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We don't usually post daily threads on the weekend so things like Bautista's epic three-homer game (after four homers in six games) sometimes don't get the recognition they deserve. After the jump, some of the crazy Bautista stats as researched by Bauxites.

  • Bautista's last five at-bats would have him tied for the team lead in HR for the Twins. (braden)
  • 7 homers in 7 games in Minnesota - I saw something posted after the second homer that Morneau and Mauer have 5 HRs combined in that park. (AWeb)
  • Bautista has hit an average of one HR every two games this year.† He could play as many as 154 games this year, so he†is on pace for 77 home runs (China Fan)
  • After his team's 40th game of the season in 2001, Bonds had 16 home runs. He personally had played in 37 of those 40 games. So, by that reckoning, Bautista reached the 16-homer level in 5 fewer games than Bonds needed in his record-setting year. (China Fan)
  • Bautista hit as many home runs†on†May 15 as Hill, Encarnacion, Snider and Rivera have hit combined†by†May 15. He needed 5 AB. They needed 400. (Chuck)
  • Jose Bautista's SLG is better than the OPS of Pujols, ARod, Howard, Wright, Youkilis, Cano, Tulowitzki, Hanley, etc. (92-93)
  • Joey Bats leads the league in runs scored at 34. He trails his teammates in the category of "Driving in Jose Bautista" 16 to 18. (Jonny German)
  • Bautista's WAR is higher than the entire offense of the Philadelphia Phillies - the best team in baseball (Twitter)
  • Bautista's SLG would rank 29th in MLB in OPS (Twitter)
  • Jose Bautista's ISOASPIAL (Isolated Power Above Second Place In American League) is .246 (Yours Truly)
Got more? Put 'em here.

Josť Bautista Appreciation Thread | 41 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
mathesond - Sunday, May 15 2011 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#234882) #
Jose Bautista makes Chick Norris look like Matt Wieters.
Chuck - Sunday, May 15 2011 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#234884) #
Jose Bautista doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he drinks Dos Equis.
mamboon - Sunday, May 15 2011 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#234885) #
And he' also  " the most interesting man in the world".
Jonny German - Sunday, May 15 2011 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#234886) #
Jose Bautista likes to hit home runs to the opposite field, but only when heís playing in a stadium thatís situated farther north than Rogers Centre. Because he can. (Mike Wilner)
johnny was - Sunday, May 15 2011 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#234888) #
Jose Bautista has only been intentionally walked 4 times since the start of last season, proving that it is capable to fly under the radar with a 1.000 OPS or better if you play in Canada.  You've got to wonder whether he's going to start getting the Barry Bonds treatment if this keeps up.
Gerry - Sunday, May 15 2011 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#234889) #

Jack Morris was in the TV booth when JB hit his first one today.  He said there was no way to really pitch to JB right now, the only thing he could come up with was to throw some pitches near his feet to get him moving his feet and perhaps get him more unbalanced.

JB is obviously locked in right now, it will be interesting to see if he can keep it going at this rate.  The two opposite field home runs this series take an obvious approach away from the pitchers.

scottt - Sunday, May 15 2011 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#234890) #
He said "Sometimes I can't really believe it myself, but I keep seeing the good pitches."


BlueJayWay - Sunday, May 15 2011 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#234892) #
I can understand Bautista flying under the radar with American fans.  But you'd think the players know who the good players are.  After all, it's team's W-L records and pitcher's ERAs that are in the balance.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 15 2011 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#234894) #
Since September 1, 2009, Bautista has hit 81 homers in 958 PAs. That pace is just a smidge behind Ruth at his best. The Jose candy bar is coming soon: dark chocolate with little bits of chiles.
Craig B - Sunday, May 15 2011 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#234897) #
I could say wonderful things all day long about Jose Bautista, but I will just say this... two of those three pitches (Duensing's and Slowey's second one) were absolute filth that any power hitter would be jumping out of his socks to hammer. About 89, at the belt, over the heart of the plate.

The difference is, most guys will overswing and hit a pop-up, trying to muscle it. Jose did what he always does... just turn those hips and explode right through the pitch. The mlb.com video shows him swing at all three, in super-slo-mo. GO WATCH IT. It is a thing of exceptional beauty.

Craig B - Sunday, May 15 2011 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#234898) #
Oh, and watching the third homer about a dozen times confirms it for me, that Bautista is going to get better. Instead of pulling the outside pitch, he is going to start waiting an extra 1/20th on it and sending it the other way. This could work out badly, but it could make him an unmatchably destructive force.
Mylegacy - Sunday, May 15 2011 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#234899) #
When the Franchise comes up to bat. I stop moving. I sit there and stare, concentrate on what he's doing. Concentrate on watching something I know won't last - can't last. However, to my ever increasing amazement and entertainment it is not only lasting - it's getting better - more intense.

To my fellow Bauxites I say; "Don't let this streak pass you by - don't tell your grandchildren you missed a game or two of Baseball History's Finest Hours - because - no because will suffice. We are in the presence of genius - in the presence of history being made. Don't miss a second of it."

To Jose Bautista I say ; "Sir, it is a joy and pleasure to watch you work. You are a rare prodigy and I thank my lucky stars I've been here to watch you perform. When this ends - when we wake up and it's over - I'll still be delighted for the many moments of history I've watched you make. You have already gone were no Jay has gone - you will soon be going where no other player of any time or era has gone. You may soon be not what you are now - great - you may soon not only be among the greats - soon, you might be the greatest. And - I was there to watch your every swing, your every hit, your every game. Thank you."

jvictor - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 01:13 AM EDT (#234902) #

Two things:

I'm beginning to think that Jose is being fed juiced balls.  When everywhere else in baseball offence is down Jose continues to perform like a PED era player.  I suspect teammates and opponents alike will start wispering to the umpire "Psst, ump; just give me one of those Jose balls."

On a more serious note, what if AA went to Jose and agent and said "Here's the deal Jose; We're not going to renegotiate your contract, but we will pay you an additional 2.5 m for every win above replacement over 4 through the coarse of your contract."  For the Blue Jays it's a bargain, based on the evidence that a WAR is worth 5 m.  It also makes them look good to the rest of the league.  Jose and agent can't but agree.  Ditto the union.  And it might set a precedent for future negotiations.  eg.:  Albert Puljos heres 25 m a year for 5 years.  Oh and every WAR above 5  is another 4 m in your pocket.

Thoughts?

Cynicalguy - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 02:02 AM EDT (#234904) #
He once went 3 games without hitting a homerun, just to see how it feels like.

He once got intentionally walked 4 times...in one plate appearance.

His leg kick is actually used to slow down his bat speed...so when he hits the ball, it travels slow enough to be seen by the naked eye.
AWeb - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#234911) #

Thought Experiment time: Premise - Bautista improved as much in 2011 compared to 2010 as he did in 2010 compared to 2009. This trend continues and 2012 Bautista is that much better again. What does this look like, 400/.650/.950? 100 HRs? 25 WAR? Bonds managed an OBP of .609, and slugged .863 in a different year. 2012 prediction through linear projection - Bautista sets both records, and makes a run at the alltime BA record too (won't set it after drawing 40 consecutive intentonal walks mid-season, falling short of qualification), passes 50 HR by the all-star break.

By 2013, he retires to pursue scientific research. After 6 unremarkable years as a grad student during which everyone forgets about him and writes him off, a new advisor opens his mind to new trains of thought. In 2020, Bautista cures AIDS, and by 2023, has solved the origins of the universe, the beginning of life itself, and reversed the effects of pollution on the biosphere. "Just seeing the problems really well, I guess", he's quoted as saying after another successful day travelling the cosmos via his dimensional travel device.

Anders - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#234913) #
From ESPN:

Target Field Home Runs, 2011. Twins: 6. Bautista's: 5.
Home Runs, 2011: Minnesota 18. Bautista: 16.

From me:

Bautista's fWAR is 44% better than the next best hitter, Joey Votto, despite Votto having played 22% more games. Put another way, Bautista has been worth about 72% better than the next best hitter in baseball on a per game basis.
85bluejay - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#234916) #
I'm Enjoying the Jose ride and just imagining how it was for Giants fans with Barry - Because of the Ben Johnson episode ( my greatest high & low in sports watching) and Barry, I still have some trepidation and if Jose turns out not to be on the up and up, I will be devastated and forever scarred about sporting excellence.     
greenfrog - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#234919) #
During yesterday's game, I said to my girlfriend, "there's this player on the Blue Jays, Jose Bautista. He used to be a journeyman player but he's become so good that a lot of people think he's become the best in the game. It sounds ridiculous, but he seems to be hitting a home run almost every time he comes up to bat."

That was after his second HR.
blu-j - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#234920) #
As ordered by Craig B, I checked out the slo-mo replays at mlb.com (I think this is the video he was referencing)--Amazing stuff!  Here's the URL in case I messed up the hyperlink (my first effort):

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=14845381&topic_id=11493214

Bautista's performance is actually making this New Jersey boy consider springing for the MLB internet package so I can see his at-bats.....
Hodgie - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#234923) #
Some more Bautista/AA love from Dave Cameron over at Fangraphs this morning....
bpoz - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#234924) #
Lots of theories. i am loving it.

What about intelligence!!!

Some pitchers seem to pitch very intelligently like G Madux for example. And there are many other people in baseball who are intelligent.

When he signed his big deal, he sounded very well spoken to me. 2 languages Spanish & English that I know he speaks, could be more.
Cito said he has great bat speed. Bauxites are saying that he has a "sweet" swing, I think. Conclusion hitting talent.
I guess he works hard. He definitely hustles. I believe that he has discipline, and maybe good concentration.

So putting all that together ,if accurate, should produce some good streaks and not too many slumps.
Mick Doherty - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#234925) #

Jose continues to perform like a PED era player. 

You know, it's odd -- not "funny" -- that this past weekend, I hear or read people in all four major sources of fan news for the game (newspaper, radio, Web, television -- start a conversation/column with "Hate to think it, but given our recent past you have to ask the question ..." then proceeded to examnine the possibility of Bautista as PED user.

Have we really reached tha t point already? "Phenomenal improvement" means first assumption = stero9ids? Really??

Anders - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#234929) #
Well I highly recommend watching Bautista bat. I've never really seen anything like it - he's so locked in, I'm surprised when he doesn't reach base. A few more fun things:

Bautista is in the top 10 in fewest pitches swung at, and fewest first strikes received (unbelievably, Yankees are 1,2,3 and 4 in the later). He's also seen, by far, the fewest strikes in the majors: pitchers throw him strikes 34.5% of the time. Freddie Freeman is at 38%, and then a bunch of guys are around 40%. Pablo Sandoval led the majors the last 2 years, at 38.5% and 40%, and the only season better than Bautista's so far since 2002 (start of data) has been Vlady's 2007, when he only hit .324/.403/.547, at 32%.

Bautista's only had 7 negative WPA games this year, and hasn't had one in over 3 weeks, albeit "only" 14 games.

He's been the 2nd best hitter agaisnt fastballs, the best against sliders, the best against change ups, and "only" about 15th best against curve balls. The cutter is the only pitch that seems to have given him any trouble .

Bautista has a hit in 27 of 32 games, and walked in 22 of 32 games. His longest homer drought has been five, four and three games, once each. He's reached safely in all but 1 game, and reached base safely twice in 22/32 games. He's reached base safely three times in 7 games, and four or more times in 7 games -  so he's reached base at least 3 times in 14 of 32 games. For comparison's sake, the second best Jay's hitter, Adam Lind, has reached base safely 3 or more times thrice. Cumulatively, the non-Bautista portion of the team has done it 33 times (I may be off by one or two). So, the rest of the team has 3-reach games in 33/359 GP (9%), while Bautista is 14/32 (44%). This is from memory, but I believe it's Yunel 6, Rivera 3, Molina 3.

So, the takeaway is, Bautista is really good.


Dave Till - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#234930) #
Like everyone else here, I can't say enough good things about Jose Bautista. Even watching him slide is a joyful experience for a Jays fan - how often has he evaded being tagged at home plate by going around the catcher and sneaking a hand in behind him?

At what point do American League pitchers simply stop pitching to him, period? I guess what he has going for him is that he doesn't look large and threatening. He's an ordinary-sized guy, so pitchers - who aren't all exactly geniuses - think they can get him out. (A.J. Burnett probably still thinks he can blow a fastball by him.) But Jose is an ordinary-sized guy with virtually perfect plate discipline and the fastest bat speed I have ever seen.

I've been following the Jays for the entire time they've been in existence, and seriously since 1983, and I have never seen anything like this before. Even Delgado doesn't come close. Remember this moment, everyone. We will likely not see this ever again.

Anders - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#234931) #
Have we really reached tha t point already? "Phenomenal improvement" means first assumption = stero9ids? Really??

This happened last year with Bautista as well, I seem to recall. Keith Law was very indignant.

It also happened to Ibanez when he hit well to start one year a couple of years ago.
China fan - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#234933) #
It's a few days old, but Shi Davidi has written a very revealing piece about how Bautista prepares for pitchers.  Helps explain his success.
Dave Till - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#234935) #
One other thing: Robinzon Diaz is now out of baseball, but he can now proudly point out that he was once traded, even-up, for the best player in the game. It's like getting to be the guy who pinch-hit for Babe Ruth or something.

And it can't be any fun to be part of the Pittsburgh Pirates front office right now. Or have they brought in a new GM since the Bautista trade?

Mike Green - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#234936) #
Thanks, CF.  I missed that one.  He sounds like Joe Morgan updated for the times.  
greenfrog - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#234938) #
Counter-arguments to the PED theory:

- We're now in an era of far greater awareness of and more rigorous testing for PED use. Former PED users have been widely disgraced and/or dragged through legal proceedings. Bautista would have to be pretty stupid to start using at this point, because he would be under intense scrutiny, with a pretty good chance that he would get caught eventually

- There is strong evidence that Jose's dramatic improvement coincided with an overhaul of his mechanics and approach at the plate

- Jose remains a relatively lithe, athletic player - unlike the massively beefed-up Bonds, McGwire, Canseco, et al.

- Jose just had a child, which would mean that, had he been on PEDs, he would have fathered a child in 2010 while on PEDs. Which seems pretty dumb for someone so apparently intelligent

- Although he only blossomed in his late 20s, he was once viewed as a prospect with good athleticism and power potential, but got bounced around among various organizations in quick succession and never really got a chance to get untracked and get his mechanics in order

- During a pretty long run (almost a season and a half) as a top performer, there has been no evidence that he's been using - no insinuations or allegations from teammates, trainers, shady PED purveyors, undercover MLB investigators, frenemies, or anyone else

There may be other counter-arguments, but those are the ones that came readily to mind.
Anders - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#234939) #
Re: when to pitch to Bautista.

This would be the best guide I would think, The Book guide to pitching to Barry Bonds. The run environment right now is lower (although the Jays are in the AL not the NL), so I would imagine it's correct to walk him in even more circumstances, since Bautista so far has actually been better relative to his league than Bonds was.
MatO - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#234945) #
Someone here was putting dollar values on players based upon their performance.  I think there was some debate using these numbers when Bautista signed his deal.  I wonder if Bautista continues at this pace, how close will he be to realizing the entire $65M contract value in just one season.
Thomas - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#234948) #
Have we really reached tha t point already?

Unfortunately, we haven't "already reached" that point. With regards to Bautista, we reached that point about the middle of last season. There were certainly articles and blogs and radio hosts and talking heads who did the exact same thing last year. As soon as it was clear that Bautista was doing something more than just having a hot month or two, questions were raised last year. That people are continuing to question him this year is not surprising and it'll probably unfortunately continue for the rest of his career until he returns to being the "old" Jose Bautista (and then he'll probably be raised in reference to steroids like Brady Anderson) or until he tests positive.

Despite the mandated testing, Bautista's lack of positive test will never satisfy some people, as Bautista can't prove he is not using steroids. All he can do is test negative, as he did last year, but one can just argue he's found a new PED that is undetectable or has found a superior masking agent.

As Dave and Anders said, it is simply a joy to watch him hit right now. I do everything I can reasonably do to ensure that I'll witness every at-bat of his. I've never made such an effort for any player before.

Dave Rutt - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#234951) #
How much of an effect do PEDs have on a player's batting line? 5%? Even that seems high to me. Like anything else players try to do to get an edge, PEDs provide a marginal advantage. Bautista's improvement has been so dramatic that the vast majority of it is necessarily genuine. It's not like he went from 50 to 54 home runs. This isn't really a strong argument that he isn't using, but that leaping to PED suspicion based on his improvement is fallacious.
Ron - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#234952) #
One other thing: Robinzon Diaz is now out of baseball, but he can now proudly point out that he was once traded, even-up, for the best player in the game. It's like getting to be the guy who pinch-hit for Babe Ruth or something.

Diaz plays for the Rangers AAA team, the Round Rock Express.

bpoz - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#234960) #
I am enjoying a beer and also enjoying the Bautista appreciation.

Regarding PED, you guys are calm and rational, I have to admit I am PO.

The point about fathering a child: I embarrassingly ask is it a fertility or birth defect issue re greenfrog's comment. Blush!!

G Brett, T Gwinn, J Olerud & Edgar Martinez were very good hitters so why not.

PED aside Bautista needed opportunity, and Rolen & Rios leaving provided that, resulting in a good Sept 2009.

CHEERS!!!
Dave Till - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#234963) #
Diaz plays for the Rangers AAA team, the Round Rock Express.

Oops - I just looked at the major league stats in Baseball Reference, when I thought I was looking at the minor league ones. My bad.

He's hitting pretty well this year, in a small sample size - perhaps he and Bautista will actually meet at home plate some day.
jvictor - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#234971) #
I'm the one who brought out the "PED era" reaction.  Sorry what I meant was:  Examing Jose's performance in the PED era he would not be such an outlier.  Looking at Jose in this shrunken offence enviroment...well wow.  Put another way, Barry Bonds had great years, but how much better than league average at the time.  Jose and league average, they ain't close.  Check out Pedro Martinez' numbers and then look at league avg.  I never, never meant to imply that Jose is a PED player.
TamRa - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#234974) #
Obviously 32 games does not a season make but, for fun..

These are the highest single season rates on the left, and JB's current rate (or projected rate for counting stats) on the right:

OBP - .609 - .520 (would rank 10th)
SLG - .863 - .868
OPS - 1.422 - 1.388 (would rank secomd)
WAR - 14.7 - 18.8 (BR WAR)
TB -- 457 - 476
HR -- 73 - 77
BB -- 232 - 168 (would rank 5th)
OPS+ - 268 - 284


It may not be a full season but it is a pace for one of the - if not THE very best seasons ever.


ComebyDeanChance - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#234975) #
He sounds like Joe Morgan updated for the times.

Indeed. A good comparison. I remember Bill James writing in the Abstract that joe got jobbed in the MVP voting from '72-'74, then won it in '75 and '76 when he "towered over baseball like Babe Ruth in a Babe Ruth League"
Chuck - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#234976) #

Put another way, Barry Bonds had great years, but how much better than league average at the time.  Jose and league average, they ain't close. 

Bonds' OPS+ from 2001-2004: 259, 268, 231, 263.

Bautista's OPS+ in 2011 after 40 games: 284.

Bautista is ahead of Bonds now. Can he stay there? That's a hell of a lot to ask for.

ayjackson - Monday, May 16 2011 @ 11:12 PM EDT (#234983) #
Tough night for Bautista.  Suddenly he thinks he`s Ichiro.
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