Friday, October 2, 2009

Billy Butler and Pablo Sandoval: Headed for the Hall?

This past month, Billy Butler and Pablo Sandoval became the first players since Prince Fielder to top 70 extra base hits with 20 or more home runs in a season at the age of 23 or younger. It might seem like an arbitrary set of parameters to judge a player by, but it got me to thinking. Could either of these 2 young players be headed to greatness?

So, I checked to see how many times a 23 year old player had ever posted 70 total extra base hits with 20 or more home runs in a single season. A total of 71 instances came up, with 29 inactive or retired players and 19 active players accomplishing the feat (multiple players topped 70 extra base hits and 20 home runs before the age of 23 in multiple seasons).

Here's a list of the 19 active players included on the list.

And here are the inactive or retired players (obviously, I'm having trouble with font sizes).

Quite an impressive list of players. To put it all in perspective, I wanted to see how many of the retired players went on to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Of the 29 players that were eligible for the Hall of Fame, 17 have been inducted, which is a cool 58.6%. Not an overwhelming percentage, but if it's any indication for the future, we might be able to project that current players like Butler and Sandoval have roughly a 50:50 chance of making the Hall of Fame. While not definitive by any means, those are pretty good odds for any player, and very good company to be listed among.

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