Stat of the Week: Will Extra Base Hits Help Punch Tickets to BBHOF?
Chuck Booth (Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- Extra base hits kind of go hand in hand with slugging percentage to an extent. I have often used this category every season as a gauge on how good a player does. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances why a player hits more doubles and triples rather than home runs but they are all considered extra base hits. Adrian Beltre is a perfect example of this. During his Seattle Mariner days, he would blast about 15-20 baseballs off the fences at Safeco Field every year (for a double or triple) that would have been an HR if he did not play in such a pitcher friendly park. This list represents great careers. If a player can reach the magic 1000 extra base hits, they will be hard to ignore for consideration towards Cooperstown. I have omitted Manny Ramirez from an active player. It is my firm belief that the man served a 50 game suspension for a team like Oakland, only to quit on them and maybe land on another club. If he is able to catch on with another job with a club, I will gladly put his name back as #2 player on this active list.
TOP 10 as of June.17/2012
Player Extra Base Hits Leaders Active (Rank All-Time)
1. Alex Rodriguez NYY 1169 (10)
2. Jim Thome PHI 1079 (20)
3. Chipper Jones ATL 1026 (26)
4. Vladimir Guerrero (FA) 972 (39)
5. Todd Helton COL 956 (45)
6. Albert Pujols LAA 941 (50)
7. Bobby Abreu LAD 908 (60)
8. David Ortiz BOS 886 (64)
9. Johnny Damon CLE 859 (73)
10. Scott Rolen CIN 857 (75)
I fully think that Vladimir Guerrero will sign with someone soon. At 972 extra base hits, he is 28 extra base hits away from that 1000 marker. If a team signs him in the next few weeks, he may have a chance to get there before the end of the season. Below is a 5 minute highlight package of his career thus far. There is not many Expos highlights, you can always search Youtube for more.
The surprise on this list has got to be Johnny Damon. I knew he was approaching 2800 hits, but his power is deceiving. At 233 HRs, 108 3B and 518 2B, the man is putting himself in some serious consideration for the Hall of Fame. With 400 SB and nearly 1700 runs to add to this resume, he would be borderline right now. In my opinion, Damon needs to get to that 3000 plateau. Will he play long enough to plunk down 257 more hits? It looks like a daunting task right now when you factor in his paltry .175 average this year with the Cleveland Indians.
David Ortiz is going to wish his name was never on that 2003 list of steroid users. Had he not been on that list, he would have been the best possible candidate for a career as a DH. He will probably reach the 1000 extra base hit mark. Big Papi may even stick around long enough to join the 500 HR club(he sits at 392 right now). In the end, the loveable big guy will never see the light of day at Cooperstown. His lifetime average is shockingly only at .284. He does not have an over .400 OBP like Edgar Martinez does either (.418). The first Papi of the MLB has the best case to make the BBHOF as a DH right now.
Alex Rodriguez will only get in if the voters elect to ignore the steroid stuff as his numbers are there. Chipper Jones, Jim Thome and Vladimir Guerrero are already Hall of Famers even if they were all to retire at the end of the year. Scott Rolen is already as good as retired himself and will fall short of consideration for the hall, although historically he has put up great numbers for a third basemen. Bobby Abreu may finish with nearly 600 doubles in his career, 300 HRs and 400 SB to go along with a .290 plus average. My assumption is that Bobby Abreu falls a tad short of the hall too. Todd Helton’s case is going to be problematic for the Hall of Fame. Just like Larry Walker, the voters will punish him for playing in Coors Field where has a .351 career average. How can you ignore that the guy has the two top extra base hit seasons amongst active players with 105 XBH in 2001 and 103 in 2000? During the 200o year, Helton hit close to .400 into August and ended up with 405 total bases with his .372 average. Unless he plays another 3 years and returns to his prime self, Helton will fall short of the Hall.
Players also to look out for are Adrian Beltre and Paul Konerko, who are just on the verge of 800 extra base hits. Konerko is 36 and Beltre is 33. Konerko is having an MVP season and I will write an article about him further this week to praise him. Hence to say that he may accumulate another 206 extra base hits to reach 1000 for his career. Adrian Beltre probably has 6 years left of playing time. He has 445 doubles and 320 HRs. I think 600 doubles and 450 HRs are well within his grasp. At 2100 hits already, Beltre also may have an outside chance at 3000 for his career. Beltre has a chance at Cooperstown when you also consider his defensive ability mixed in with his offense.
Albert Pujols already has 941 extra base hits and has 9 years left on his contract. I am sure he will be able to average 55 extra base hits a year for the duration of this time period. If so, he will take a run at Hank Aaron’s or A-Rods record should he pass the former Brave. To have hit 900 extra base hits in your 1st 11 seasons is epic. A great year by most standards is 70-80 extra base hits. Pujols averages about 83 extra base knocks per year. The Angels big slugger will need a great 2nd half to even come close to 70 this year. Pujols still leads all MLB active Players in AVG (.326) SLG (.609) and OPS (1.026). I think Albert will hit 30 HRs again this year and drive in 100 RBI with a great second half. He has hit 8 HRs and driven in 24 RBI in the last month.
The extra base hits stat is one that should be talked about with more relevance!!
Please check back next Monday for another stat of the week article. Also be sure to look us up on Wednesday for my follow up article with Paul Konerko being the subject.
***Thank you to our Baseball Writer- Douglas “Chuck” Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports. To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book, ” please click here ***
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Posted on June 17, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged a-rod, adrian beltre, albert pujols, baseball hall of fame, Bobby Abreu, chipper jones, Chuck Booth, colorado, cooperstown, Coors Field, david ortiz, designated hitter, edgar martinez, fastest 30 ballgames, hank aaron, jim thome, johnny damon, Larry Walker, manny ramirez, mariners, oakland, paul konerko, safeco field, scott rolen, top ten extra base hit leaders, vladimir guerrero. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.