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.
Jon Morosi reports that the Mariners and the Marlins are “fairly close” on a trade that would send reliever David Phelps to Seattle. Earlier Ken Rosenthal and others reported that the sides were talking, but that a deal was not imminent.
Phelps, 30, had a fantastic 2016 season, posting a 2.28 ERA in 64 games while striking out 11.8 batters per nine innings. He’s not been as strong this year, but he’s still been a solid setup man, posting a 3.45 ERA in 44 games while striking out 51 batters and walking 21 in 47 innings. He throws in the mid-90s and induces grounders. Basically everything you want in a reliever, right?
The Mariners could probably use rotation help more than bullpen help, but solid innings are solid innings at one point and improving your pen takes some of the pressure off of your rotation.
Corey Sager homered in the Dodgers’ win over the White Sox last night. It was his 45th career homer, 44 of which have come while playing shortstop. While that’s great given that the guy has only played in 270 games, it’s not a lot of homers in an absolute sense. Thousands of players have more homers than that, obviously. Baseball has been around for a long time!
But it’s enough to set a record. A Los Angeles Dodgers record, specifically, for the most homers from a shortstop. It puts Seager past Rafael Furcal, who hit 43 while wearing Dodger blue. The record for the franchise, including Brooklyn, is Pee Wee Reese, who hit 122.
It seems astounding that no other Dodgers shortstop has hit more than 44 homers in the nearly 60 years since the club has been in Los Angeles, but it’s true. If you had asked me before I saw the factoid mentioned on Twitter I would’ve bet my life that Bill Russell would’ve had more. Not because he had any power — he was, in fact, one of the more punchless players of his era — but because he simply played in L.A. so long, logging 1,746 games at short for Walt Alston and Tommy Lasorda. Nope. He only hit 46 in his 18-year career, with a handful of those coming as an outfielder. His season high is seven. Seager has hit seven homers in May of his rookie season.
Oh well, you learn something new every day.