For the full High Heat Stats experience:

Quiz – Find the Mystery Players (solved)

This quiz concerns a career (min. 5000 PA) batting feat accomplished since 1901 by only a handful of the all-time greats … plus a few other guys who have each played their entire careers within the past 25 seasons.

So, who are these other guys hobnobbing with baseball’s elite? That’s for you to find out based on the list below, conveniently ordered by the career batting feat that only these players have achieved.

Congrats to Insert Name Here, aweb and Josh who identified the mystery players bolded above. Congratulations to Howard who identified that these players have the 10 highest career RBI per game rates of all players with 5000+ PAs, and are the only players with a rate of more than 0.8 RBI per game.

Ryan Howard joined the group just yesterday – he currently has exactly 5000 PAs. Will be interesting to see if he can stay on the list. Some players (Greenberg, Gonzalez, Belle) benefited from a short career and/or retiring at an early age before their decline phase dragged down their career rate stats. Williams may have the most impressive accomplishment with missing a large chunk of his prime years to military service and thereby compiling almost one-third of his career PAs in his age 35 season or later.

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Have Pitchers Solved the Josh Hamilton Equation?

For the better part of the past 6 years, Josh Hamilton has been an absolute force for pitchers to deal with. Just look at his list of accomplishments: one MVP award, 5 All-Star appearances, a majestic power display in the ’08 Home Run Derby, 2 AL pennants, and a .304/.363/.549 slash line with 161 homers to boot. Pitchers just couldn’t figure this guy out and thanks in part to Hamilton, the Rangers were able to have more success over the past 5 years than at any other point in the franchise’s history.

But the shine started to fade on Hamilton sometime around midseason last year. The then-Ranger struggled mightily during the 2nd half of 2012, hitting .259 (compared to .308 before the break), while dealing with a myriad of personal and health issues. As the offseason rolled around the Rangers decided that Hamilton’s baggage outweighed his production. Instead, the division rival Los Angeles Angels swooped in to nab Hamilton in the hopes that they could form a modern day Murderer’s Row.

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Tuesday game notes

Game Notes has not — repeat, not — been cleared to begin minor-league rehab. Sorry for any confusion. Now for some random day-late notes:

@Orioles 6, Indians 3: Adam Jones has started 36 straight games without a walk — the longest starting streak this year, the longest one-year streak in Baltimore Orioles history, and one shy of the searchable franchise record set in 1923 by Baby Doll Jacobson. The previous Baltimore record was 31, shared by Cal Ripken in 1999.

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300 Round Trips – A Notable Achievement Again?

In case you missed it (like me), last week (on June 16, to be precise), Torii Hunter cranked home run number 300 to become the 136th member of that club. What was once a momentous feat now just attracts a kind of … ho hum … “Good for him!” type of recognition. Sort of like the attention paid to Ryan Howard‘s 300th at the end of last season (unless you missed that one too).

Once akin to a pitcher reaching 300 wins, 300 homers no longer has anything like that luster. After the jump, I’ll take a closer look at the 300 home run milestone, and preview a possible coming change in its significance.

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Hughie Jennings’ Fascinating 1896 Season

In 1896, Hall of Fame shortstop Hughie Jennings batted .401 and scored 125 runs while driving in 121. That’s a pretty great season, of course, but not that unusual, particularly during the era when hitting .400 was reasonably feasible. Read the rest of this entry

Circle of Greats: Redemption Round #2

This Circle of Greats vote is not to induct anyone into the Circle, but only to select two players who will be restored back on to the main ballot after having been previously been dropped from eligibility.  This second “redemption round” (we also held one after the 1960 round of voting) gives voters a chance to reconsider past candidates that have been rejected.  Rules and lists are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Circle of Greats 1950 Round Results: Tim Reigns

Tim Raines emerged from a very close election as the 22nd inductee into the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats.  After  the  lead in the voting  swung back and forth for much of the week, Raines nudged out Tony Gwynn with some late gains over the last couple of days.  More on Tim, and the 1950 round of voting, after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Monday/Sunday game gnawings

Clearing the decks, getting ready for Tuesday’s full slate:

@Dodgers 3, Giants 1: Creo que este chico va a hacer. (translation) We can’t help noticing everything about Yasiel Puig, including his strikeout-to-walk ratio (17/3) and his tendency to swing at the first pitch (41%, or half again the MLB average). But as to the latter, there’s no one right approach. And this table of 2013’s highest 1st-pitch-swing rates suggests that an aggressive approach suits talented hitters just fine (see right-most column):

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Seven Streaking Thoughts

Please don’t be long … please don’t you be very long” — I’m hoping the topic’s not moot by the time you finish!


(1) Since 1969 and before Toronto’s current streak, there were 66 one-season streaks of at least 11 wins that had a chance to be extended.* Those teams went 30-36 bidding for game 12.

* The 1970 and ’71 Orioles each won their last 11 games of the year and are not included in this count.

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Some Sunday game notes & Saturday observations

Wish I could follow ’em all … Anyway, if it streaks, it leads.

@Blue Jays 13, Orioles 5: Strafing Freddy Garcia for a 9-0 lead after 3 innings, Toronto went on to a season high in runs and tied the club record with their 11th straight win, moving 5 games from 1st place. Josh Johnson faded late, but earned his first win in 8 tries for the Blue Jays. Edwin Encarnacion led the 14-hit assault with his 21st HR and 4 RBI, giving him 63 for the year. Toronto’s is the longest winning streak since Detroit won 12 in September 2011.

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