FanShot

Beltran's Pretty Decent Year

1

Yesterday evening, Joe Posnanski took note of the fact that only four times in history has a player put up a season line including 25 HR, 40 2B, 25 SB, 110 R and 110 RBI. Two of them were in the pre-humidor Coors Field days, Larry Walker in 1997 and Ellis Burks (I forgot that he stole bases) in 1996. (Of course, Coors Field played an absurd 30% above average for hitters in 1996, though only 13% above average for hitters in 1997.) Walker might've done the same in 1996 as well, I suppose, but he played only 83 games that year, due to injury if I recall correctly. Dante Bichette, in fact, was one double shy of doing the same in Coors in 1996. The third was Barry Bonds in 1998, a phenomenal season by anyone's standards though before the power explosion that was to come. Like Joe, I find it a bit surprising that this was the only season Bonds had 40 doubles. (He was two doubles shy of another such season his first year in San Francisco, with 46 HR, 129 R, 123 RBI and 29 SB; I wonder how much the steroid cloud over 2001-04 will overshadow how phenomenal Barry was before then, including in his back-to-back MVP seasons of 1992 and 1993, featuring almost-identical OPS+ of 205 and 204.) The fourth, as you might have guessed, was our own Hebrew Hammer, Carlos Beltran. Now, I'm not a big believer in uncommon combinations of counting statistics being all that important in the scheme of things. (Jimmy Rollins' 20-20-20-20 performance last year was a pretty stupid rationale to give him the MVP, if you ask me.) Still, it's a pretty nice achievement for Voltron.

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