September 24, 2002


Mystery Man

I present to you 5 stat lines:

# ABs .AVG .OBP .SLG HR 2B BB

A 601 .266 .323 .437 22 33 47

B 616 .275 .337 .454 24 32 55

C 615 .229 .301 .390 23 24 56

D 623 .331 .372 .578 37 37 40

E 610 .332 .384 .532 25 41 53

There are basically two groups.

A, B and C are pretty similar.

A medicore to poor average with 50 or so walks and 22-25 homers.

D and E are similar.

A great batting average with about 55 walks, a ton of extra base power, an on-base percentage of 370-380 and a slugging percentage in the mid-.500s.

The interesting thing about those 5 stat lines is...they are all Bret Boone's.

A = his career stats per 162 games played.

B = his stats from 2002, projected to a full season.

C = his stats from the 1st half of 2002, projected to a full season.

D = his stats from 2001.

E = his stats from the 2nd half of 2002, projected to a full season.

Many people (including myself) considered Bret Boone's fabulous 2001 season a gigantic fluke.

I still think that, taken in context with the rest of his career, Boone's 2001 season is a pretty huge fluke.

During the first half of this season, it sured looked more and more like a fluke with every game.

And then Boone started hitting like it was 2001 all over again in the 2nd half of the year.

So was 2001 a huge fluke?

Like I said, taken in context with the rest of his career, yes.

However, it does appear as though Boone has added some skills (primarily a ton of extra muscle) that carried over from his awesome 2001 season and they have shown up in the second half.

And fluke or no fluke, Bret Boone is having a very nice season this year.

His .275 batting average is the second highest he has had in a season with more than 400 ABs.

His .337 on-base % is the second highest he has had in a season with more than 400 ABs.

His .454 slugging % is the third highest he has had in a season with more than 400 ABs.

All of which is a long way of saying Bret Boone is having the second best season of his career.

And the numbers even get a little better when you consider he is playing half his games in Safeco Field, which is a pretty good pitcher's park.

In fact, according to BaseballProspectus.com (which takes into account the differences in ballparks), Boone has been the third best hitting second baseman in all of baseball (behind Kent and Soriano).

Now, if he would just do something about those blonde highlights in his hair...

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