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I’ve been kind of obsessed with doubles lately. (For instance: this Sporcle quiz
Here are the top 25 seasons of all time, ranked by percentage of doubles (qualified hitters since 1901). One player just dominates:
|Rk||Player||2B||H||% of 2Bs||Year||Tm|
In 2003, Eric Hinske hit 45 doubles… and just 49 singles. That’s craaaaazy. No other 40-double hitter in MLB history has finished with fewer than 61 singles (Carlos Delgado in ’97 and Alfonso Soriano in ’10 both had 61).
I love the diversity of this list. You have all-time greats (Brett, Hornsby, Greenberg, Speaker, etc.), but you also have some very pedestrian players (Fullmer, Young, Koy, Church, Wilkins, etc.). It’s also interesting that there are no repeat players. That points to the peculiarity and difficulty of this type of season.
It’s also interesting to me that nearly all of these seasons came during high-offense eras (’90s / 2000′s and ’30s). I suppose that in a high-offense era, fielding isn’t as prioritized, so balls hit out of the infield are more likely to turn into doubles. Among other factors, of course.
It seems that 32% doubles is a sort of inflection point. Only 8 players have topped that figure in a season, but 17 have put up a number between 31% and 32%, and another 19 have posted a mark between 30% and 31%.
Let’s close with the career leaders for highest proportion of doubles (min. 3000 PAs). These are the 9 players with at least 25% doubles in their careers:
|Rk||Player||2B||H||% of 2Bs||From||To||PAs|
Lyle Overbay: #1 in baseball history at something. Awesome.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that 3 longtime Red Sox are on this list (Ortiz, Valentin, and Youkilis). It’s also not a coincidence that all of these hitters played in the ’90s and 2000s, I’m sure. Or that 7 of the 9 are still active, for that matter.
Before Valentin debuted in 1992, the all-time leader in this stat was Hank Greenberg at 23.3% doubles (379 2Bs out of 1628 hits). Rance Mulliniks
Perhaps we should rename the “Steroid Era” the “Doubles Era.”
Tagged with: Adam LaRoche Alfonso Soriano Andres Torres Bert Niehoff Bill Hall Brad Fullmer Brian Roberts Bruce Campbell Chris Young Chuck Knoblauch Craig Biggio Dan Uggla David Ortiz Doubles Earl Webb Edgar Martinez Eric Hinske Ernie Koy George Brett Hank Greenberg John Valentin Kevin Youkilis Kevin Young Larry Walker Luis Gonzalez Lyle Overbay Nick Johnson Rance Mulliniks rare feats Rick Wilkins Rogers Hornsby Ruppert Jones Ryan Church Scott Rolen Tris Speaker
This blog is devoted to the invention and use of unusual baseball statistics. These Junk Stats are designed to reveal the not-so-meaningful quirks that make baseball so fascinating.
JunkStats is written by Jacob Peterson, who also writes for the Braves blog Talking ChopBeyond the Boxscore
For more about the site or the author, read the About page
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