After we hit 3 solo shots in the 8th last game to maximize our fireworks while keeping our actually-in-the-game index as low as possible, some dozer on the mlb board quipped that if you’ve followed Vernon Wells through his career, he only ever hits solo shots. Which lead to an interesting revelation through the help of baseball-reference.com, namely that Vernon Wells NEVER hits solo shots. Seriously, 70/146 (48%) is bizarre. Here are some other home run hitters:
- David “Clutch” Ortiz has 152/240 (63%) solo shots over his career;
- Torii Hunter: 99/174 (57%)
- Shawn Green: 190/323 (59%)
- Aubrey Huff: 90/145 (62%)
- J.D. Drew: 93/164 (57%)
- Trot Nixon: 86/135 (64%)
- Gary Sheffield: 242/463 (52%)
- Carlos Delgado: 224/410 (54%)
- Jason Giambi: 178/356 (50%) !
And the list goes on…I can’t find a single player in recorded history who has a % under 50, let alone under Vernon (any ideas?). There has been a lot of sabremetric-rattling lately about how protection doesn’t exist, (or maybe Bill James was just kidding around?), but what about reverse protection? It seems that Vernon hits for more power when pitchers can’t pitch around him because there’s already someone on base. Last year Wells got off to his first amazing April ever when Reed Johnson was leading the league in OBP, and then came back to earth when he did. Coincedence?