Jim Thome ties Frank Robinson for 8th place with 586 homers

13 Comments

Jim Thome’s great run continued last night, as he homered for the fourth time in three games to tie Frank Robinson for eighth place on the all-time list with 586 career long balls.
Thome has given the Twins amazing production for a one-year, $1.5 million investment this offseason, hitting .278/.407/.636 with 22 homers, 16 doubles, and 52 walks in 297 plate appearances.
Among all AL hitters with at least 250 plate appearances Thome leads the league in slugging percentage (.635) and at-bats per homer (11.0) while ranking fourth in OPS (1.042) behind only Justin Morneau, Miguel Cabrera, and Josh Hamilton.
Morneau hasn’t played since suffering a concussion on July 7, but Thome has stepped up to hit .299 with a .437 on-base percentage and ridiculous .701 slugging percentage in 38 games since then, smacking 12 homers in just 107 at-bats. He now has the third-highest adjusted OPS+ ever by a 39-year-old, trailing only Barry Bonds and Ted Williams while slightly ahead of Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth.
In terms of impact per dollar no free agent signing has been better than Thome, particularly since he left the second-place White Sox to join the first-place Twins.

Kris Bryant on Joey Votto: “He’s the best player ever … He’s a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
2 Comments

The Cubs wrapped up a four-game series against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon, suffering a 13-10 loss to split the set. They’ll match up again against the Reds next week for a three-game series in Cincinnati. That’s good news for Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, because that means he’ll get to see Reds first baseman Joey Votto some more.

As CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports, Bryant has grown quite fond of Votto. Bryant has already won a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year Award, and an MVP Award, but he still looks up to Votto. According to Bryant, Votto is “the best player ever.” He added, ““He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking to him, just picking his brain. He gets a lot of (heat) about his walks and working at-bats and some people want him to swing at more pitches. But, gosh, I mean, he does an unbelievable job. You know that he’s going to give you a great at-bat every time he goes up there. It’s definitely a guy that I look up to and I can learn from.”

Bryant said that Votto is “a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”

Bryant also explained how his approach changed by watching Votto. He said that in his rookie season, he was “swinging at everything.” Votto, however, is “aggressive, but he’s not going to swing at a pitch until he wants it.”

Indeed, in Bryant’s rookie season, he struck out in nearly 31 percent of his 650 plate appearances. This season, he has struck out in only 19 percent of his PA. His walk rate has also increased by more than 2.5 percent since his rookie campaign. Compared to last year, Bryant is down in HR and RBI, but his average is the same, his on-base percentage is markedly better, and his slugging percentage is only down by a minute amount.

Video: Daniel Descalso hits D-Backs’ third inside-the-park homer of the season

Bob Levey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso hit his team’s third inside-the-park home run of the season during Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Astros. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 1-0 and the bases empty, Descalso ripped a 1-0, 83 MPH change-up to right-center field. The ball caromed off the wall, heading towards left field, which sent center Jake Marisnick on the chase. Marisnick tried to pick up the ball with his glove, but dropped it, which sealed Descalso’s destiny for an inside-the-parker.

It had only been five days since the Diamondbacks’ last inside-the-park home run. David Peralta hit one against the Cubs on August 12. Ketel Marte legged out his club’s first ITPHR on July 26 against the Braves.

As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the Diamondbacks have three as a team, which is amazing because the other 29 teams have hit seven combined.