Jose Bautista Goes Historic, Producing at Barry Bonds Circa 2001 Rate

The are no words to explain just how it is that Jose Bautista is doing what he is currently doing. I can sit here, type up glowing remarks, and still, I’m left wanting to write more. Even my wife, who is no baseball fan whatsoever, came away impressed by what she saw as he kept popping balls over the fence. Of course, when I explained the significance of the pace at which he is hitting HRs and getting on base in general, she understood that what we are all witnessing is quite incredible. Perhaps even historic!

I have just finished posing the question “How Much Money Did Jose Bautista Leave on the Table?” in that same titled May 14th article. That was yesterday….right? Well, within that article I pro-rated Jose Bautista’s stats based on his performance to that point to match the same ABs he received in 2010, a total of 569, and came up with the following stats:

569 AB / 207 hits / 38 doubles / 5 triples / 65 HRs / 114 RBI / 21 SB / 186 BB / 103 SO / .365 AVG / .525 OBP / .798 SLG

One day and two games later, the stats, pro-rated in the same way for a total of 569 ABs, look as follows:

569 AB / 209 hits / 34 doubles / 5 triples / 79 HRs / 134 RBI / 21 SB / 174 BB / 94 SO / .368 AVG / .520 OBP / .868 SLG / 1.388 OPS

That’s right folks, Jose is now on pace to hit 79 HRs this season if he keeps hitting them the way he has the first quarter of the season. And that’s considering 569 ABs. What if he gets up to there for 600+ ABs?

For comparison’s sake, here is the stats Barry Bonds put up in 2001, the year he broke the HR record:

476 AB / 156 hits / 32 doubles / 2 triples / 73 HRs / 137 RBI / 13 SB / 177 BB / 93 BB / .328 AVG / .515 OBP / .863 SLG

How eerily similar are those stats? Aside from the hits, mostly due to the difference in ABs, these guys are almost identical in terms of performance. What does this mean? Is Jose Bautista having a historic season as a Toronto Blue Jay? And if so, why isn’t everyone losing their minds talking about his greatness yet? They damn well should. He’s doing something that is above and beyond incredible. It is simply amazing!

As ardent a fan as I am of Jose’s, I can seriously expect him to continue this rate of HRs. Wait, isn’t that what everyone’s been saying since the beginning of 2010? Why can’t he keep mashing the way he is? Who makes that rule up that says I can’t believe that Jose will break the HR record? As someone who sincerely believes he is absolutely clean, although I have no proof,  I am 100% hoping that he SMASHES the HR record just so that I know Barry Bonds no longer holds that “supposed” title.

I will say this right here, right now: if he stays healthy and gets a great number of ABs for the remainder of the season (for a total of 580-620 ABs), Jose Bautista actually has a shot at breaking the MLB HR record.

Now that I’ve said that, let’s just look at what he has to do in order to match last year’s output – something that many people, if not most – said wouldn’t be done. If he gets the same number of ABs as he did in 2010 (569), he would have 455 ABs remaining to work with in 2011. With the stats he has put up thus far, Jose would need the following to match his 2010 output, with the number needed per AB in brackets and what he has done in 2011 beside that:

  • 106 hits (needs 1 every 4.3 ABs) – he has hit 1 every 2.7 ABs so far in 2011
  • 28 doubles (needs 1 every 16.3 ABs) – he has hit 1 every 16.28 ABs so far in 2011
  • 38 HRs (needs 1 every 11.97 ABs) – he has hit 1 every 7.125 ABs so far in 2011
  • 97 RBI (needs1 every 4.69 ABs) – he has driven a run once every 4.22 ABs so far in 2011
  • 5 SBs (1 every 91 ABs) – he has stolen a base every 28.5 ABs so far in 2011

Now, go ahead and try to sell me to the fact that he won’t match his 2010 totals. Just try it! Sure, hitters can slump and go through bad spells, but what’s required for him to match 2010 totals is so far below what he is doing at this point in time that it already takes such circumstances into account, in a way.

By the way, the AL record for HRs in a season is still held by one Roger Marris, who hit 61 in 1961. So, if Jose Bautista can manage 1 HR every 10.11 ABs, he can match that total. If he hits a HR once every 9.89 AB from here on out and gets 569 ABs, he will break the AL HR record. Since he’s currently pacing himself at a HR every 7.125 ABs, I’d say that it is a very achievable number for Jose to accomplish. So, even if he doesn’t beat the overall HR record, he very well could be on his way to landing the AL single season HR record.

My point through all of this?

Well, my point is that today, as I sit here and type this up, I am actually at the point where I expect Jose Bautista to match his 2010 performance AT A MINIMUM, and that shocks me in every single way. I actually expect him to be able to exceed that output by a good amount this season based on what we’ve seen so far, and now that he’s getting so close to Barry Bonds and his historic season, I’m finding myself pulling for him to break his record in a way that I never expected.

Jose Bautista is producing at a Barry Bonds Circa 2001 rate, and I, for one, am loving every single minute of it! Keep bringing it Jose, because breaking that record would mean a whole lot of good to a whole lot of people out there.

What a time to be a Jays fan. I you’re not watching this ridiculousness, you’re missing out on what could be history! You just never know….

-MG

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Topics: Barry Bonds, Jose Bautista

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  • onomeister

    Great article! I have been watching as many games as I can and I too believe this will be a great year to be a Blue Jay fan and that we are watching possibly history in the making… I truly hope that Lindy stays healthy so that he can protect Jose in the line up – I foresee lots of intentional walks… Bomb-tista, prove all the naysayers wrong and destroy the MLB record!

  • Rylan

    The problem with this article is that there is no way Bautista approaches 600 ABs. Last year he missed only 1 game, received 683 PAs and only 569 ABs. This year he’s already missed 9 games and he’s walking in about 10% more of his plate appearances, almost 1/4 of the time. Even if he doesn’t miss a game the rest of the year, I can’t see him getting much more than 500 ABs.

    • Mat Germain

      Thanks for the comment Rylan, but I don’t think we can predict how many ABs he’ll receive from here on out. Who knows what’s going to happen to his walk rate and how many times the lineup will turn over? With more support in the 2nd half, he could increase his AB pace.

      All this article was intended to do, anyhow, was to show his RATE of performance. That’s why I use rate in the title. Whether or not he gets the right number of ABs is outside my control!

  • Dave

    There is a huge flaw in your logic/math when projecting Bautista’s stats, your math predicts he will have 743 PA when he did not come close to approaching that last year while missing only 1 game, he has missed 8 so far this year.

    Your math should be based on PAs instead of ABs for your projections to hold any realistic weight.

    • Mat Germain

      See my comment to Rylan. Nothing says he won’t walk less often from here on out, and the rate of his performance was the focus of this article. Besides, if Bautista gets 650 PA he is still on pace to hit 71 HRs. Doesn’t that STILL make it historic?

  • Steve

    Above comments aside, which make a legitimate point, I agree with the jist of the article. Nobody is saying he will continue at this pace, but Jose keeps showing us that it is also not a safe assumption to say that he can’t continue at this pace, because he just keeps doing it. We’ve all been waiting for a regression for the past year and it still hasn’t happened. Actually, it’s true that he is not hitting at the same pace as last year – he’s actually exceeding it. I’ve decided to stop saying he can’t match last years home run totals and decided to just sit back and see how far this goes. As for the post about leaving money on the table, I just wanted to throw in my two cents. I don’t believe he left money on the table. Before this season, he had already earned more money than a lot of us will ever see and likely more than he ever imagined (realistically) making growing up. IMO the $65M that he then signed for fairly represents what he was worth this past off-season. At the time, he knew that he could wait a year and make a lot more, but he also knew there was a chance that it could all go wrong. He took the sure thing rather than waiting to see what was behind door # 1. He’s still set for life. I’m just glad that AA had the cajones to sign Jose for what was more than a lot of people thought he should have offered.

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