How About That? - Offense
By Ray Flowers February 16, 2008
In what follows, we will detail a few of the weird and wacky results that the 2007 season produced, so those of you who like the nitty gritty of numbers, this piece is for you (a follow up version on pitchers is also in the works).
* Ichiro Suzuki hit 203 singles last season, which is a higher total than all but six players produced in total hits last year: Matt Holliday 216, Magglio Ordonez 216, Jimmy Rollins 212, Hanley Ramirez 212, Derek Jeter 206. By the way, those 203 singles are only the second time in big-league history that a player has hit over 200 singles in a season. The other time it was accomplished was 2004 when Ichiro stroked 225 singles.
* Three players totaled fifty doubles last season: Magglio Ordonez (54), David Ortiz (52) and Matt Holliday (50).
* Not a single player who hit 40 doubles last year failed to reach double digits in home runs, with the lowest HR total belonging to Freddy Sanchez (11).
* There were five men who hit 40 homers last season: Alex Rodriguez (54), Prince Fielder (50), Ryan Howard (47), Carlos Pena (46) and Adam Dunn
(40). None of those players had more than A-Rod's 35 doubles, and three of them actually failed to record even 30 doubles (Howard 26, Pena 29, Dunn 27).
* Last season's triples leader was Curtis Granderson, who's total of 23 was the most since Lance Johnson hit 21 in 1996.
* Jimmy Rollins hit 20 triples last season, making him only the third person in history to hit at least 20 triples and 30 home runs. The others are Willie Mays, who in 1957 hit 20 triples with 35 HR, and Jim Bottomley, who in 1928 hit 20 triples with 31 HR.
Here are some interesting home-run facts…
* Here is the number of players, per season, that hit at least 35 dingers:
2004 – 20
2005 – 14
2006 – 23
2007 – 8
* Last season two second basemen (Dan Uggla and Brandon Phillips
) hit at least 30 home runs, while only one shortstop managed the feat (Jimmy Rollins: 30).
* Did you realize that Uggla's 31 homers were more than the combined totals of Brian Roberts (12) and Rickie Weeks (16)?
* Did you realize that Adrian Beltre had more home runs last season (26) than Garrett Atkins (25) and Ryan Zimmerman (25)?
* Did you realize that although Chris Young hit four more homers than Magglio Ordonez last season (32 to 28), Ordonez literally doubled Young's RBI total (139 to 68)?
* Did you realize that Adam Dunn
is the only player in baseball who has hit at least 40 homers in each of the past four seasons?
* Since the start of the 2005 season, A-Rod leads all of baseball with 137 HR, just one more than David Ortiz. However, would it surprise you to learn that in that same timeframe, Jermaine Dye's 103 taters were more than Carlos Lee (101), Travis Hafner (99), Aramis Ramirez (95), Miguel Cabrera (93) and Vladimir Guerrero (92)?
* Since the start of the 2005 season, amongst batters with at least 1,000 plate appearances, Albert Pujols has the highest batting average (.329), followed by Miguel Cabrera (.327), Matt Holliday (.326) and Ichiro (.326). Surprisingly, Placido Polanco is 7th at .324, Moises Alou is 11th at .321 and Kenny Lofton is 23rd at .308.
* Did you realize that Randy Winn hit .300 last season, one point better than Alfonso Soriano's .299?
* Did you realize that Dmitri Young hit .320 last year, five points higher than A-Rod's .315 and six points higher than Michael Young's .314 mark? This was the fifth time Young hit over .300 since the 2001 season.
* Did you realize that Hanley Ramirez didn't lead all shortstop in batting average last season? Ramirez hit .33176, whereas Edgar Renteria finished ever so slightly ahead, hitting .33198. Since 2002, Renteria has hit .303, though that is .015 points behind Michael Young's position-leading mark of .318.
* Did anyone realize that Ronnie Belliard hit .290 last season, a number that was better than Brandon Phillips' .288 mark?
* Manny Ramirez hit just .296 last season, well below his career mark of .313. It was the fourth time in 10 years he failed to hit at least .308.
* Barry Bonds has posted a .534 OBP the past three seasons, a full .094 points better than Todd Helton, who owns the second best mark in baseball. Bonds would have led baseball last season in OBP with his .480 mark if he had the 25 more plate appearances needed to qualify (he finished with 477). As it stands, David Ortiz led baseball with a .445 mark.
* Jack Cust was 12th in baseball last year with a .408 OBP. What makes that finish so surprising is that he hit just .256 on the season, marking him and Pat Burrell as the only two players in baseball last year to record a .400 OBP with a batting average under .275. In fact, they are also the only two players to hit under .260 and post an OBP above .375.
* Reggie Willits (.391) was the only player who qualified for the batting title last year who finished with fewer than three home runs, but posted an OBP above .365.
* Strikeouts are constantly derided since they accomplish nothing, but many of the men who strikeout often also frequently draw walks. Last season there were 14 hitters amongst the top-25 qualifiers who struck out at least 100 times, and 10 of them struck out at least 120 times: Jack Cust (164), Jim Thome (164), Matt Holliday (126), Pat Burrell (120), Grady Sizemore (155), Ryan Howard (199), Carlos Pena (142), Miguel Cabrera (127), Prince Fielder (121) and Alex Rodriguez (120)
ON-BASE + SLUGGING (OPS)
* Last season only seven hitters who qualified for the batting title posted an OPS above 1.000. In 2006, there were eight hitters above 1.000; in 2005 there were five; in 2004 there were nine; and in 2003 there were seven.
* Vladimir Guerrero owns a career OPS of .970, the 18th highest mark in baseball history for a player with 3,000 plate appearances. Since 1998 he has held a .980 OPS, and during those 10 seasons he has never posted a mark below .934.
* Chipper Jones led the NL last year (he was fourth overall) with a 1.029 OPS. This was his second straight season over 1.000, and the fourth such season of his career. Chipper owns a .950 career mark, the 22nd highest mark of all-time amongst players with 3,000 plate appearances. Amongst switch-hitters, he is third all-time behind Mickey Mantle (.977) and Lance Berkman (.971).
* Jorge Posada posted a .970 OPS last season, which was the 12th highest overall mark, and the leading mark at the catching position. What was interesting about his OPS was that he was the only hitter in baseball with an OPS above .950 who hit fewer than 22 home runs (20) and had fewer than 95 RBI (90).