I wrote earlier today about how historic Mike Stanton’s power is for a 20-year-old, but as David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution points out it’s only fair to take a similar look at fellow 20-year-old Jason Heyward’s historic on-base skills.
Heyward went 1-for-4 with a homer and two walks yesterday, giving him a .398 on-base percentage in 124 games. Here’s a list of the top 10 on-base percentages in baseball history by a 20-year-old:
Met Ott 1929 .449
Ted Williams 1939 .436
Al Kaline 1955 .421
Jimmie Foxx 1928 .416
Alex Rodriguez 1996 .414
JASON HEYWARD 2010 .398
Mickey Mantle 1952 .394
Ty Cobb 1907 .380
Frank Robinson 1956 .379
Arky Vaughan 1932 .375
That’s nine Hall of Famers and Heyward. Oh, and he’s also hitting .289 with 17 homers, 29 doubles, a .481 slugging percentage, and an .879 OPS that would be the eighth-highest ever for a 20-year-old.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.