Thursday, August 10, 2006
The Juice Is Loose
5. Brian Giles- Was recently moved to second in the Padres lineup. He's batting .273 with 8 HR and 59 RBI, which projects to .273, 12 HR, 86 RBI. But look at what he did from '99-'02.
'99-'02 Averages: .310 BA, 37 HR, 109 RBI
'03-'05 Averages: .294 BA, 18 HR, 88 RBI (over 50% HR decrease)
During his contract year in 2000, he had a career high in RBI with 123 and average at .315. His raise? Over $6 million per year. He also made his first All-Star team that year and since the '99-'02 stretch, he needs twice as many at-bats to hit each HR.
4. Melvin Mora- A career .281 hitter, Mora broke out in '04 like he has never done before. He didn't even make the majors until he was 27, and his other years suggest that it's because he really wasn't that good.
In '04: .340 BA, 27 HR, 104 RBI, 1 HR/20 AB
Career: .281 BA, 1 HR/36 AB
After batting 60 points over his career average, Mora has never hit higher than .317 (in '03) and other than that, his highest BA is .284 (for a full season). After the '04 outbreak, his salary increased by 50%.
3. Moises Alou- In 2004 at age 38, hit more HR (39) than ever before. His teammate was another late 30's slugger- Barry Bonds. Over his previous 8 full seasons, he had averaged just 24 homers.
'02-'03 Averages: .278 BA, 19 HR, 76 RBI
'04 Season Totals: .293, 39 HR, 106 RBI
2. Adrian Beltre- I would guess Seattle fans are fuming. In his contract year in '04, Beltre was phenomenal for the Dodgers. The rest of his career, however, has been sub-par.
'04 Season: .334 BA, 48 HR, 121 RBI
Career Avg: .263, 18 HR, 78 RBI
Let me do the math for you. 71 points higher batting, 167% HR increase, 55% RBI increase. He signed a new contract after the season that raised his salary from $5 million to $11.4 million per year.
1. Luis Gonzalez- Are Yankee fans aware that Gonzo being on a cycle could have lost them a World Series? In 2001, he had more that a career year, he had a freakish year. If he wasn't juicing, would his winning hit in the World Series have cleared the infield?
Career highs: 31 HR, 114 RBI
'01 Stats: 57 HR, 142 RBI
He also batter 40 points higher than his career average this year. I'm suspicious.
Not So Honorable Mentions
Gabe Kapler- From '99-'01 hit 16 HR per year, has hit 15 total since then.
Brady Anderson- Would be on the list if he still played, but hit 50 HR and had 110 RBI in '96 out of the leadoff spot. 25 more HR and 30 more RBI than ever before. Plus a career high in batting.
Eric Gagne- After posting a 4.95 ERA the previous 2 seasons, he had a 1.79 ERA the next 3 seasons. He also set the all-time consecutive saves record. His bulky body and recent string of injuries support this also.
As to Mora though, I'm not so sure. He had steadily progressed in terms of his power production up through '04, and then proceeded to hit the exact same number of homers in '05. His production is off in '05, in terms of power, but not otherwise. The scuttlebutt around the O's was that in '03 and '04, the pitchers just hadn't figured him out. He also had the benefit of a 34HR-150RBI Miguel Tejada hitting behind him in '04.
Perhaps apologia, but I think in Mora's case it's mostly that he's just gotten better, and had a career year in there.
The Giles suggestion has already been shot down; but yeah... PETCO kills home run hitters.
If we're counting retired players, add Jay Bell to that list. Look at the stats.
I wonder how many guys are actually on HGH and if has comparable performance results.
go back a few years to Lance Parrish and Brian Downing.
This stuff didn't just start in 98 with HGH and Big Mac.