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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

At that moment, the home run was huge. With the Mariners trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Angels on Monday night, needing a win to stay a half-game ahead of the Rangers in the race for the AL’s third wild card, Julio Rodríguez He chased a low sinker. by José Marte and tossed it over the center field wall into the No-Fly Zone, the personal cheering section of T-Mobile Park where the J-Rod Squad is located. The 402-foot blast was Rodriguez’s 30th of the year, meaning it not only tied the game, but made the 22-year-old center fielder the third-youngest player to join the 30-homer, 30-homer club. robberies.

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Counting up to the moment the players joined the club by reaching the second milestone, only Mike Trout (21 years, 54 days in 2012) and Ronald Acuña Jr. (21 years, 248 days in 2019) reached 30 home runs and 30 bases stolen in the same season at a younger age. Alex Rodríguez, like Julio Rodríguez, reached the mark in his age-22 season, and is the only other Mariner to accomplish the feat, but he was 23 years and three days old when he recorded his 30th steal in 1998.

The downside of it all was that the Angels scored three runs in the top of the 11th, and the Mariners fell in order in the bottom of the inning, trailing 8-5 and falling half a game behind the Rangers, with tiles. (whom the Rangers beat on Monday) just another half game left. Understandably, this left Rodriguez in a less than festive mood. Through the Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish said: “You know me, you know what I do every time I go on the field… It’s hard to talk about the good things you’re doing, when we, collectively, aren’t doing well. For me it’s always about winning first. That’s why we are here. As cool as it may seem, in the 30-30 club what I’m looking for is to win.”

The good news is that Tuesday night’s wins by the Mariners and Rangers left Seattle and Toronto at 80-65, tied for the third wild card spot in the American League, a half-game behind the Rangers at 80-64. The Astros (82-65) are just one game ahead of the Rangers and 1.5 ahead of the Mariners in a wild three-team race through the West. As for Rodriguez, he became the 44th player to reach 30-30, matching his jersey number (“That’s a really cool statistic,” he noted). The feat has been accomplished a total of 67 times and that number could be increasing. In fact, this year there is a possibility that we will get a record number of 30 to 30 members.

Rodríguez is the second player to reach 30-30 this season, following Acuña, who hit his 30th home run on August 31 along with what was then 61 steals (he added his 62 later in that game). That was already an unprecedented combination, and with six home runs and three steals since then, he has 36 of the first and 65 of the second, with his sights set on the first 40-70 season in Major League history. Meanwhile, four other players currently have at least 25 home runs and 25 steals, giving them reasonable chances of reaching 30 in both categories, and two others also have outside chances of spoiling the party.

To give us an idea of ​​what their chances are, I not only included each player’s ZiPS projection for the rest of the season, but I asked Dan Szymborski to provide me with the ZiPS odds of them hitting 30 in each category and completing the combo. I also asked him to give me the odds that Acuña would reach 40 home runs and 70 steals:

Possible season of 30 home runs and 30 steals in 2023

Player Equipment HOUR S.B. RoS HR Ros SB HR Project SB Project HR quotas SB Fees Odds combo
Ronald Acuña Jr. ATL 36 Sixty-five 4 5 40 70 72% 57% 39%
Julio Rodriguez SEA 30 36 3 3 33 39 100% 100% 100%
Bobby Witt Jr. KCR 28 42 3 3 31 Four. Five 73% 100% 73%
Kyle Tucker hou 26 28 3 3 29 31 37% 70% 26%
Teresa Turner FI 26 27 3 3 29 30 18% 52% 9%
Francisco Lindor NYM 26 26 3 2 29 28 35% fifteen% 5%
Fernando Tatis Jr. social democratic party 24 25 3 2 27 27 23% 13% 3%
Corbin Carroll GONNA 24 47 2 3 26 fifty 2% 100% 2%

Projections for the rest of the season (RoS) and probabilities of reaching stable levels according to ZiPS forecasts. * = odds of reaching 40 home runs and 70 stolen bases.

Two points are worth keeping in mind. First, these probabilities do not take into account human nature in the form of the possibility that a player approaching the stolen base milestone may begin attempting to steal more frequently, an action that is much more within his control. than, say, a sudden desire to hit more. home runs (which usually don’t end well). Second, each player’s home run and stolen base probabilities are not completely independent, because when a player hits a home run, he is deprived of the opportunity to reach base and steal, although that is a trade-off that most the players (and their teams) would do.

With that out of the way, a few points about each of the 30-30 potential members.

  • Witt has already achieved one of the two milestones and is the only contender whose projection for the rest of the season takes him over the line; the rest need to do better than his median projections, which is generally what good and great players do. If not for Acuña, Witt’s stolen base total would be the highest for any player with 30 home runs since Mike Trout stole 49 bags in 2012.
  • Tucker, who has hit exactly 30 home runs in each of the last two seasons, has a lot of work to do to achieve the hat trick in that category, but on the other hand, he has already set a new career high in steals and has had 84 hits. .9% this year, which is great (but not the best here).
  • Turner hit 12 home runs in his first 120 games with the Phillies, but he’s been furious lately, hitting 14 in his last 21 and hitting .400/.439/.933 (257 wRC+) in that span. Thanks to his home run and steal against the Braves on Tuesday night, his odds of reaching 30-30 tripled from the day before, from 2.9% to 9.3%. He has a reasonable chance to complete what he didn’t accomplish in 2021, when he hit 28 home runs and stole 32 bases. Just as notable as his hot streak is the fact that not only does he have an even better stolen base success rate than Tucker or Lindor, but he has yet to be caught stealing this season, something I didn’t realize until I wrote this and then checked to confirm. Of course, Michael Baumann addressed that topic on Tuesday. No one in the post-1960 expansion era has been perfect at stealing more than 23 bases; Chase Utley went 23-for-23 in 2009, a pivotal season in his next Hall of Fame case.
  • Lindor has also set a new record for steals. In fact, his total is the same as he had in 2021 and 22 combined, which explains why his odds of reaching 30 in that category are so low; ZiPS doesn’t think he can hold this clip. His 92.9% success rate (26 out of 28) suggests otherwise, so he would consider that 5% chance of making the club a significant underestimate.
  • After homering Tuesday night against the Dodgers, Tatis needs six more, and his track record suggests he can produce a flurry of them. That leaves him with a strong chance of joining the club in what has otherwise been a disappointing season after missing all of last year due to injuries and a banned substance suspension.
  • Carroll is the other contender besides Witt, who has already reached one of the milestones and also has an elite stolen base success rate (90.4%). However, he has hit just six home runs since his right shoulder problems in early July, including just two in August and one in September, so it seems unlikely that he will suddenly rediscover his power and regain lost ground. .

As for Rodríguez, his membership in the club is just one facet of an incredible second half (.353/.398/.656, 189 wRC+) that has made up for a tepid first half (.249/.306/.411, 100 wRC+). The increase has brought him to 6.0 WAR, 0.6 ahead of his Rookie of the Year campaign and second among American League position players behind Shohei Ohtani. If it weren’t for the awesomeness of both sides, he’d be battling the red-hot Corey Seager for MVP votes. And of course, the fact that he’s doing this while the Mariners are fighting for a playoff spot is even more impressive.

Speaking of MVP votes, Acuña’s combination of milestones can help him avoid a late charge from Mookie Betts, who has taken over the Major League WAR lead (8.0 to 7.1 for Acuña) and the National League lead in wRC+ (173 to 168). He is now only the third player to steal at least 50 bases and hit at least 30 home runs, after Eric Davis (37 home runs, 50 steals in 1987) and Barry Bonds (33 home runs and 52 steals in 1990), as well as one of the 14 players to reach 30-30 several times. Bonds shares the record with his father Bobby Bonds with five times each. Regardless of how many more bases he steals, if Acuña reaches 40 home runs, he will become just the fifth member of the 40-40 club, after José Canseco (1988), the young Bonds (1996), A-Rod (1998), and Alfonso Soriano (2006)

Going back to the 30-30 member hopefuls, the most likely outcome is that one or two of these players will reach the dual milestones. If two do it, they would tie the single-season record, which has been achieved three times, but only once this millennium:

Seasons with 4 players with 30 home runs and 30 steals

SOURCE: Baseball-Reference

What’s driving this year’s potential bumper crop is the return of the stolen base thanks to new rules (i.e., shot clock, pickoff pitch limit, and slightly larger bases) at a time when home run rates are near their historical levels. high. Stealth base attempts per game increased 32% from last year, from 0.68 per game to 0.9 (note that all of these rates are expressed per team per game). We haven’t seen players rush this often since 2011, when they attempted 0.93 steals per game, and only one other time this millennium have they been above 0.9 (2001, also 0.93), where they were above 1 .0 annually between 1975 and 1997. . With base steal success rates at an all-time high of 80.1%, successful steals per game increased 40% over last year, from 0.51 per game to 0.72, the highest rate since 1997 (0.73).

Meanwhile, the rate of 1.22 home runs per game is the fifth highest in history, having increased from 1.16 since I checked in at the All-Star break, but still well below the record of 1.39 home runs per game set in 2019. The number of home runs plus steals per game is the highest ever recorded, and the strange 1987 home run spike drove the next highest rate:

While Rodriguez could reach 40 steals, the heavy lifting of reaching major milestones in those categories is done for now. Still, I can’t wait to see what else he has in store for us this season.

#Julio #Rodríguez #joins #bumper #crop #players

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