Chris Uggen's Blog: show justin some love

Monday, September 19, 2005

show justin some love

Today seems like a fine day for a minnesotan to geek out on a stat-filled baseball post, so this one's a closed-circuit message for twinkies fans. Minntwins first baseman Justin Morneau has been savaged all summer for not fulfilling the preseason hype. He and Joe Mauer were hailed as the m&m boys, a pressure-packed homage to Mantle and Maris. That's a pretty high bar for near-rookies. Mauer has had a nice season as catcher and will finish around .300, though his power numbers look a bit anemic. Morneau appears to be struggling a bit more. Qualitatively, he looks bad on some at-bats, but the ball still jumps off his bat in "wonderboy" fashion. Hitting is so difficult that I'm always shocked when a player produces an audible "wow" among major league players in batting practice. Both Mauer and Morneau do so regularly, and I'm expecting long and successful careers for them both. In fact, I'm going on record as predicting a long string of at least 30 home runs and 100 rbi years for young mr. morneau. Here are his stats (through Saturday's game) for the past three years:

22 106 _4 16 _9 30 .226 .287 .377 .664
23 280 19 58 28 54 .271 .340 .536 .876
24 442 20 70 42 87 .240 .307 .437 .744

So, he's had 20 home runs this year and about 70 runs batted in thus far. This is about as well as any other twin has managed and doesn't seem so terrible. He strikes out a lot, but not like a lot. I wanted to get some sort of comparison for Morneau and I thought I'd contrast him with about another big swinger who got off to a promising early start but took some time to develop. Here are mystery slugger's early career numbers:

mystery slugger
21 _49 _1 _6 _2 19 .327 .353 .449 .802

22 278 09 46 39 72 .277 .371 .446 .817
23 _20 _0 _0 _5 12 .000 .200 .000 .200
24 415 10 63 57 81 .282 .364 .446 .810
25 303 18 48 40 68 .234 .324 .475 .799
26 412 20 75 43 87 .272 .339 .500 .839

Then somehow the game got a whole lot easier for the slugger. Here's how the next few years went for the mystery dude:

27 448 31 101 58 _83 .288 .369 .592 .961
28 582 41 139 75 133 .301 .380 .603 .983
29 550 43 132 93 108 .296 .394 .602 .996

So, sit tight twins fans and show justin some love. Within the next 3-4 years, there's a non-zero probability he'll be putting up monster numbers. Can you guess the identity of the slugger?


At 8:34 AM, Blogger Brayden said...

I had a few guesses - Killebrew, Puckett, Carew - and then I looked at their career stat lines and realized I wasn't so clever. So who is this mystery slugger?

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous chris said...

all good guesses, brayden -- you know your twins! but i'm thinking of one who got away. i'll post the answer tonight if no one gets it first.

At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

come on now, it's been a tough enough season already, let's try to keep the david ortiz talk to a minimum.

At 11:53 AM, Anonymous sarah said...

Yeah. David Ortiz! Snort, snort (pushes glasses up on nose).

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous chris said...

you got it! watching so much beautiful pitching wasted this year, how could we not think of "big papi" and his absurd power numbers? the twins saw him as too undisciplined to develop as a hitter and limited defensively (the same way we view mr. morneau, i fear), so we let him walk away in 2002. i think boston got him for $1 million per year (or one-fifth of jaque jones' current salary). no, really, i'm cool with terry tiffee, lew ford, matt lecroy and michael ryan as the d.h. all fine fellows, no doubt, but none can hit with ortiz. coulda, shoulda, woulda...

At 5:36 PM, Anonymous sarah said...

I should fess up to pulling a spousal assist on the answer. I'm just sorry that anonymous beat me to the punch! "There is no prize for second place." Name that flick!

WOW, I just found out that if you google that quote, you end up with just about every enterprise from real estate to science to Olympic sports to the army has used it. Eek.

At 7:03 PM, Anonymous chris said...

no idea on your quote, sarah, but here's a fabulous prize for you and your spousal assistant.

At 9:01 PM, Anonymous sarah said...

Top Gun.

I am so honored by this prize! I'm feeling a little veclemt (sp?)..


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