Jose Bautista close to becoming 14th member of 50-homer, 100-walk club

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Jose Bautista is one long ball away from becoming the 26th player in baseball history–and first since Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder in 2007–to hit 50 homers in a season, but he’s also on the verge of joining an even more exclusive club.
Bautista has 95 walks with 13 games left, making it likely that he’ll reach the century mark for the year. In the history of baseball there have been a grand total of 21 seasons of 50 homers and 100 walks produced by 13 different players.
Bautista would be the 14th and definitely the least likely member of the 50-100 club:

Babe Ruth          4
Mark McGwire       4
Mickey Mantle      2
Jimmie Foxx        2
Barry Bonds        1
David Ortiz        1
Sammy Sosa         1
Ryan Howard        1
Jim Thome          1
Luis Gonzalez      1
Hank Greenberg     1
Hack Wilson        1
Ralph Kiner        1

If his current rate stats hold Bautista would have the lowest batting average (.262), on-base percentage (.382), and slugging percentage (.617) of any 50-homer, 100-walk season, but that’s sort of like saying someone is the weakest World’s Strongest Man champion, ugliest Miss America winner, or least annoying Kardashian sister.

Must-Click Link: The Turbulent Final Year of Yordano Ventura’s Life

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 23:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals reacts in the sixth inning while taking on the Toronto Blue Jays in game six of the 2015 MLB American League Championship Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 23, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.

It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.

Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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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.