The distribution of all home run hitters in MLB history

Here’s a relatively simple plot showing the percentage of all 18,690 MLB players in history to hit “X” home runs. In other words, about 33% of all players hit at least 1 homer, about 29% hit at least 2 homers, etc. Some other key numbers: 19% hit at least 10, 4.4% hit at least 100, and 0.16% have hit at least 500.

It’s unsurprising that the curve is linear for the middle section–with around 3,000 players to hit 10+ homers...

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WAR and WAR/162 rankings over 2013-2015

I just ran some numbers to see what they show. I took the 191 players to play at least 324 games (2 seasons’ worth) over the last 3 years and ranked them by their WAR total (ugh, Skip Schumaker!). Then I calculated their WAR per 162 games played. Finally, I sorted the results by ranking difference between their raw WAR total and WAR/162 value. Players at the top of this list jumped up the most places–so mainly these are guys who didn’t quite play 3 full seasons but posted high WAR totals...

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Thinking about offense in April

I’m working on a USA Today Sports Weekly piece, and there sure is a lot of interesting stuff that happens in April.

We know that relievers have tossed an increasingly large fraction of innings over the years. In the 1970s, relievers tossed about 20% of all innings. In recent years, the percentage has been closer to 24%. That may not seem like a lot, but with a little over 43,000 innings last year...

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Today is the craziest possible day for MLB names

St. Patrick’s Day is always interesting for names. Lots of babies born on this day end up being given the first or middle name of Patrick. Among the 41 MLB players born today, eight (Pat Seery, Pete Reiser, Dan Masteller, John Smiley, Larry Murphy, Pat Gomez, Rick Lisi, & Bill Gannon) have the first or middle given name of Patrick.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for unusual names among MLB players with a birthday today...

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What’s new at High Heat Stats

Andy here with just a few quick updates.

  • I’m updating the theme–it may look a bit wonky for a couple of days, but I’ll get it all sorted out.
  • Importantly, it will continue to run fast and lean.
  • We are about to embark on another season of writing for USA Today Sports Weekly. I have a great group of writers, including a bunch of new folks. Ely will also be posting all the articles here on HHS...
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The 10 best offensive seasons among the worst hitters of the last 30 years: #8 Jeff Francoeur 2011

Oh, Frenchy. When you were 23, in 2007, it seemed like you might be a star. You posted a whopping +20 fielding runs while playing right field for the Braves. Your hitting was good enough and would probably improve. Right?

Wrong.

Despite early promise, the bat of Jeff Francoeur didn’t develop as hoped. Since his rookie year of 2005, he’s put up -86 batting runs, including 7 different seasons of at least -10...

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The 10 best offensive seasons among the worst hitters of the last 30 years: #9 Greg Myers 2003

This is part of a series of posts. Please read our methodology here

Greg Myers spent 18 years in the majors. He mostly played as a backup catcher, and he mostly hit as a backup catcher too. Before 2003, he appeared in 100 games in a season just twice (107 games in 1991, -4 batting runs and 108 games in 1993, -11 batting runs.) Through the 2002 season, Myers averaged 65 games played a year and amassed a total of -80 batting runs...

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The 10 best offensive seasons among the worst hitters of the last 30 years: #10 Charlie Hayes 2003

This is part of a series of posts. Please read our methodology here)

Charlie Hayes played 14 years in the majors and was liked enough to do two tours of duty with 3 different franchises–the Giants (1988-89 & 1998-99), the Phillies (1989-1991 & 1995) and the Yankees (1992 & 1996-97). By virtue of playing an important position, third base, and being a consistently above-average defender, he turned out a career WAR of 10.5 despite being a below-average hitter for a corner infielder...

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