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Ryan Braun, contextualized via tables

July 22, 2012

Players since 1901 who have begun their careers with six straight seasons of 25 home runs or more:

From To Age
Ryan Braun 2007 2012 23-28 Ind. Seasons
Dan Uggla 2006 2011 26-31 Ind. Seasons
Mark Teixeira 2003 2008 23-28 Ind. Seasons
Albert Pujols 2001 2006 21-26 Ind. Seasons
Darryl Strawberry 1983 1988 21-26 Ind. Seasons
Frank Robinson 1956 1961 20-25 Ind. Seasons
Eddie Mathews 1952 1957 20-25 Ind. Seasons
Joe DiMaggio 1936 1941 21-26 Ind. Seasons
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/22/2012.

Players who have begun their career with six straight years of slugging over .500:

From To Age
Joey Votto 2007 2012 23-28 Ind. Seasons
Ryan Braun 2007 2012 23-28 Ind. Seasons
Ryan Howard 2004 2009 24-29 Ind. Seasons
Albert Pujols 2001 2006 21-26 Ind. Seasons
Frank Thomas 1990 1995 22-27 Ind. Seasons
Frank Robinson 1956 1961 20-25 Ind. Seasons
Ted Williams 1939 1947 20-28 Ind. Seasons
Charlie Keller 1939 1945 22-28 Ind. Seasons
Johnny Mize 1936 1941 23-28 Ind. Seasons
Joe DiMaggio 1936 1941 21-26 Ind. Seasons
Bob Johnson 1933 1938 27-32 Ind. Seasons
Chuck Klein 1928 1933 23-28 Ind. Seasons
Lou Gehrig 1923 1928 20-25 Ind. Seasons
Jim Bottomley 1922 1927 22-27 Ind. Seasons
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/22/2012.

Obviously those two stats are related to each other, since slugging percentage was designed to measure power. Also obviously, those two stats correlate positively to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, for which Braun tested positive last season, avoiding a 50-game suspension only because of a procedural error in the collection process. Furthermore, those two stats are related to park factors. Miller Park has a reputation as a good hitter’s park, but is actually just an average place for Braun to launch one: according to Fangraphs Guts!, Miller Park has either been average or one percent friendlier than average to right-handed home-run hitters since Braun’s debut in 2007. (In his career, Braun has hit 99 home runs at home and 88 on the road.)

Braun’s accomplishments are so rare that we should not discount them just for the juicing allegations. Only four men are on both of the above tables: Braun, Albert Pujols, Frank Robinson and Joe DiMaggio. Fans my age are so lucky to have witnessed two of those players in their prime. Who knows when the next such talent will come along?

From → Baseball

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