Cody Bellinger matches Jose Canseco

With his 33rd home run last night, Cody Bellinger ties Jose Canseco, Earl Williams, and Jimmy Hall.  The key to this is that Cody hit his 33 home runs in only 389 plate appearances. It took Jose Canseco 682 plate appearances. When Jose burst upon the scene in 1986 he took baseball by storm much like Aaron Judge has done this year. No one had quite seen anything like Jose Canseco in a baseball uniform before.  Two years later he would be the AL MVP and when he crushed a grand slam in the first game of the 1988 World Series in the 2nd inning it looked like he would lead the A’s to a crushing defeat of the Dodgers.  But he didn’t. That was his last hit in the World Series as he went 1 for 19 as the Dodgers torpedoed the Bash Brothers with pitching and clutch hitting.

Earl Williams was a slugging catcher who hit 33 home runs his rookie year and followed that by hitting fewer home runs each year. 28 / 22 / 14 / 11 before finally stopping that trend with 17.  Earl had hit 83 home runs in his first three years. If that doesn’t impress you maybe this chart will. Earl Williams hit more home runs as a catcher by the age of 24 than anyone not named Johnny Bench. Anyone.  Of course, he stopped hitting home runs after the age of 24 and also stopped being a full time catcher.

Player            HR From   To   Age   PA   OPS
Johnny Bench     154 1967 1972 19-24 3229  .822
Earl Williams     83 1970 1973 21-24 1747  .792
Joe Torre         76 1960 1965 19-24 2487  .814
Gary Carter       75 1974 1978 20-24 2168  .774
Brian McCann      70 2005 2008 21-24 1821  .859
Ivan Rodriguez    68 1991 1996 19-24 2868  .753

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/10/2017.

Cody now sits alone with the most home runs by rookie left handed hitter in the NL with his 33 and ties Jimmy Hall who is in second place.

Hal Trosky has the major league rookie record for home runs by left handed hitter with 35.

Trosky had an interesting career. When you look at his baseball reference page you see a player who started with a bang but stopped playing at age 28 in 1941. I thought the war interrupted his career but the baseball sabr bio says it was migraines.

his career reached its apex in 1936, when he led the American League in runs batted in with 162, yet he has largely been consigned to historical obscurity. This anonymity is not only due to the reality that his career overlapped a triumvirate of Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg, and Lou Gehrig, a triumvirate of future Hall of Fame first basemen who held a virtual lock on the position on the American League All Star teams of the mid-’30s, but also because, at what should have been the peak of his career, Trosky was sidelined with two years of severe migraine headaches, pain so debilitating that he became unable to take the field for days in a row.

From age 21 – 28 Trosky hit 215 home runs. He tried to come back in 1944 and 1946 but it didn’t work out and he ended his career with only 5748 plate appearances and 228 home runs with an OPS+ of 130. He had a short but brilliant career. The man once hit 42 home runs, drove in 162 runs, had an OPS of 146, led the league in TB with 405 and finished 10th in MVP voting.

Player                        HR Year Age  Tm Lg  PA
Mark McGwire (RoY-1st)        49 1987  23 OAK AL 641
Frank Robinson (RoY-1st)      38 1956  20 CIN NL 667
Albert Pujols (RoY-1st)       37 2001  21 STL NL 676
Al Rosen                      37 1950  26 CLE AL 668
Jose Abreu (RoY-1st)          36 2014  27 CHW AL 622
Mike Piazza (RoY-1st)         35 1993  24 LAD NL 602
Ron Kittle (RoY-1st)          35 1983  25 CHW AL 570
Rudy York                     35 1937  23 DET AL 417
Hal Trosky                    35 1934  21 CLE AL 685
Aaron Judge                   35 2017  25 NYY AL 460
Ryan Braun (RoY-1st)          34 2007  23 MIL NL 492
Walt Dropo (RoY-1st)          34 1950  27 BOS AL 609
Cody Bellinger                33 2017  21 LAD NL 389
Jose Canseco (RoY-1st)        33 1986  21 OAK AL 682
Earl Williams (RoY-1st)       33 1971  22 ATL NL 550
Jimmie Hall (RoY-3rd)         33 1963  25 MIN AL 571

Chris Young (RoY-4th)         32 2007  23 ARI NL 624
Matt Nokes (RoY-3rd)          32 1987  23 DET AL 508
Tony Oliva (RoY-1st)          32 1964  25 MIN AL 719
Tim Salmon (RoY-1st)          31 1993  24 CAL AL 610
Jim Ray Hart (RoY-2nd)        31 1964  22 SFG NL 625
Ted Williams                  31 1939  20 BOS AL 675

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/3/2017.

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3 Comments

  1. 68elcamino427

    This is a list.

    22 players with more than 30 HR since 1934.
    So a guy shows up on this list about once every 3.77 years.

    About nine of the players on the list went on to have careers that people still talk about.

    Tracking BELLINER is fun!

    Like

    • It is, I haven’t thought about many of these players in years. Earl Williams had quite an interesting career if you click on the sabr bio. Jimmy Hall will be next.

      Like

      • 68elcamino427

        “My favorite position is batter!”

        Like

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