Tag Archives: Home Run

Five Statistical Facts about Cecil Fielder

“Big Daddy” Cecil Fielder was for a brief time one of the best home run hitters in baseball. Playing at the old Tiger Stadium for more than half of his career, we got to see a lot of upper deck shots launched at the classic ballpark. He may have only played in 13 big league seasons however he did give us some great moments. Here are five statistical facts about the slugger.


The best years of Fielder’s career came from 1990-1992. Fielder led the league in home runs in 1990 and 1991 with 51 and 44 as well as RBIs in 1990-1992 with 132, 133, and 124. In 1990 and 1991 he finished second in the MVP voting. Rickey Henderson stole away the award in 1990 and Cal Ripken Jr. outplayed Fielder in 1991.

Stolen Bases

The fact that Fielder ever stole a base is impressive enough. Even better, he swiped the only pair of bases he ever successfully stole in the same year. This happened in 1996 while with the Detroit Tigers before he was traded to the New York Yankees.

By clare_and_ben (00534_n_12ag9rgpry0499) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By clare_and_ben (00534_n_12ag9rgpry0499) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Hurting the Toronto Blue Jays

Many of us forget Fielder actually made his debut with the Toronto Blue Jays and played there for several seasons before going to Japan then coming back to America with the Tigers where he had his monster seasons. Fielder apparently never forgave the Blue Jays for not keeping him as he crushed two of their pitchers. Pat Hentgen and Jimmy Key gave up a combined 15 home runs to Fielder. Fielder also had a .360 batting average off of Hentgen and a .333 one against Key.

Lack of Doubles

We can blame Fielder’s lack of speed for how few doubles he had in his career. Fielder’s season high was only 25 which he had in 1990 and 1991. Based on this his power appears very one-dimensional. Fielder simply had no gap power or if he did, he spent a little too much time admiring the shot to ever get to second base on time.

Hot in June

By far the best months Fielder had in his career was June. He hit 68 home runs in the month, had 227 RBIs, and had a .280 batting average. All of these are higher than any other page on the calendar. In fact, May is the only other month in the year where Fielder had a batting average over .250; hitting .260 that month.

2015 MLB Prediction: Yasmany Tomas Hits 30 Home Runs

Yoan Moncada might be the biggest thing out of Cuba these days, but before him everyone in baseball was talking about Yasmany Tomas. We all expected him to sign with one of the big market teams. Instead, he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks – a team on the mend.

Tomas is similar to a lot of the big name Cuban players from recent years. He has a lot of Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig, and Jose Abreu in him. Tomas was frequently hitting home runs playing in Cuba and I believe he’ll hit 30 in his rookie year with the Diamondbacks.

Why 30? It seems like a good number. It’s a strong number. It’s one that I fully think he’s capable of. It’s more than Cespedes and Puig have hit in a season and 6 fewer than Abreu hit in his 2014 rookie season. So to think Tomas can reach 30 is not impossible. If there’s anything negative to say about my prediction, I’d use the word ambitious.

In the Diamondbacks’ lineup, a lot of the weight will be thrown on Tomas immediately. Only Paul Goldschmidt and Mark Trumbo (to a lesser extent) are skilled enough to really carry a team. Few people believe the Diamondbacks are going to have a good 2015 season even if Tomas ends up greater than expected. Their pitching staff is holding them back, but this will have no effect on Tomas. In fact, this could create more scenarios where late in games he hits some empty home runs where pitchers are throwing to him just to get the game over with.

By Ken Lund from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Ken Lund from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Are 30 home run seasons common for Diamondback players?

In 2013, Goldschmidt led the National League with 36 home runs – a tie with the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Pedro Alvarez. Goldschmidt also happens to be one of the best overall hitters in baseball so what he does doesn’t give much credence to this prediction.

Mark Reynolds is another guy who hit over 30 home runs more than once. Again, he was doing this while striking out a ton as one of baseball’s ultimate “all or nothing” hitters.

One of the more realistic comparisons is Chris Young in 2007. That season, Young hit 32 home runs. By this point steroids were not as prevalent in baseball which is a big reason why I don’t want to even mention Jay Bell‘s 38 home runs he hit in 1999.

Like the other players to come out of Cuba in recent seasons, I’m expecting big things from Tomas. Specifically, I’m predicting a 30 home run season.

Or more!

Five Statistical Facts about Jeff Conine

The face of the Miami Marlins might be Giancarlo Stanton, but the face of the Florida Marlins was surely Jeff Conine. As a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies, I had to deal with seeing Conine continually punish my favorite team. Reluctantly, please allow me to share five statistical facts about him.

Sacrifice Flies

Not a sexy statistic, the sacrifice fly is still a valuable one. Conine had 103 in his career and happened to lead the league in this category twice. In 1995 he led the National League with 12 sacrifice flies. In 2003, splitting time between the Marlins and Baltimore Orioles, Conine had 13; 1 with the Marlins and 12 with the Orioles.

Postseason Batting

Since the Marlins have never lost a playoff series, and Conine was with the team both times they made it to the postseason, we can expect his numbers to be pretty good and they are. In 32 career postseason games, Conine hit .302. He only hit one home run though, occurring in the infamous 2003 NLCS where Steve Bartman ruined everything for the Chicago Cubs.

First Baseman and Outfielder

Conine split his time between the outfield and first base pretty evenly throughout his career. He played in 1002 total games at first base and 932 in the outfield, mostly jogging out to left field. Conine did however start more games in the outfield, starting 868 there and starting only 799 at first base. Conine also played 68 games at third base with mixed results.

Late Start

Conine made his major league debut at 24 in 1990 for the Kansas City Royals however his official rookie season was not until 1993 at the age of 27 when he played in all 162 games for the Marlins in their inaugural season. Conine was fortunate enough to be able to play until he was 41-years-old, a career lasting until 2007.

Versus the Phillies

As much as I remember him blasting lots of home runs at Veterans Stadium, Conine only actually had 5 there. He did however have 14 total home runs against the Phillies, second to only the Colorado Rockies whom he hit 16 against.

Five Statistical Facts about Rafael Belliard

You may think I’m wasting my time discussing statistical facts about Rafael Belliard. In fact, you may even think it’s impossible to find five of them. A man who spent most of the 1990s with the Atlanta Braves as a backup infielder, Belliard has such meager statistics that it actually makes it fun learning more about them.

Home Runs

17 seasons in Major League Baseball and 2,524 plate appearances for Belliard resulted in only 2 home runs. The first was hit in 1987. The second was hit 10 years later in 1997. Both home runs were hit on the road. The first came against Eric Show of the San Diego Padres. The second was a game-tying shot off of Brian Bohanon of the New York Mets. And that concludes the complete history of Belliard’s home run ability.

How Did He Stay in the Majors?

Belliard could have stepped up to the plate with a wiffle-ball bat and put up similar statistics. I often wondered what the point of have him on a major league roster even was. Belliard was actually a pretty good fielder. Used mostly as a defensive replacement for Bobby Cox and the Braves, he typically got the job done and had a fielding percentage high above the league average.

By Keith Allison (Flickr: Rafael Belliard) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Keith Allison (Flickr: Rafael Belliard) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Always Below .250 Batting Average and .300 On-Base Percentage

Each season except for his first in 1982 when he only had 2 at-bats, Belliard finished the season with a batting average below .250 and an on-base percentage beneath .300. He came closest to breaking this in 1991 when he happened to play in a career high 149 games. Belliard finished that season with a .249 batting average and a .296 on-base percentage. The next year he hit only .211 thus ending all possibilities at being a full-time player.

Against Orel Hershiser

Orel Hershiser was a very successful pitcher. Against Belliard, he actually had a tough time. Facing Belliard more than anyone else, 47 times, Hershiser allowed 11 base hits to him for a .262 batting average. This is still better than Terry Mulholland fared against Belliard. Against Mulholland, Belliard had a .350 batting average, going 7 for 20.

Postseason Batting

As a member of a lot of really good Braves teams, Belliard did get some postseason at-bats and to no surprise he had only a .227 batting average. Belliard’s time playing in the World Series showed both sides. In the 1991 World Series, Belliard hit .375 in 16 at-bats. In the 1995 World Series, the only one the Braves won during the decade of excellence, Belliard went 0 for 16.

Five Statistical Facts about Dave Winfield

It’s rare a guy who spent as much time with the New York Yankees as Dave Winfield did could have had a bit of an overlooked career. I know I never knew much about him growing up. The fact is Winfield played with the Yankees in the 1980s when the team wasn’t all that great. Winfield however was pretty great and these five statistical facts may help prove it.

Home Runs

Winfield finished his career with 465 home runs. He never led the league and only hit 30 or more three times. Playing in 22 seasons though, he was able to add those home runs up to something worthy of the Hall of Fame.

Gold Gloves

Unless you saw him play you may not be familiar with Winfield’s fantastic glove work. Thankfully we have the Gold Gloves he won to remind youngsters like me that he was more than a big bat. Winfield won 7 total Gold Gloves in his career. His biggest strength was his arm as he had 166 career outfield assists including 20 in 1980.

Cbl62 at the English language Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Cbl62 at the English language Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
All-Star Selections: 12

Going to the All-Star Game 12 times is impressive. Even more impressive might be going there 12 times in a row. Winfield did this as each season from 1977 through 1988 he was selected to the world’s greatest exhibition game. He should have gone again in 1992 when he was with the Toronto Blue Jays however by this point there were so many great outfielders and at the age of 40 he may have even preferred some relaxation time before winning the World Series a few months later.

Minor League Career

Shorter than the Amish phone book is the minor league career Winfield had. After being selected by the San Diego Padres with their first pick in 1973, Winfield immediately joined the big league club. This is a rare occurrence in modern baseball, only happening twice since 2000 when Mike Leake debuted with the Cincinnati Reds in 2010 and Xavier Nady also did it in 2000 with Winfield’s Padres.

100+ RBIs

There’s no better way to describe Winfield than a run-producer. It took him until 1979 to drive in 100 runs after just falling short in the two previous seasons. After though, it seemed to be a pretty consistent occurrence. Winfield’s 118 RBIs in 1979 was a career high and led the league however he would go on to knock in 100 or more 7 more times with the last being in 1992 with the Blue Jays.

Kansas City Royals Upgrade Outfield By Signing Alex Rios

Starting in right field for the Kansas City Royals in 2014 was Nori Aoki. By no means a poor season, what he severely lacked was power. Aoki hit only 1 home run all season. From a position like right field, this is unexpected and a little disappointing.

Not that anyone was in Las Vegas making bets on how many home runs Aoki would finish the season with. The Royals had him for speed and singles; two things he provided them throughout the year.

Since they had enough of the skills Aoki brought in other places on the roster, the Royals decided to let him walk and leave a hole in right field. Today they filled it by giving Alex Rios a one-year $11 million contract.

By Keith Allison [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Keith Allison [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
In terms of power, Rios is impossible to predict. He averages around 17 home runs a season, however, last year he only had 4. This happened on a team that has traditionally put up good power numbers too thanks to the way the ball flies in the summer heat for everyone on the Texas Rangers. Kevin Elster‘s 24 home runs in 1996 immediately come to mind–however tainted they may or may not have been.

Rios is not a guy who will win a home run title. In a Royals’ lineup nearly void of power, they should be thrilled if he can hit 20.

Together with Alex Gordon in left field and Lorenzo Cain in center field, the Royals now have a very speedy outfield that can disrupt any pitcher even if he has a prescription for Adderall. Combined in 2014 these three had 57 stolen bases. Rios brings 17 of them which just happens to be the same number that Aoki had.

Like the way Melky Cabrera performed for the Royals in 2012, I expect big things from Rios in 2015. He will be 34-years-old on opening day with the knowledge that if he does well it can seriously change his future. A bad year for Rios and suddenly he may have to settle for another one-year contract worth far less than he actually deserves. A good season and he could be getting paid until he’s almost 40.

Not that I believe Rios’ only motivation is money. He’s going from the worst team in the American League last season to one that came 90 feet short of possibly setting up for a great comeback in the World Series. He has plenty of reason to perform his best.

After adding Kendrys Morales to replace Billy Butler and now adding Rios to take over for Aoki, the Royals are letting the world know they don’t intend on making the trips to the World Series a distant memory.

Five Statistical Facts about Nelson Cruz

One of baseball’s best sluggers and the reigning American League Home Run Champion, Nelson Cruz has had a decade of playing baseball that for the most part has been ignored until recently. A controversial suspension in 2013 due to PED usage set him back until joining the Baltimore Orioles in 2014 when he had his best season yet. Legitimate or not, here are five statistical facts about one of the few true sluggers in baseball.

Not As Good as Advertised?

I just got finished praising however it would be wrong of me to forego admitting he’s not as good as advertised. Cruz is a lifetime .268 hitter and until 2014 never knocked in 100 runs. He’s also only reached the 30 home run mark twice. Perhaps the worst thing about him is that Cruz never seems to play in enough games. Only in 2012 and 2014 was he able to reach the 130 game mark. But hey, if you like him don’t feel bad.

Where Did the Stolen Bases Go?

Another question, this one with less of an answer, where did all of Cruz’s stolen bases go? In 2009, Cruz stole 20 bases in 128 games and the following season in only 108 games he had 17. Each year since, Cruz’s stolen base totals have been in the single digits and getting lower and lower. Apparently off the juice, shouldn’t he have some more speed or the same?

By Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "00076578") [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as “00076578”) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Postseason Batting

As a member of the Texas Rangers in their back-to-back World Series appearances and beyond, Cruz has 41 games of postseason experience. He’s been pretty good too hitting .292 with 16 home runs. His best series was easily the 2011 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers when he hit .364 with 6 home runs and 13 RBIs.

Felix Hernandez, Jon Lester, and David Price

Three of baseball’s best pitchers are Felix Hernandez, Jon Lester, and David Price. You would think most guys would have bad numbers against all three or at least one of them. For Cruz it’s a different story. Cruz has a fair .258 batting average against Hernandez, but with 5 home runs. Against Lester he’s hitting .393 with 3 home runs. Finally there’s Price who has been targeted by Cruz for 4 home runs and a .375 batting average.

Not Clutch

Cruz is not a guy you want to send up to the plate when the game is on the line. With 2 outs and runners in scoring position he’s a .267 hitter. In at-bats late and in close games he’s only hitting .246. When the score is tied he’s a .252 hitter. The best way to sum it up is that when his team is ahead Cruz is a .293 hitter. When his team is behind he’s only batting .251.

The New York Mets Move the CitiField Fences In and Suddenly All is Good?

After adding Michael Cuddyer last week, the New York Mets decided the next thing on the agenda was moving in the outfield fences–again.

Instead of addressing the real problem, having a light-hitting offense that struggles to even make contact at times, they are changing the dimensions and hoping this solves their woes.


The first, obvious, and easiest argument to make against this is how the team is already designed as pitcher dominant. Beginning with Matt Harvey, the rotation is one that could within the next two seasons be the best in baseball. They have 2014 Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom along with several other young and talented arms, surely a little disgruntled about a few warning track outs turning into home runs next year.

The Mets have dismissed this, going the route that this will be a pretty even result for both them and the visitors as far as home runs are concerned. What people fail to factor in though is how many runs will be scored on each home run. Sure, a team can hit 3 solo shots in one game, but one three-run home run immediately ties it up.

For this you need to look at the team’s on-base percentage. In 2014, the Mets were ranked 22nd at .308 right behind the Houston Astros and surprisingly right above the New York Yankees.

A few other things to consider are batting average, double plays grounded into (it eliminates a guy who got on base), and batting average with runners in scoring position. The Mets were tied at 28th in batting average (.239) and were actually pretty good at not hitting into double plays (112 total, 5 below the league average). This can however be attributed to not having anyone on base and for this argument really isn’t all too important.

As for the batting average with runners in scoring position, they were only at .244, which of course was near the bottom of the league.

What I’m trying to say is, yes Lucas Duda may hit a couple extra home runs. Odds are they will be solo shots more often than not. The top of the inning would come around and Giancarlo Stanton will hit a two-run home run. In fact, the Miami Marlins for all of the disappointment hit .266 with runners in scoring position last year. So my example is pretty genuine and likely.

We will have to analyze after the 2015 season if this was in fact a good move. Maybe the better thing to do would have been having the grounds crew lower the infield grass to help speed up the ball for a few more base hits instead of praying for someone to hit a home run.

The Mets seriously need to stop bending over to make David Wright happy because that’s what this really is all about.

Five Statistical Facts about Kirk Gibson

Hey Kirk Gibson fans! Get ready to run around the bases while pumping your fists because here are five statistical facts about the man who keeps Dennis Eckersley awake at night.

1988 Season

The biggest highlight from Gibson’s career is his walk-off home run in Game One of the 1988 World Series. The season was however filled with a lot of great moments including a National League MVP Award. Gibson won the award thanks to his 25 home runs, 76 RBIs, and .290 batting average. While these numbers aren’t exactly legendary, Gibson still has the hardware and World Series ring to match.


We remember Gibson limping around the bases which for someone who was only a year old when he hit that shot off of Eckersley makes me imagine him as a slow runner. However Gibson did have speed. From 1984-1988, Gibson had anywhere from 26-34 stolen bases. He would even finish his career with 284 of them, more than his 255 career home runs.

Postseason Batting

Can you tell the only thing I know about Gibson is his one at-bat? Gibson did have more postseason experience than that one home run, which happened to be his only plate appearance in the 1988 World Series due to injury. Aside from that one memorable moment, Gibson was a very good baseball player in October. In 92 plate appearances he had 7 home runs and a .282 batting average. In the World Series alone, Gibson hit 3 home runs and had a .368 batting average.

Versus Dennis Eckersley in the Regular Season

Yes, I’m going to continue with the theme here. Gibson had plenty of experience against Eckersley in the regular season throughout his career since he spent a long time in the American League with the Detroit Tigers. In 42 regular season plate appearances against Eckersley, Gibson hit 2 home runs and had a .265 batting average. Eckersley was a bit overly cautious, walking Gibson 7 times and striking him out only twice.

As a Pinch Hitter

When Gibson hit his historic home run in the World Series it happened as a pinch hitter. In the regular season coming off the bench, Gibson was 23 for 102. He actually wouldn’t even hit a pinch hit home run until 1994 when he did it twice that season for the Detroit Tigers. He would hit his last the following season in 1995.

Five Statistical Facts about Vladimir Guerrero

Dracula doesn’t even compare to baseball’s Vlad the Impaler: Vladimir Guerrero. He constantly dared pitchers to pitch around him yet whenever they did it usually resulted in a double or home run to right field. Guerrero put up some amazing numbers during his time playing Major League Baseball. These are five facts about them.


Guerrero’s most notable strength was his power. He ended his career with 449 career home runs and 477 doubles. In neither category would Guerrero ever lead the league however he was usually close to it.

Run Production

Without going deep into the analytics of how many runs he produced, I would instead like to focus on the most basic way of seeing it with runs scored and runs batted in. From 1998-2004, Guerrero scored over 100 runs and knocked in over 100 runs each season except for 2003 when he only played in 112 games. Guerrero would never reach 100 runs scored in a season again, but he would knock in triple digits 4 more times.

By Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "Vladimir Guerrero") [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as “Vladimir Guerrero”) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

We don’t usually think of speed when we think of Vlad. He had some of it though, proven by his 40 stolen bases in 2002. Two years earlier, Guerrero also had 11 triples which must mean he has some wheels attached to those powerful legs.

Contact Hitter

Not the prototypical contact hitter like a Tony Gwynn, Guerrero did have a reputation for being able to hit anything. He swung freely and actually never struck out more than 95 times in a season. Guerrero still drew his fair share of walks–about a third of them were usually intentional.

Outfield Assists

The problem with the outfield assist statistic is after a player becomes known for throwing out runners from the right field corner, third base coaches usually hold runners up a little bit. There’s no number for this unfortunately. We still do know Guerrero accumulated 126 outfield assists in his career and was involved in 32 double plays. Guerrero was probably a below average fielder, making up for it with a very strong arm.