Currently historic: Another 60-homer season?

We are now halfway through the season. That means, if you want to have fun with numbers, you can double a lot of the stuff below and see what fancy numbers you get. Most of them probably won’t happen, of course, but it’s still a fun game to play.

Because we neglected him for so long, we will give Manny Machado the lead spot again. So far, he is proving that I do, in fact, know what I am talking about. He was on pace for 71 doubles last week. Now he’s on pace for 73. That record is going down. For the record, he needs 29 doubles to tie the mark and 30 to break it.


Houston Astros, what is going on out there? 1,509 strikeouts? That’s what you’re on pace for right now. Come on, boys. You’ve gotta have heart. You’ve gotta swing over the breaking balls, ahead of the change-ups, and behind the fastballs. We’re trying to break a record here (1,529). Or, at least, I am. Why does it feel like you’re not fully committed?


Time for the Miguel Cabrera/ Chris Davis/ Joey Votto hitting extravaganza…

We’ll start with the least impressive, and right now that’s Votto. He continues to lead the league in on-base percentage. If he does, he’ll be only the fifth player ever to manage it four times in a row. He is also trying to lead the league in walks and hits. Walks, he’s got, but it feels like he’s been five hits behind Jean Segura for a month now. It’s still a real possibility, though

Additionally, Votto still is on pace to reach base 315 times. He’s holding steady, and I’ll keep tracking this for now, though I’m giving him two weeks to get the number up before I drop him.

Next on the list is Miguel Cabrera. He is first in average, first in RBI, and second in home runs. However, his RBI lead is only two. He also leads two of the three big rate stats while placing second in slugging. He is on pace to reach base 333 times, which would be the 19th-best total ever.

Cabrera is having a ridiculous season. He leads the AL in runs, hits, walks, RBI, average, and OBP. He is on pace to reach base 335 times, which would be the 14th-highest total ever. He leads the league in walks and, unlike Votto, also holds the league lead in hits. That’s tough to do, kids.

Now we get to Chris Davis. Let me start by saying I don’t really know anything, but I think the people throwing steroid accusations at Davis are idiots. Do I think he’s really this good? No. I don’t think anyone is really this good. I would bet on the power coming down a bit. However, he always has had power, and now he’s 27 and entering his peak years. Is there not a long, long history of players exploding right at this age? I mean, come on, cut the kid some slack.

Anyway, when it comes down to it, I think he’s a better bet to win the homer crown than Cabrera because I don’t think Cabrera can make up the six-home run deficit, and Davis is only 37 points behind in average. I doubt either of them wins, but that batting average lead could evaporate in a hurry, and if it does, watch out.

In news I find absolutely amazing, Davis is now on pace for 60 home runs. I suspect you can name all the players who have hit 60 in a season. I also suspect you really like only two of those players and that the two you like are both dead. These are the times we live in. He is also now on pace for 108 extra-base hits. If he managed that, he would be third on the list behind 1921 Babe Ruth and 1927 Lou Gehrig. I guess that’s good company.


I currently have Yu Darvish on a 293-strikeout pace. It’s clear to me that it’s going to be close and may depend on whether he has 33 or 34 starts before the end of the year. Obviously, the tighter the AL West, the more likely he is to make it, as we’d all expect Texas to lean harder on him.


A Hardball Times Update
Goodbye for now.

Adam Wainwright got a little walky this week, and his numbers became less awesome as a result. They’re still awesome, though. His BB/9 rate of 0.859 would be good for 20th ever, and his 9.5 K/BB ratio would put him fourth.


There’s still only one hitter on a 200-strikeout pace, but our other three candidates can see it from their backyards.

Chris Carter, 114 Ks, 220-K pace: That’s what I’m talking about. Carter has boosted his total a bit and is taking aim at the record of 223.

Adam Dunn, 95 Ks, 192-K pace: Dunn continues to play better and may justify himself wearing a major league uniform if he keeps it up. We need him to strike out just a little bit more, though.

Mike Napoli, 103 Ks, 196-K pace: Napoli is still hanging in there.

Dan Uggla, 102 Ks, 199-K pace: You know what Uggla doesn’t do? Hit for average. And the strikeouts aren’t helping.


Shin-Soo Choo’s hit-by-pitch pace slowed just a little. He’s on course to be hit 39 times, which would still be the second-highest post-1900 total.

Matt Holliday’s pace also slowed, and he now is aiming at grounding into 40 double plays this year. That still would best Jim Rice’s 36 in 1984 by a fair bit.


The list…


Whoa, whoa, hang on. Todd Helton doubled twice this week. Somebody check what’s in his milkshake. I’m kidding, of course. Helton was once a great player, and it’s logical that he’ll still have moments. He now has 576 and needs two more to get to 19th place.

Adrian Beltre had a couple of doubles and now needs 18 to get to 500. He basically needs to duplicate what he’s done in the first half.

David Ortiz needs but one more double to reach 500. Fun!

Home runs:
Albert Pujols did not homer this week and still needs 12 to reach 500.

Runs batted in:
Pujols now needs 17 to reach 1,500. Keep on truckin’, Albert.

Stolen bases:
Juan Pierre (609) hasn’t stolen one for a while. He still needs 10 steals to get to 17th. He was caught once this week, though, and is now five caught-stealings away from fifth all-time.

Michael Bourn is on the paternity list, which maybe contributes to no steals this week. He still needs 13 to get to 300.

Showing up:
Mariano Rivera (1,084) needs 35 more appearances to catch John Franco for third. We’re almost exactly halfway through the season, and he has 33, so this is certainly possible, especially if the Yankees can stay in the race.

CC Sabathia made his 400th start this week. Bartolo Colon needs nine more and should get there sometime in August.

Sabathia did not get his 200th win in his 400th start. Oh, well. Maybe it will happen in his 401st start.

Jonathan Papelbon needs 28 saves to get to 300. I’m dropping this one. I don’t see any way it happens.

Thanks for reading. As always, stats are through Monday’s games. Tell me if I’m missing anything.

Jason teaches high school English, writes fiction, runs a small writing program and writes about education and literature. He also writes for Redleg Nation and both writes and edits for The Hardball Times. Follow him on Twitter @JasonLinden, visit his website or email him here.
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9 years ago

Two things.  One, it is your column and you can follow anything you want.  Two, you can drop a Papelbon and if he gets hot, pick him up again.  This is still a fun and interesting column.  Just wish there was more for you to follow.

9 years ago

While it’s way to soon to begin tracking Puig for a .400 season, you might want to keep an eye on his average anyway. He might have a chance to break George Watkins’ 1930 rookie record of .373.

Professor Longnose
9 years ago

Hey, lay off my grouchiness. It’s all I have.

9 years ago

If we think Puig can average 4.875 plate appearances and play every remaining Dodger game, then he would have the necessary plate appearances to qualify and if he did hit .373 and have than many appearances, now that would be special!

Paul E
9 years ago

As much as he had struggled in prior major league trials and extended chances, Davis sure had nothing left to prove at AAA. His AAA numbers were ridiculous (.337/.397/.609 in 226 career games). In 2011 at Round Rock (Rangers AAA), he hit.368/.405/.824 with 24 HRs in 48 games! He didn’t need steroids to hit at the ML level, he just needed time to figure it out. It’s also nice to see Buck finally figured it out he should be batting cleanup 🙁

9 years ago

A few years back, Hamilton ran wild over the HR Derby in NY.  A few days later, the Rangers played the A’s.  The most impressive homer I saw was Davis, bouncing it off the wall behind the seats in center-right—- if the wall wasn’t there, it was leaving the ballpark.  I hope Davis continues to confound the critics.

Since you don’t have the Sabathia win, I suspect that Davis has passed Cabrera in RBIs tonight.  I wonder if we should think of another triple crown winner….

9 years ago

60 homers isn’t at all out of the question for a late bloomer like Davis. On Sept. 26, 2009, the Patron Saint of Late Bloomers, Jose Bautista, had seven home runs for the season. He hit one that day and five more the rest of the season. In 2010, Bautista had 52 homers through Sept. 25. So in a calendar year he hit 58.

9 years ago

If Chris Davis finishes the season with either 53 or 55 home runs, he’ll be the first player “ever” with either total.
Which is bizarre, isn’t it? There have been 25 seasons with 54 or more home runs, including a whopping seven 54 homer seasons; yet, no 53, and no 55.

John C
9 years ago

The Red Sox need to trade to get Papelbon back. Then he has a fighting chance to get those saves.