Friday, August 21, 2009

40-HR Kings

Chris Jaffe over at the hardball times has been posting some cool lists lately. The theme: "when was the last time a franchise had a player who...."

He has tackled "won 20 games" and "had 200 hits." I, of course, wondered about home runs. So I am going to completely rip him off and post the list for 40 home run guys. So, for all 30 MLB franchises, when was the last time each one had a player hit 40 ding-dongs in a season?

I will cluster them into 3 sections...

Section 1: The Recent Years:

PHI Howard 2008
MIL Fielder 2007
CIN Dunn 2007
TBD Pena 2007
NYY A-Rod 2007
NYM Beltran 2007
HOU Berkman 2006
CHW Dye/Thome 2006
CLE Hafner 2006
ATL Andruw 2006
BOS Ortiz 2006
WSN Soriano 2006
STL Pujols 2006
CHC Lee 2005
TEX Teixeira 2005
LAD Beltre 2005

Some notes:

* Pujols is sitting on 39 right now. So St. Louis will soon be on top at 2009.

* Pena's season in 2007 was the first 40 HR season in Tampa. He could possibly make it again this year as he is at 31.

* Adam Dunn has hit exactly 40 homers four years in a row. With 31, he is basically on track to do it again this year. Rooting for him.

* Chicago, Texas, and LAD are going to drop off the 5-year window as no one is close.

Section 2: A Little While Ago:

SFG Bonds 2004
TOR Delgado 2003
LAA Glaus 2001
ARI LuGo 2001
COL Helton 2001
SDP Nevin 2001
OAK Giambi 2000
SEA A-Rod 2000

Some notes:

* Troy Glaus hit 47 dongs in 2000 and 41 in 2001. Nobody else has done it for the Angels. Their leader this year is Morales with 27. But, they're leading the AL in runs, so I doubt they care.

* Luis Gonzalez's season is the only one in Arizona history, but Mark Reynolds has 38 this year, so should make two.

* San Diego may also see their spell end, A-Gone is at 33.

* Coors, where art thou? Crazy that nobody has hit 40 homers for the Rockies in the past seven seasons, and this year will be 8 as their leader is Tulo with 23. Damn that humidor.

Section 3: Official Droughts:

BAL Raffy 1998
FLA Sheff 1996
DET Fielder 1991
PIT Stargell 1973
MIN Killer 1970
KCR No-one! ----

Some notes:

* Matt Wieters hasn't quite challenged this yet.

* Yep, Barry Bonds never hit 40 for Pittsburgh. He hit 46 the year after he left though, so there's that. Brian Giles hit 39 in 99, and 38 in 2002. Bay hit 35 in 2006.

* Kansas City and Pittsburgh you expect to see at the bottom of every list, but what's Minnesota doing there? But yep, known to prefer the speedy slap hitters, they live up to that reputation on this list. Roy Sievers hit 42 dingers for the team in 1957 (when they were in Washington, of course,) and Harmon Killebrew did it 8 times for the Twins, from 1959 to 1970. Since Killer, though? Nothing even close. Justin Morneau hit 34 in 2006 and has 28 this year. In fact, the Twins only have nine 30-HR seasons since 1970.

* And finally we have the Royals. In existence since 1969 and zero 40-HR seasons. Zilch. Nada. Their leader is Steve Balboni with 36 in 1985. I knew this, of course, from reading a lot of Joe Posnanski, but I still find it amazing. You'd think you could get one guy that could fluke his way to a 40 dinger year. Or hell, even a 39 or 38 homer year. That nobody has even been close in 40 years is astonishing to me. Mike Jacobs is their team leader this season. He has 16. Sixteen! In their history, they have ten 30 HR seasons, and only Danny Tartabull has managed that feat twice for the Royals. Boy, I hope Billy Butler works out for them . . .

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