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Major League Baseball's 40-40 Club

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  Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Major League Baseball's 40-40 Club
    Posted: 02-Sep-2007 at 01:26
Although there is no official award for it, the 40-40 Club of baseball is quite prestigious in its own right.  In order to be counted among its members, a player must exhibit two marks of amazing athleticism: power and speed.  It is rare that both are combined in one player.  Specifically, the player must hit at least 40 homeruns and steal 40 bases in a single season.
 
There are many who have done 20-20.  Others have made it to 30-30 and narrowly missed 40-40.  So far, in Major Leage Baseball's 100 year existence, only 4 players have made it into the 40-40 Club.  They are, in chronological order:
 
Jose Canseco
 
1988 Oakland Athletics  610 AB  .307 AVG.  42 HR  124 RBI  40 SB
 
 
Barry Bonds
 
1996 San Francisco Giants  517 AB  .308 AVG.  42 HR  129 RBI  40 SB
 
 
Alex Rodriguez
 
1998 Seattle Mariners  686 AB  .310 AVG.  42 HR  124 RBI  46 SB
 
 
Alfonso Soriano
 
2006 Washington Nationals  647 AB  .277 AVG.  46 HR  95 HR  41 SB
 
 
When one thinks about it, this statistical accoplishment is startling, especially since baseball has been around for over 100 years.  Many of the power and contact hitting records were made in baseball's early history.
 
In the 21st century, there are a few rising stars who might be able to join the ranks of the 40-40 Club some day.  The ones that I am going to indicate have the tools to accomplish this but have not reached 40 HR or 40 SB separately in one year (except Ramirez in SB).  These players are:
 
 
Curtis Granderson
 
2006 Detroit Tigers  596 AB  .260 AVG.  19 HR  68 RBI  8 SB  9 3B
2007 Detroit Tigers  520 AB  .294 AVG.  18 HR  65 RBI  17 SB  21 3B
 
Granderson is an amazing athlete both at the plate and on the field.  His speed is unbelievable.  As shown above, his stats have climbed a good deal with less at-bats.  What is even more astonishing is that he has 21 Triples this season!
 
 
Brandon Phillips
 
2006 Cincinnati Reds  536 AB  .276 AVG.  17 HR  75 RBI  25 SB
2007 Cincinnati Reds  552 AB  .290 AVG.  26 HR  80 RBI  25 SB
 
Another spectacular batter and fielder.  His power numbers have climbed and his speed has been consistent.
 
 
David Wright
 
2005 New York Mets  575 AB  .306 AVG.  27 HR  102 RBI  17 SB
2006 New York Mets  582 AB  .311 AVG.  26 HR  116 RBI  20 SB
2007 New York Mets  486 AB  .319 AVG.  24 HR    87 RBI  30 SB
 
Wright seems to have one of the highest Power-Speed ratios in the group.  His power has remained consistent and speed has climbed.  With the Mets having Ricky Henderson as running coach, who knows what Wright will accomplish in the future? 
 
 
Grady Sizemore
 
2005 Cleveland Indians  640 AB  .289 AVG.  22 HR  81 RBI  22 SB  11 3B
2006 Cleveland Indians  655 AB  .290 AVG.  28 HR  76 RBI  22 SB  11 3B
2007 Cleveland Indians  530 AB  .279 AVG.  23 HR  70 RBI  29 SB    3 3B
 
Excellent leadoff man for the Indians.  His numbers have remained consistent; what stands out are the high triple numbers.  Can his power-speed climb above this?
 
 
Hanley Ramirez
 
2006 Florida Marlins  633 AB  .292 BA  17 HR  59 RBI  51 SB  11 3B
2007 Florida Marlins  530 AB  .330 BA  23 HR  65 RBI  43 SB    6 3B
 
Ramirez obviously has the speed, but does he have consistent power?
 
All statistics accessed at http://www.baseball-reference.com/ 
 
These are enough for now.  Some other players that might have a chance include Jimmy Rollins (Phillies), Eric Byrnes (Diamondbacks), Carlos Beltran (Mets), and Alex Rios (Blue Jays).  Of course, there are other factors to think about when looking at these numbers such as how the player was used and what kind of situations he was in that might effect the game (coaching decisions on running game, field type, health, etc.)
 
Some questions for you to consider:
 
1. Do you think any of the new stars mentioned above will make it into the 40-40 Club?  Is it statistically possible to predict such a feat?
 
2. Alex Rodriguez has shown no sign of slowing down in power or speed.  It seems that he has been used less for speed since he has been on the Yankees.  Does he have the ability to accomplish 40-40 again?
 
3.  Is it unrealistic to think we might see the inaugeration of a 50-50 Club in the future?


Edited by Byzantine Emperor - 02-Sep-2007 at 01:40
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  Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2007 at 02:33
Great topic BE.
 
I don't think any of the players you mentioned will make the forty-forty club.  Though if I had to pick one from the list, my bet would be on Grady Sizemore.  I don't know much about Ramirez, but the others are too valuable to their team for the managers to allow them to steal that many bases.  Sizemore is a leadoff hitter who is encouraged to steal.  For some reason he reminds me of a better contact hitting brady anderson.  I'm not sure you can predict an achievement like this but you can make educated guesses.
 
In regards to A-Rod he definitely still has 40 homerun power, as far as I know he hasn't suffered any severe leg injuries so I would imagine he could still run, besides at this age he has experience which as we know is very important to be a good base stealer.
 
I don't think it unrealistic to see a 50-50 club member, Soriano came awful close recently I would imagine he has a good shot to do it if he's allowed to run.  That really is at the base of the problem.  Ken Griffey Jr. always had good speed but never got above like 21 steals because he was too valuable to risk injury.  Another more minor factor may have been he just didn't have the base stealer's instincts but I have never heard that complaint raised against him. 
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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2007 at 14:00
I agree with Justinian, I don't see anyone that will do 40/40, but then I didn't think Canseco had a chance either.
 
Records are made to be broken, I don't see why 50/50 couldn't happen.  There were a lot of people who said Cobbs hit record would never be broken.
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  Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2007 at 21:14
Originally posted by red clay

I agree with Justinian, I don't see anyone that will do 40/40, but then I didn't think Canseco had a chance either.
 
Records are made to be broken, I don't see why 50/50 couldn't happen.  There were a lot of people who said Cobbs hit record would never be broken.
 
Since either of you do not think my examples will make 40-40, do any of you have a wager who might?  I guess we could say A-Rod and Alfonso Soriano have a chance depending on how many opportunities they have to run and whether or not their respective coaches give them a chance.
 
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  Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2007 at 21:25
I don't think Eric Byrnes will, don't think he has the power for it. If I had to bet on who would be the next 40-40 guy I would have to put my money on Alex Rios. Although Hanley Ramirez might be another good bet to do it. What's really interesting is that none of the guys you have mentioned have ever hit 30+ Hrs in a single season. Something like this is really hard to predict, the stars have to align perfectly for 40-40 to happen that's why only 4 people have done it and nobody has done it more than once (yet).
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  Quote Prophet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2007 at 02:38
I don't believe it will happen!!  50/50 that is.
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  Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2007 at 09:20
Why not, Prophet? I don't believe it will happen anytime soon but it could possibly happen some time down the road.
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  Quote Dolphin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2007 at 09:32

Would a 50/40 be more likely than a 40/50...? I dont know much about baseball!

The first refers to homeruns and the second stolen bases, right?
 
What does RBI stand for?
 
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  Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2007 at 13:03
^^^ It's hard to say really.  If I had to hazard a guess I would say 50/40 would be less likely.  (You are correct; its homeruns first, stolen bases second)  It would seem it is harder to hit homeruns than steal bases.  If I am understanding you're question correctly, RBI's aren't listed in the same way.  I have never heard of someone saying a player had a 40/120 season before.  I think it has more to do with stolen bases and homeruns being a less likely combination.  Generally speaking a player that hits a lot of homeruns is going to have a lot of RBI's.
 
Originally posted by Byzantine Emperor

Since either of you do not think my examples will make 40-40, do any of you have a wager who might?  I guess we could say A-Rod and Alfonso Soriano have a chance depending on how many opportunities they have to run and whether or not their respective coaches give them a chance.
Well you just mentioned the man I would bet on, Alfonso Soriano.  Honestly I think his 2006 season was the best chance he had, but he may come close again.
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  Quote Prophet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2007 at 15:24
KJ:  You know Bonds might have done it if he had not become the "hulking steroid monster."  He was just right, Clemente could have had a chance.  P
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  Quote King John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2007 at 18:37
Dolphin, RBI stands for Runs Batted In.
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  Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2007 at 19:35
Originally posted by Justinian

It's hard to say really.  If I had to hazard a guess I would say 50/40 would be less likely.  (You are correct; its homeruns first, stolen bases second)  It would seem it is harder to hit homeruns than steal bases.  If I am understanding you're question correctly, RBI's aren't listed in the same way.  I have never heard of someone saying a player had a 40/120 season before.  I think it has more to do with stolen bases and homeruns being a less likely combination.  Generally speaking a player that hits a lot of homeruns is going to have a lot of RBI's.
 
Sorry for the confusion.  When I posted the stats I included the RBI totals as yet another indicator of the player's power level, in addition to total homeruns.  Justinian is correct; a player who has upwards of 30 and 40 homeruns will generally have over 100 RBIs total, unless he hit a lot of solo homeruns.
 
The purpose of designating a player as a "40-40" club member is to give him recognition for having a rare combination of power and speed.
 
Originally posted by Prophet

You know Bonds might have done it if he had not become the "hulking steroid monster."  He was just right, Clemente could have had a chance.
 
Barry Bonds did make it into the Club before (or right at the beginning) he started taking steroids and turned into a mutant:
 
Originally posted by Byzantine Emperor

Barry Bonds
 
1996 San Francisco Giants  517 AB  .308 AVG.  42 HR  129 RBI  40 SB
 
My main reason for starting this topic is to try and predict who might become the next member from the upcoming stars.  There is a chance that some of the four mentioned above might do it again.  Of the new players, I think Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips, and perhaps Curtis Granderson have a chance of making it in the future.  They seem to have the essential power although they have not hit over 30 homeruns yet statistically.
 
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  Quote Dolphin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2007 at 04:25
Originally posted by King John

Dolphin, RBI stands for Runs Batted In.
 
 
Thanks, Baseball really hasn't crossed the Atlantic properly yet!
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  Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2007 at 12:32
Sorry about that Dolphin, completely misread your question.Embarrassed
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  Quote King Kang of Mu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2007 at 12:47
Another important stat for Steals is OBP.  Granderson is the best example. As a leadoff hitter he led AL with 174 SOs last season which brought down his OBP to .335.  That's just unacceptable for a leadoff hitter.  He is doing little better this year .355 but he is still 4th in SO's in AL.  I was surprised though to find out Sizemore also have high SO's but his OBP is above .375 in last two seasons.  You gotta get on the 1st base to steal 2nd and there are many ways to get on the 1st other than hitting a single.  Walks, he needs tighter strike zone.  Errors, it's hard to cause errors if you don't put the ball in play and strike out a lot, though not impossible.  But he is young and his numbers are getting better.  
Having Planco behind you does not really help as far as stealing bases.  With great contact hitter like Planco it's better to hit and run than steal the 2nd risking an out.  It's all situatuonal, what order you hit and who hits behind you.  But Granderson is one of the most exciting and improving young player in the league for sure.  Just little nitpicking.

 
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  Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2007 at 22:10
Originally posted by King Kang of Mu

Another important stat for Steals is OBP.  Granderson is the best example. As a leadoff hitter he led AL with 174 SOs last season which brought down his OBP to .335.  That's just unacceptable for a leadoff hitter.  He is doing little better this year .355 but he is still 4th in SO's in AL.
 
Yeah, I know, his strikeouts have been atrocious for a leadoff hitter.  Leyland and McLendon were having Granderson work on this over spring training.  It looks like the practice might pay off little by little as you noticed.  But his other stats are truly amazing and signal that this young player has some great things in store.
 
Originally posted by King Kang of Mu

I was surprised though to find out Sizemore also have high SO's but his OBP is above .375 in last two seasons.  You gotta get on the 1st base to steal 2nd and there are many ways to get on the 1st other than hitting a single.  Walks, he needs tighter strike zone.  Errors, it's hard to cause errors if you don't put the ball in play and strike out a lot, though not impossible.  But he is young and his numbers are getting better.
 
Sizemore is an interesting case.  He has speed and the numbers for a typical power hitter - strikeouts and homers.  Baseballreference.com has a statistical rating called "Power-Speed Number," of which Sizemore has a high one.  He could do 40-40 in the future I think.
 
Talking about stealing strategies: I have always wondered how Ricky Henderson managed to steal 130 bases in a season while still being the MLB record holder for leadoff homeruns.  If he didn't hit a homer, he was on base and stole 2B, 3B, and sometimes home every time.  Plus, Henderson had a mechanical ability to time pitchers perfectly.
 
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  Quote King Kang of Mu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Sep-2007 at 09:36
Henderson was amazing. Not only he had a130 steals season but also he reached 100 two other times and 80 or more three other times.  Which proves that 130 wasn't just a freak season.  But now days you can lead league in steals with 60-70 steals.  Not too many teams play the 'small ball' like Henderson's days.  I can only think of Minnesota as a 'small ball' team.  Most of good offensive team would have 4-5 guys over 20 HRs but only 1-2 guys over 20 steals.  It is a real luxury now days to have a middle to bottom lineup hitter to steal 20 bases.  Often in fantasy leagues, Steals and Saves are most difficult numbers to come by because most teams only have one or two guys giving you that number in consistent bases.  That's why guys like Kenny Lofton is still a valuable asset at age 40.

I also think it is easier for a player in a bad team could run up the numbers easier than good team with tighter system.  Worse the team is more a talented player is asked to do more in different area.  You get on the 1st and the next guy is not a great contact hitter, the coach is more likely to order you steal the 2nd.  I think Phillips and Ramirez fall into that category.  Opposite example would be guys like Jeter.  I'm pretty sure Jeter could steal 40-50 bases year in and year out but why risk when you have guys like  Damon, Abreu, or Cano is hitting behind him not to mention Matsui, A Rod and Posada.   Granderson also falls in to that category.  I do think though, Granderson has better speed going 1st to 3rd on a single, coming home from second or stretching a double to a triple than steal the 2nd.  The longer he has run the better speed he gains.  Another amazing part of his game is his improvement on playing center field.  He was descent last year for having learn the new position as a rookie but this year he's chasing down balls like it owes him money out there, creating ESPN material 2-3 times a week.  That I actually care more about than his steal numbers and I'm sure so does Leyland.


Edited by King Kang of Mu - 08-Sep-2007 at 09:58
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  Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Sep-2007 at 12:44
Originally posted by King Kang of Mu

You get on the 1st and the next guy is not a great contact hitter, the coach is more likely to order you steal the 2nd.  I think Phillips and Ramirez fall into that category.  Opposite example would be guys like Jeter.  I'm pretty sure Jeter could steal 40-50 bases year in and year out but why risk when you have guys like  Damon, Abreu, or Cano is hitting behind him not to mention Matsui, A Rod and Posada.
 
Yes, the lineup is a big part of whether or not a runner's speed is utilized.  However, the Mets seem like an exception to this general rule.  Jose Reyes has been the leadoff man the whole year and has 74 SB.  He has LoDuca, Beltran, Delgado, and David Wright batting 2-5 right after him.  It is a similar situation to the Yankees and Jeter.
 
Is it just me or is the MLB's power numbers drastically down as compared to the last two years?  Perhaps it is due to the inordinate amount of injuries suffered this year, although many of the power hitters have not been out for huge chunks of 2007.  Ryan Howard was in the beginning but he is on top now.  But only a few players have made it to 30+ HR and 100 RBI this season.  Maybe the investigation with Mitchell and BALCO put a scare into them to stop using the juice?


Edited by Byzantine Emperor - 08-Sep-2007 at 12:46
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  Quote Gundamor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Sep-2007 at 14:27
Originally posted by Byzantine Emperor

Is it just me or is the MLB's power numbers drastically down as compared to the last two years?  Perhaps it is due to the inordinate amount of injuries suffered this year, although many of the power hitters have not been out for huge chunks of 2007.  Ryan Howard was in the beginning but he is on top now.  But only a few players have made it to 30+ HR and 100 RBI this season.  Maybe the investigation with Mitchell and BALCO put a scare into them to stop using the juice?


They are drastically down. Probably from a combination of things though. The juicing thing might have had a minor impact.  A lot of sluggers this year have been injured. You mentioned Howard, David Ortiz has battled nagging injuries as well as other power hitters. Usual sluggers like Andruw Jones, Jermaine Dye and Lance Berkman etc. have had really soft years with some of them starting to hit just now. I think the stats may just balance by the end of the year to look about the same as last year. Though Arod probably will hit 60+ unlike last year. Also I think pitching might of finally caught up a bit from the years of watering it down through expansion.

As for 40/40 there are not a lot of current players that are candidates for it this year but it always varies from year to year anyways. 50/50 is kind of a lucky thing as you don't see a lot of power hitters that can steal that many bases as well as manage to generate that many singles or walks to get on base and make the attempts. Bonds was a rare one as he got to first a lot because he is the most walked player in MLB history. His OBP has always been incredible even with the pirates.
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