Five Obscure MLB Records on Pace to be Broken
Listen after two weeks, there’s nothing more gripping, exciting and downright intriguing than mere speculation and mathematical projections of what records could be broken by season’s end. In fact, what could be more precise than taking a small sample size (12-13 games) and assuming that each player will perform with the same output given that the variables are about to change over and over again?
With that in mind, here are five records, some more obscure than others, that currently a couple of players are on pace to obliterate. Are there much fantasy implications in the numbers compiled below?
Heck no. But this is baseball, the game meant for calculating numbers that tell us a story. Speaking of stories…
1. Trevor Story is the strikeout king
After Sunday’s three-strikeout performance, fantasy owners need to take notice of the mounting number of strikeouts as he’s whiffed 10 times in his last four games. For all of his HR heroics, Story’s 22 strikeouts through 12 games are by far the most in the majors. In 51 at-bats, Story has done the following…
36 outs: 22 Ks, 14 groundouts/fly outs
15 hits: 7 HRs, two triples, one double and five singles
He’s currently on pace for an unreal 297 Ks, which would shatter the rookie record Kris Bryant set last year of 199 and far surpass Ian Desmond’s record for a shortstop at 187 set just last year. In fact, at this pace, Story would obliterate the record of 223 that current Rockies teammate Mark Reynolds set in 2009.
2. Andrelton Simmons Became Albert Pujols… in a bad way
Simmons, acquired in the off-season from the Braves, was brought over to be an all-world defender for the Angels and an expected subpar bat at the bottom of the lineup. What the Angels didn’t know they were adding was a machine…a GIDP machine like teammate Pujols. Simmons has grounded into a double-play five times already this season in 10 total opportunities, meaning 50% of the time he’s come to plate with a runner on first with fewer than two outs he’s grounded into an inning killer.
That 50% GIDPO rate is absurd! At “Simba’s” current pace of almost 68 GIDPs over a 162-game season, he would almost “double” Jim Rice’s 36 set in 1984. All of this for a middle infielder?
3. Alcides Escobar comes to the plate
Jimmy Rollins set the record in 2007 with official 716 at-bats batting leadoff for the Phillies in what you might remember was his MVP year. Now Rollins had 778 total PAs when you add in walks, intentional base-on-balls, sacrifice flies, etc. But what makes Escobar’s projected at-bats this year so astounding is that this guy doesn’t walk!
He has one so far in 12 games and his career high of 36(!) he set in 2010. Escobar’s current OBP of .268 would be the lowest ever for a player with 600+ at-bats, beating his own anemic total from 2015. It seems Ned Yost shows no mercy batting a career .298 OBP at the top of his lineup.
4. Jonathan Lucroy is the best and the worst catcher
Lucroy has always been known as an elite catcher who garnered some MVP votes a couple of years ago and has been speculated as a coveted trade deadline piece for this year. But currently, he leads catchers in two seemingly opposite categories: stolen bases allowed (10) and caught stealing (6). In fact, Lucroy and teammate Martin Maldonado are first and second in the number of players gunned down so far this season.
As it stands, Lucroy would be the first catcher since the immortal Clay Dalrymple in 1963 to lead the majors in both categories. So if you’re planning on stealing a base against the Brew Crew this season, well…just keep going for it?
5. Mat Latos for Cy Young
Maybe you did or didn’t know the hot start veteran Latos has gotten off to for his new team the Chicago White Sox. Through two starts, he’s posted a 0.75 ERA, with a 0.50 WHIP and a .098 BAA, the latter two totals lead the majors. Now two pitching performances in April clearly dictate that this guy is a fantasy league winner, and you should drop underachievers and resident bums Corey Kluber and Chris Archer for this tattooed flamethrower.
Assuming our man Mat without the second “t” decides to reproduce these statistics at the same rate for the rest of the year, he’d be the first pitcher with an ERA and WHIP under one while also allowing a BA under .100 ever. So take it to the bank and place that Latos for Cy Young bet in Las Vegas now. Heck, put the house down, the car and the college fund.