I wrote yesterday that Jose Tabata‘s 2013 hitting, with his mere 6 Home Runs, was actually a little more productive than Pedro Alvarez‘s performance that included 36 Home Runs. In response to that post, I received this question:
“How many players have hit 36 HR in a season and had an OPS under .800, as did Alvarez in 2013″
I was not able to find that information, but I did find something pretty striking. I looked at Alvarez’s .473 slugging percentage from last year and his .296 on-base percentage and searched for players, since 1950, who had a career SLG% higher than Alvarez’s .473 and an on-base percentage lower than his .296
There aren’t any.
So, I expanded my search and found that, since 1900, there are a total of ZERO players, with at least 1,000 plate appearances, who had a career SLG% that was higher than Alvarez’s 2013 number of .473 and an on-base percentage that was lower than his .296.
Zero. In 114 years of baseball!
So, I expanded my search again. I looked for players, since 1900, who had a career Slugging Percentage higher than .460 and an On-Base Percentage that was lower than .310. There are six. Here are their career batting lines, with BB%, K%, and weighted Runs Created Plus:
Dave Kingman: .236/.302/.478 — .780 OPS; 8.2% BB; 24.4% K; 113 wRC+
Joe Carter: .259/.306/.464 — .770 OPS; 5.8% BB; 15.2% K; 102 wRC+
Bo Jackson: .250/.309/.474 — .783; 7.6% BB; 32.0% K; 111 wRC+
Mark Trumbo: .250/.299/.469 — .768; 6.3% BB; 25.1% K; 111 wRC+
Ron Kittle: .239/.306/.473 – .779 – 7.8% BB; 24.7%; 110 wRC+
Marcus Thames: .246/.309/.485 — .794; 7.9% BB ; 25.3% K; 104
Compare those numbers to Pedro Alvarez’s 2013:
.233/.296/.473 — .770 OPS; 7.8% BB; 30.3% K; 105 wRC+.
As hitters, Kingman, Carter, Jackson, Trumbo, Kittle, and Thames had nothing but a whole lotta power. Just like Pedro Alvarez.
It’s also interesting to note that each of those players was significantly below average defensively (as calculated by fangraphs.com) Fangraphs has Alvarez at 8.8 defensive runs below average for his career.
I’m not saying that Alvarez and the above cast of characters do not have offensive value. Their career OPS range goes from .770 to .794 and their wRC+ are all above league average, ranging from 102 to 113. But their overall hitting was actually a little less valuable than Jose Tabata’s 2013 production. Tabata’s wRC+ was 118.
Pedro is a very good power hitter. But he is not wroth the $100 million contract that some expect him to sign when he reaches free agency. However, I do suspect that the 30 major league General Managers who do not read SABERBUCS will line up to give it to him.
You probably knew that Alvarez was much like Dave Kingman. But I’m guessing your surprised to find that El Toro knows Bo.
Note: Jose Tabata’s 6 HR in 2013 pro-rate to 11 over the 614 Plate Appearances that Alvarez had last year.
I really hate to admit this, but here goes. This post was entirely inspired by a commenter on this site who goes by the name of “Leefoo.”
It’s not that I don’t want suggestions from readers of the blog. I absolutely do. It not only takes the burden off of me to come up with an idea or two when there is no baseball news; it also lets me know what readers want to read. What troubles me is that I have to admit that this particular, great suggestion had to come from a character like Leefoo.
I’m joking, of course. Leefoo, whom I have never met in person, gave me a powerful encouragement on the PiratesProspects.com blog when I first decided to start this site - and he has continued to encourage me even when he disagrees. I greatly appreciate your support, Leefoo. Thank you.