For the full High Heat Stats experience:

Top ten part-time batter seasons from the last 30 years

Here’s an interesting set of players–these are guys with at least 20 batting runs, no more than 400 plate appearances, and a ratio between the two of at least 8 batting runs per 100 PAs.

Rk Player PA Rbat Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Kevin Mitchell 380 36 1994 CIN 95 310 57 101 18 1 30 77 .326 .429 .681 1.110 *7/3
2 Justin Morneau 348 34 2010 MIN 81 296 53 102 25 1 18 56 .345 .437 .618 1.055 *3/D
3 Jim Thome 340 32 2010 MIN 108 276 48 78 16 2 25 59 .283 .412 .627 1.039 *D
4 Hubie Brooks 338 28 1986 MON 80 306 50 104 18 5 14 58 .340 .388 .569 .956 *6
5 Mark McGwire 321 39 2000 STL 89 236 60 72 8 0 32 73 .305 .483 .746 1.229 *3/467
6 Matt Williams 318 30 1995 SFG 76 283 53 95 17 1 23 65 .336 .399 .647 1.046 *5
7 Gary Sheffield 274 26 1995 FLA 63 213 46 69 8 0 16 46 .324 .467 .587 1.054 *9/7
8 Jack Clark 249 22 1984 SFG 57 203 33 65 9 1 11 44 .320 .434 .537 .971 *9/3
9 Johnny Grubb 243 20 1986 DET 81 210 32 70 13 1 13 51 .333 .412 .590 1.002 *D79
10 Frank Thomas 240 20 1990 CHW 60 191 39 63 11 3 7 31 .330 .454 .529 .983 *3/D
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/30/2012.

Pretty interesting, huh?

A few random notes:

  • It’s awesome to see two members of the 2010 Twins on the same list.
  • Kevin Mitchell (1994), Matt Williams (1995), and Gary Sheffield (1995) all did it in strike-shortened seasons.
  • Johnny Grubb rarely played full-time. After his Age 27 season, he had 10 years where he didn’t top 400 plate appearances, and only 1 where he did. The guy finished with a 121 OPS+ in his career.
  • Hubie Brooks put up his best season (rate-wise, at least) in 1986, posting a 161 OPS+ despite a career mark of 100.

NL Keeps Coming Through in the Clutch

With the Giants’ impressive sweep of the 2012 World Series, the National League claimed its third straight championship.  The senior circuit has won each of the last three All-Star Games, affording its membership home field advantage in all three World Series.  They’ve then vanquished their cross-newspaper rivals each time, only once playing enough games to render that advantage meaningful.  That’s 15 wins and four losses for the small-ballers when it counts.

The only argument against the Nationals’ dominance is those pesky interleague games in the regular season, of which the burly sluggers have won 53.8% (407-349) since 2010.  The message is clear: the American League is assembling the talent to compete its double-switching counterparts, but the junior circuit lacks the grit, hustle, and determination to win when it matters.

I recommend that the AL trade for Marco Scutaro this offseason.  And see if they can get David Eckstein back.

Residue from Games 1 and 2 / Chatterbox for Game 3

Some folks keep writing that the Giants have gotten the breaks so far.

Breaks? Don’t break my heart!

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Were there Blue Mondays in Oakland, 1971?

I’m reading the biography Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball’s Super Showman, by G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. It’s quite enjoyable, if just a bit academic, and the quotes and main factual claims are thoroughly footnoted.

Because of a recent HHS thread about Tim Lincecum and Vida Blue, this passage in the book that touched on Blue’s amazing year in 1971 caught my eye: Read the rest of this entry

World Series — Game 1 notes, Game 2 chat

Including the postseason, the Giants have four 3-HR games at home this year. The last three have come in support of Barry Zito. In those three games, Zito has allowed 22 hits and 5 walks in 17.1 IP, but no HRs.

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¡Viva Venezuela!

(Though beaten to publication by the New York Times and MLB.com, your humble narrator insists that he had the idea first. So there.)

Out of some 1,200 players who appeared in a MLB game this year, about 85 were born in Venezuela. Of the 15 who logged 400+ PAs this year, five will be fixtures in the World Series lineups:

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Don’t trust anyone over 35 (in the LCS)

Counting this year’s Yankees, teams starting 3 or more nonpitchers age 36+ in any LCS game have now lost 8 of 9 series, and teams doing that in more than one game have lost 7 of 8 series:

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Eddie Yost, 1926-2012

Eddie Yost, the aptly-dubbed Walking Man who was the Senators’ regular third baseman from 1947-58, died last week, three days past his 86th birthday. Obituaries ran in the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Yost hung up his spikes after 1962 as the all-time leader in games played at the hot corner with 2,008, having surpassed by 145 games the old record-holder, Pie Traynor; he now ranks ninth in that regard. He was fourth with 1,614 walks drawn (now 11th). From 1949-55, he played in 829 consecutive games, at that time the fifth-longest streak in MLB history (now ninth).

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The Giants, owners of 19 modern pennants, and the Tigers (11) have never met in the World Series. And very few players have had good years with both teams:

  • Darrell Evans is the only position player to post a 3-WAR season for both the Giants (1978, ’80, ’83) and Tigers (1985-87).
  • Doyle Alexander is the only pitcher with a 3-WAR season for each club — 1981 with the  Giants (his lone year there), 1987 with Detroit (4.3 WAR in just 11 brilliant games).

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Sweet 19

The Cardinals, Giants and Dodgers have each represented the NL in the World Series 18 times. Somebody is about to make it 19.

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