Since the Chuck Norris meme became mainstream a few years ago, it has inevitably sprung offshoots in different genres, and baseball is no exception. Matt Wieters Facts took off, and more recently, we’ve seen Eric Hosmer Facts.
Bautista is on pace for a +14.6 WAR season (assuming 150 games played), which would be the second best in the history of baseball. In 2001, when Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs, he accumulated “just” +12.9 WAR.
Relative to league average, Bautista’s current performance – if sustained for the whole season – would go down as easily the best offensive performance of all time. His current wRC+ is 278 – Barry Bonds’ 2002 season holds the record at 245. Babe Ruth‘s best season at the plate came in 1920, when he posted a 235 mark.
The only other players to ever post a full season with a wRC+ of over 200: Ruth, Bonds, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, Jeff Bagwell, Mark McGwire, Honus Wagner, Frank Thomas, Rickey Henderson, Ross Barnes, Nap Lajoie, Stan Musial, George Brett, and Dick Allen. Bautista can join this club by posting a 174 wRC+ over the remainder of the season. He posted a 167 last year, so it’s certainly possible.
Pitchers are obviously afraid of Bautista – only 34.5% of the pitches he’s been thrown this year have been strikes. But their wisdom has not yet transferred to their managers, who have ordered an intentional walk of Bautista only four times since the beginning of the 2010 season. Other players who have been walked four times since the start of last year – Mark Ellis, Brandon Inge, and Adam LaRoche. Miguel Tejada and Vernon Wells have each received five IBBs in the same time frame.
Also since the start of the 2010 season, Jose Bautista’s Isolated Slugging is .381. The next highest in baseball is Miguel Cabrera… who is at .281, exactly 100 points lower.
Over the past 365 days, Bautista’s line is as follows: 156 games, 673 PA, .292/.421/.708, 33 2B, 3 3B, 63 HR, 114 BB, 100 K, 10 SB, 2 CS. Albert Pujols is second in home runs over the same time period – he has 41.
There was a lot of talk over the winter about how the Blue Jays home park factored into Bautista’s breakout season. After all, he ran a .465 wOBA in Toronto and only a .381 mark on the road, and the former SkyDome is known as a right-handed hitter’s paradise. In 2011, Bautista is again showing a huge home/road split, putting up a .667 wOBA at home and a .518 mark on the road. That .518 road wOBA, however, is still the best of any hitter in baseball. The park helps, but Bautista is a monster no matter where he hits.
And the following fact is perhaps my favorite, so I’ll end on this note, though you guys can keep it going in the comments – there are literally hundreds of crazy Bautista factoids to choose from. Over the weekend, Bautista hit five home runs in Target Field. The Twins have hit six home runs in Target Field all season.