Tuesday, September 27, 2011
A random post about Alfonso Soriano
By David Schoenfield
Alfonso Soriano is, shall we say, a rather unique ballplayer. For the fourth time in his career he has a chance to finish with more home runs than walks (he has 25 home runs and 26 walks entering Tuesday's game). But here's my favorite stat that I just noticed: He has 25 home runs but just 49 runs this season.
I wondered if that is unique. Turns out it's actually not that odd to hit at least 25 home runs and score fewer than 50 runs. Including Soriano, it's been done 20 times, including by Jim Thome and Russell Branyan last season. The "record" belongs to Gus Triandos in 1959 and Johnny Mize in 1950, who both hit 25 home runs and scored 43 runs.
Triandos was a catcher, one of the slowest runners in the game's history -- he stole one base his entire career. He had 468 plate appearances in '59 and had a .330 on-base percentage (Soriano's is .286), and spent most of the season hitting fourth or fifth for the Orioles. Baltimore's six, seven and eight hitters, however, combined for just 20 home runs and a .231 average. Hall of Famer Mize was a 37-year-old part-time player for the Yankees in 1950 and slugged his 25 home runs in just 274 at-bats. He actually spent part of the first half on a minor league rehab assignment, battling a shoulder injury, and 23 of his 25 home runs came in the second half.
Special mention to Tony Clark, who hit 30 home runs for the Diamondbacks on 2005, but scored just 47 runs.