For Jose Bautista to hit 20 home runs this season a lot had to go right. For starters, he would have to have a career year. After all, the Blue Jays had traded Scott Rolen for a younger third basemen with potential for growth in Edwin Encarnacion last season. They also had Brett Wallace in the system as the top prospect and a guy that was supposedly capable of handling the hot corner. Bautista had never hit better than .254 or have an OPS over .757 in any season. Heck his at-bats had topped the 400 mark just once in his career. At 29 years of age, to expect him to be anything more than a decent deep AL only option was out of the question.
So Bautista didn’t hit 20 home runs this year. He hit 20 by June 22nd. He then proceeded to hit 20 more over the next two months. And since August 23rd he’s hit 10 more. Last night he hit home run number 50 against the best pitcher in the American League. And well you get the idea.
Brady Anderson once hit 50 home runs in a season too. And the parallels between the two players leading up to the outburst – though not perfect – are eye opening.
- Both players beat their previous season home run total by more than 30 homers.
- Both players had never driven more than 80 runs in any prior season.
- Neither player hit better than .271 in any prior season (in Bautista’s case he still hasn’t hit that high).
- Anderson struck out 106 times. Bautista has struck out 106 times.
- Anderson had 37 doubles. Bautista is on pace for 36 or 37 doubles.
- Both were fairly old – Anderson was 3 years older than Bautista.
- Despite the huge increase in power, neither player saw a big increase in walk rate – Anderson’s actually went down.
Where Bautista goes from here isn’t clear, but obviously asking him to hit 50 again next year is betting against the odds. Anderson managed to go down 32 home runs his next season and never again did he even reach the 25 plateau. Bautista is still relatively young, so I’d bet on more than 25, but not much more given what his career has been up until now.
- Andrew Bailey will miss the rest of the year.
- Madison Bumgarner struck out a career high 9 in probably the best start of his brief career.
- The last time Logan Morrison did not reach base in a game was August 6th. He has reached in 42 consecutive games. That is 4 away from Albert Pujols‘ rookie record.
- Ichiro Suzuki has 200 hits in 8 straight seasons. Amazing how he never gets mentioned in fantasy talk for how consistent he is. Seattle has never had a good power hitter in his time there, so for him to put up the numbers he does is all the more impressive.
- The Padres have more wins while scoring 3 runs or fewer than any team in baseball since the 1993 Braves.
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