Friday, January 23, 2009

A Case For 30-30-30-30-(30?)

Eleven teams in the history of baseball have had four 30 home run hitters in a season. The first were the 1977 LA Dodgers when Steve Garvey (33), Reggie Smith (32), Roy Cey (30) and Dusty Baker (30) all hit the once magic number. The other ten times have occurred since 1995, with the 2006 Chicago White Sox (Jermaine Dye 44, Jim Thome 42, Paul Konnerko 35, and Joe Crede 30) being the most recent. The Colorado Rockies account for four of those times when in 1995, 96, 97 and 99, four of their players reached the 30 home run mark.

The 2009 Brewers have a chance to add their name to that list.

THE GIMME'S

Fine. You can never just assume that any play is going to hit 30 home runs, but Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are about as close as you come. They each turn 25 in May and are clearly on the uphill parts of their careers. Both hitting 40 home runs seems much more likely than either one of them falling short of 30.

PLAUSIBLE

J.J. Hardy hit 24 last year and 26 the year before. At 26 years old he should be entering his most productive seasons. Padding last year's number seems more likely than not.

Mike Cameron hit 25 home runs in 120 games last season. That's a 30 home run pace. He reached 30 with the Mets in 2004 and twice got into the 20's in his two seasons before joining The Crew in a very tough park in San Diego. In a full season in Miller Park, it's not unthinkable that he could toy with 30.

POTENTIAL

Corey Hart had 14 home runs at the mid-way point of last season. He tailed off misserably and memorably at the end of the year, but at 27 years old should also have some bounce back in his numbers. Between the last half of 2007 and the first half of 2008 he hit 28 round trippers. It's not unthinkable that he could put together two solid halfs. (In his career, Hart has hit almost a third of his home runs in the month of June.)

So there's five. You want another? Add Rickie Weeks. He still has too much potential to think he could never do it. Also remember that Bill Hall is only two seasons removed from a 35 home run campaign.

If you assume the following probabilities of each of the Brewers' hitters reaching 30 or more home runs in the 2009 season:

Fielder - 80%
Braun - 80%
Hardy - 50%
Cameron - 40%
Hart - 25%
Weeks - 15%
Hall - 5%

then there is (according to a mathematical model I created) a 30% chance that the Brewers will have four 30 home run hitters, and a 7% chance that they will break the Major League record with five.

In researching this, I discovered that the Florida Marlins are also well positioned to challenge this record. Look at their top five home runs hitters from last year:

Hanley Ramirez - 33 HRs in 2008/25 yrs old in 2009
Mike Jacobs - 32/28
Dan Uggla - 32/29
Jorge Cantu - 29/27
Cody Ross - 22/28

They don't have the big boppers like Braun and Fielder, but they've got a bunch of guys who are right there.

3 comments:

KL Snow said...

On your Marlins note: Mike Jacobs is a Royal now.

Scott Segrin said...

So he is. I guess that would give the Royals a chance to be the 733rd team with at least one 30 home run hitter.

DoroMri said...

The Phillies are now the 12th team in history to have four 30 home run hitters in one season. Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jason Werth......GO PHILLIES!!!

 
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