Sunday, October 01, 2017

Baseball season is over. Here are the final stats

Baseball season is over. Here are the final stats

I will, of course, prattle on about this forever after the jump, if you're interested. If baseball ain't your thing, ignore it, because it's strictly from squaresville, daddy-o.

Judge set the all-time record for homers by a rookie with 52.

Stanton led the NL by a margin of 20 homers (59-39). In the entire history of the National League, which dates back to 1876, no man has ever beaten the runner up by 20 homers or more. The previous record (19) dates back to 1923 when Cy Williams hit 41 playing his home games in the tiny Baker Bowl, and the runner up had a mere 22. Williams hit more homers at home (26) than the runner up hit altogether!


The story of Cy Williams is an interesting one. He was a left-handed hitter who hit towering fly balls. That made him a marginal player in the dead ball era. Through age 31 he had a lifetime batting average of .260 and had hit 49 homers in about 2400 at bats. Then the lively ball era began and his lofty fly balls started clearing the friendly right-field fence at the Baker Bowl. From ages 32 to 42, in an era when ballplayers were often washed up at about 30, he batted .311 and led the league in homers three times, including the monster 1923 season described above.

The gap of 20 homers between first and second is by far the largest gap in the expansion era (1961 and later). The previous record was a mere 13, set in the National League in 1965 when Mays hit 52 and nobody else topped 39.

In the pre-expansion American League, however, a gap of 20 has happened as recently as 1956, when Mickey Mantle hit 52 and Vic Wertz was a distant second at 32. The all-time AL record for the gap between first and second is an unreachable 35 homers, set by Babe Ruth in 1920 - and tied (by Ruth again) the very next year!


Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber ran away with the pitching honors. Kershaw led the NL in both wins and ERA. Kluber did the same in the AL, although two other pitchers tied him in wins. No pitcher won more than 18 games.


Jose Altuve batted .346 with a tremendous combination of power and speed (24 homers, 32 SB), especially considering he's about three feet tall.

Mike Trout had 33 homers and 22 stolen bases, which is pretty damned impressive since he missed 48 games!

Trout led the majors in OPS. He led the AL in both parts of OPS - on-base percentage and slugging average, and set personal highs in both! That's doubly impressive since he's led the league in each of those stats before, although he has never led in both in the same year. Trout's lifetime OPS+ (which is adjusted for context and the league average) is 172 (essentially meaning he has been 72% better than the league average). That is tied with Mickey Mantle for the sixth highest in baseball history. The only guys ahead of him are Ruth, Williams, Bonds, Gehrig and Hornsby. Lofty company!

(By the way, Joey Votto is tied for 16th of all time.)


  1. For any other team Kershaw would arguably be the greatest pitcher in their history, Clayton despite all of his accomplishments isn't even the best lefty to pitch for the Dodgers. He's going to beat or tie most of Sandy's records except for the 2x World Series MVP and winning it all 4x. Granted Kershaw isn't to blame for nkt winning it all, but it just goes to show how crazy Koufax was. Just as dominant as Clayton but did it while everyone was gunning for them.

  2. Another huge difference is their personal performance in the postseason. As great as Kershaw is, he's never been dominant in postseason play. Some teams suddenly don't even fear him. It's very odd. Koufax had a lifetime Postseason ERA under 1.00