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Thread: Bo knows 50 HR's?

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    Senior Member All-Star Bark's Lounge's Avatar
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    Bo knows 50 HR's?

    I was just watching a daily program on MLB TV featuring Brian Kenney and Hal Reynolds which is advertised as old school v. new school in baseball thought.

    This post is not about this program, but they had brought up Bo Jackson, and it sparked a thought I have a had a handful of times in the last decade...

    What would Bo Jackson have accomplished on the baseball field if he did not destroy his hip?

    Using his age 28 through 37 seasons (1991-1999) and factoring in that most of those years were prime power number years in the nucleus of the PED era - My thought is that he would have had three 40+ HR seasons.

    I am curious to know what the rest you think.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    Bo is a very interesting case. He was a .250/.309/.474 hitter, and that wasn't really adversely affected by his injury. His per-162 numbers were 47 walks and 196 strikeouts, and that's before striking out 200 times in a season was considered "okay". He's got a ton of helium as the greatest athlete ever because he hit amazing bombs and flashed tools beyond anything anyone had every seen in speed and power and arm. The problem was that his eye simply wasn't that great at the plate. His dWAR never graded well, which could be an issue with the statistic or it could be showing us that perhaps our visions of his stellar defense were skewed somewhat. He never had better than a 3.5 bWAR in any season, and while he only eclipsed 500 PA once in his career, a guy like Chipper Jones had three seasons in 2005, 2006, and 2008 where he eclipsed 3.6 WAR every season, despite only having 500 PA in one of those seasons (all of which were in his 30s).

    Based on all of that, I don't know that Bo would have given a team more than a mediocre average with power and speed, even in his best years (remember that he was able to still play his age 27 season before injury, so it's not as if he never had a chance to hit prime seasons). I would have imagined a .250ish/.320ish/.500ish guy. Valuable because of his arm in the outfield and his speed as well, but I don't know that he would have been the superstar in the modern era that he was before.
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    Senior Member All-Star Bark's Lounge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggentleben View Post
    Bo is a very interesting case. He was a .250/.309/.474 hitter, and that wasn't really adversely affected by his injury. His per-162 numbers were 47 walks and 196 strikeouts, and that's before striking out 200 times in a season was considered "okay". He's got a ton of helium as the greatest athlete ever because he hit amazing bombs and flashed tools beyond anything anyone had every seen in speed and power and arm. The problem was that his eye simply wasn't that great at the plate. His dWAR never graded well, which could be an issue with the statistic or it could be showing us that perhaps our visions of his stellar defense were skewed somewhat. He never had better than a 3.5 bWAR in any season, and while he only eclipsed 500 PA once in his career, a guy like Chipper Jones had three seasons in 2005, 2006, and 2008 where he eclipsed 3.6 WAR every season, despite only having 500 PA in one of those seasons (all of which were in his 30s).

    Based on all of that, I don't know that Bo would have given a team more than a mediocre average with power and speed, even in his best years (remember that he was able to still play his age 27 season before injury, so it's not as if he never had a chance to hit prime seasons). I would have imagined a .250ish/.320ish/.500ish guy. Valuable because of his arm in the outfield and his speed as well, but I don't know that he would have been the superstar in the modern era that he was before.
    By no means did I mean that Bo Jackson would be a .300 hitter or a perennial MVP candidate in the mid-90's.

    Geez, I can't believe it has been 20 years, and forgive me if I recollect somethings misconstrued, but MLB HR numbers seemed to take a healthy bounce forward post 1993.

    My guess is Bo would have been included in the more than handful of players at that time and place in MLB history to hit 40 HR's in a season or two or three.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark's Lounge View Post
    By no means did I mean that Bo Jackson would be a .300 hitter or a perennial MVP candidate in the mid-90's.

    Geez, I can't believe it has been 20 years, and forgive me if I recollect somethings misconstrued, but MLB HR numbers seemed to take a healthy bounce forward post 1993.

    My guess is Bo would have been included in the more than handful of players at that time and place in MLB history to hit 40 HR's in a season or two or three.
    Oh, I don't debate any of that, but I guess my point was that while he may have hit 40+ a few times, it'd have been like a Juan Gonzalez-light at that point in far as overall production because he'd not have the .300 average of Gonzalez, but he'd offer more speed. I could have seen him popping off one big season like Jose Canseco's 1998 season: .237 average, 46 homers, 29 steals, 65/159 bb/k ratio along with a couple with .235-.265 average, 40+ homers, 10-15 steals, and 50/150 bb/k ratio.
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    Senior Member All-Star Bark's Lounge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggentleben View Post
    Oh, I don't debate any of that, but I guess my point was that while he may have hit 40+ a few times, it'd have been like a Juan Gonzalez-light at that point in far as overall production because he'd not have the .300 average of Gonzalez, but he'd offer more speed. I could have seen him popping off one big season like Jose Canseco's 1998 season: .237 average, 46 homers, 29 steals, 65/159 bb/k ratio along with a couple with .235-.265 average, 40+ homers, 10-15 steals, and 50/150 bb/k ratio.
    Point taken and agreed upon.

    On another note - you have got to like what you are seeing from your team down in GA. The pitching has been great and a huge portion of the offense has been invisible. Once they get their offense together, they should be looked at as one of the best teams in baseball, easily if they are not already.

    Also, do you think Gattis can be a full time catcher and replace McCann full time after 2013?

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    If Bo had been healthy enough to play 150 games from age 28-33 I think he would have had a couple 35-45 HR seasons. he had big power although his athleticism overrated his actual baseball value. He was an amazing athlete though.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark's Lounge View Post
    Point taken and agreed upon.

    On another note - you have got to like what you are seeing from your team down in GA. The pitching has been great and a huge portion of the offense has been invisible. Once they get their offense together, they should be looked at as one of the best teams in baseball, easily if they are not already.

    Also, do you think Gattis can be a full time catcher and replace McCann full time after 2013?
    I actually really like a Gattis/Bethancourt combo at catcher going forward. Gattis has the bat and Bethancourt has the glove. As long as Gattis can give enough defensively and Bethancourt can hit enough, they'll be a great combo. Especially if the rumors mentioned this last week are true and the owners are waiting for Bud to retire to push through DH in all the game. Having two catchers like that would be tremendous for a team that has to watch every penny.
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