019 at 12:24 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: home runs, nationals, ryan zimmerman, world series

 

 

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