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Alex Remington

Ten noteworthy offensive statistics from the 2000s

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As the decade winds down to its final days, Big League Stew is reflecting on the biggest baseball happenings of the 2000s. Next up are 10 offensive statistics that stood out over the past 10 years. From Barry Bonds(notes) getting on base to the production of Albert Pujols(notes), here are the stats that stayed with Alex Remington, our resident numbers guy.

120 — The number of intentional walks issued to Barry Bonds in 2004, the all-time record by a wide margin. (Bonds nearly doubled his own all-time record, 68 in 2002. Not coincidentally, he also set all-time records in 2004 in walks, OBP, and OPS.) Anyway, how amazing are 120 IBBs? Since 1955, the first year for which IBB data are available, there have been exactly 22 seasons in which a player has been intentionally walked as many as 30 times — one-fourth as many as Bonds got in '04 — and Barry Bonds is responsible for fully half of them. In all of the National League in 2004, only 869 intentional walks were issued, so Barry received 13.8 percent of all intentional walks issued by all pitchers that year. This is very similar to Babe Ruth's 1920 performance, when he hit 54 home runs, 14.6 percent of the entire AL's total of 369 homers. Barry Bonds is to the intentional walk as Babe Ruth is to the homer, the player whose name will forever be associated with the statistical category.

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155 — The number of times Juan Pierre(notes) was caught stealing this decade. He was caught stealing 24 times in 2004 and 20 times each in 2006 and 2003. He was by far the most-caught basestealer this decade; the only other player with at least 100 CS was his former teammate Luis Castillo(notes). Pierre was also the most prolific base stealer, with 459 stolen bases, 97 more than Carl Crawford(notes). But Crawford stole at an 82 percent success rate, while Pierre was successful less than 75 percent of the time. (The astonishing Carlos Beltran(notes) stole 256 bases while only being caught 30 times, an 89.5 percent success rate.)

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12 — The number of players who hit 300 or more homers this decade, the most ever. (There were 11 in the 1990s, five in the 1960s, and no more than three in any other decade.) Can you name them all? (Answer at the bottom of this post.)

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2 — The number of players who hit .372 in 2000, when Nomar Garciaparra(notes) and Todd Helton(notes) both won batting titles. (Helton was technically the major league leader, with an average of .37241, to Garciaparra's .37240.) It was the first time multiple players had an average that high since 1936, when Luke "Old Aches and Pains" Appling, Paul "Big Poison" Waner, and Earl "Rock" Averill each reached that plateau.

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23 — The exact number of triples and homers that Curtis Granderson(notes) hit in his breakout 2007, only the seventh time in history that a player hit more than 20 of each, and only the second time — along with the legendary Frank Schulte in 1911 — that a player fitting those criteria had exactly the same number of triples and homers.

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322 — The listed weight of the 6-foot-5 1B/DH Walter Young, the heaviest in baseball history (or at least the heaviest that anyone would admit). He had 37 plate appearances with the Baltimore Orioles in 2005 and hit well, batting .303 with an .803 OPS in his audition. That was very similar to his career .289 average and .828 OPS in the minor leagues.

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160 — The number of RBIs for Sammy Sosa(notes) in 2001. (He also had 425 total bases that year, the most since Stan Musial's 429 in 1948.) RBIs are a much-derided stat these days, because it reflects as much or more on a player's teammates than on a player himself. Still, Sosa's 160 RBI were remarkable, the most in the decade and, along with Manny Ramirez's(notes) 165 in 1999, only the second time since 1938 that a player reached that plateau, even while there have been seven different 60-homer seasons in that time.

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32 — The number of double plays grounded into by Miguel Tejada(notes) in 2008 and Ben Grieve in 2000, the most ever by anyone not named Jim Rice. Tejada's inching his way up the career GIDP list — at the age of 35, he's at 245 and counting, No. 30 on the all-time list and just 10 behind No. 23 Buddy Bell. He's led the majors in GIDP for three of the last four years and has hit into at least 20 in seven different seasons, the second-most in history, behind only Ted Simmons, who has eight.

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.517 — Bonds's on-base percentage for the entire decade. I've tried to avoid the impulse to make this an entire list of Barry Bonds stats, but even though he stopped playing before the end of it, Bonds dominated the decade like no other player has ever offensively dominated, since Babe Ruth himself. His average for the decade would be the seventh-highest single-season OBP of all time — as it is, he owns the two highest all by himself. His OPS+ for the decade was 221 — in other words, he was 120 percent better than the average player all decade. It was unnatural, and it was remarkable. Like nothing we've ever seen before.

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3 — The number of times Albert Pujols hit .330 with 40 homers and 120 RBIs in nine seasons since entering the league. Only 27 players in the history of baseball have ever had even one such season, and only three other players have done it more than three times: Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, and Lou Gehrig. (These three come up a lot when discussing comparable players to Albert Pujols. Point is, no one's done anything like this in a LONG time.) This is why Joe Posnanski argues that Albert Pujols "has already locked up Hall of Fame status." It's hard to disagree.

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300+ home run guys: Lance Berkman(notes), Barry Bonds, Carlos Delgado(notes), Adam Dunn(notes), Jason Giambi(notes), Vladimir Guerrero(notes), Andruw Jones(notes), David Ortiz(notes), Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez(notes), and Jim Thome(notes). (Rodriguez is the only player other than Babe Ruth in the 1920s to hit over 400 homers in a decade.)

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