Remembering Killebrew’s Unique Statistical Achievements

From SABR member Bill Petti at Beyond the Box Score on May 18:

Only three hitters have ever earned wOBA’s over .380 for their careers while hitting less than .260 on balls in play: [Harmon] Killebrew, [Mark] McGwire, and Hank Sauer.

If we look at hitters with >=15% walk rates, >=20% strikeout rates, and wOBA’s greater than .380 we get a very short list: Mickey Mantle, McGwire, Jim Thome, Lance Berkman, Jason Giambi, Mike Schmidt, Killebrew, and Adam Dunn. Interesting how many modern players show up on that list.

Add in a career batting average <=.260, and you are left with Killebrew and Dunn:

Killebrew: 15.9% BB%, 20.9% K%, .256 AVE, .376 OBP, .509 SLG, .254 BABIP, .389 wOBA

Dunn: 16.3% BB%, 32.9% K%, .249 AVE, .379 OBP, .518 SLG, .296 BABIP, .382 wOBA

Amazing how similar their numbers look.

One gets the feeling that Killebrew would have fit right in with the modern game–providing great value by getting on-base at a high rate and slugging the ball when he manages to make contact.

Rest in peace, Killer.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: May 19, 2011. Last Updated: May 19, 2011.