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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bill James statement on Mantle doubles. And more data.

Sent by a friend:

From Bill James's site:

About Mick's doubles-per-ball-in-play: Part of why he only hit an average amount is, HE DIDN'T. A lot of what's been said on here is mistaken, or at least misleading, because it's right only to the extent that it compares him to all of history rather than to his own time and place. His own % of doubles-per-ball-in-play was 5.9%; the league average, for the period of his career, was somewhere between 4.8-4.9%. So, whatever answer we try to give for why Mick 'only hit an average % of doubles' is whatever the answer is for the 1950's-60's in general (and to a slight extent also, the AL in particular, since it had a few percent fewer doubles than the NL).


Asked by: MarisFan61

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See my previous post:

Mickey Mantle hit few doubles ... or did he? Thursday, December 31, 2015

I tried the Bill James method on batters with at least 350 home runs...

Mantle's rank with the James method is 77... out of 93.  Mick's rank is not high enough for James to conclude that Mantle was in the middle of some reasonable pack of peers...

2B/BIP percent (James method); Mantle 5.83%
2B/Hits percent (my method); Mantle 14.24%

James/mine:
Ave6.85%18.51%
Min4.39%13.24%
Max9.70%25.36%


Bottom line: which method makes more sense:

Mine: 2B/Hits
James: 2B/BIP
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Ten contemporary sluggers with worse doubles rates than Mantle using the James method:

Willie McCoveyAl KalineBilly WilliamsEddie MathewsRocky ColavitoGil HodgesErnie BanksHarmon KillebrewYogi BerraNorm Cash

Using my method, the only three worse than Mantle: Killebrew, Cash, Howard.

However, 13 contemporary sluggers with better doubles rates than Mantle using the James method:

Ted Williams, Willie Stargell, Stan Musial, Dick Allen, Reggie Jackson, Tony Perez, Frank Robinson, Johnny Mize, Duke Snider, Orlando Cepeda, Carl Yastrzemski, and just a little behind Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. 

I'm not sure what point James is making by comparing Mantle to all batters, including pitchers who batted in both leagues in the years Mantle played: 1951-1968.

Mantle's career splits for doubles/hits:
home: 13.5%
road: 15%


It wasn't Yankee Stadium.

Mick's ​highest rates were in his first three seasons.  Obviously, as he matured doubles turned into home runs but that would tend to be true for other home run hitters, too.  Then in decline, home runs might turn into doubles ... or outs.

I think around 1958 Mantle just stopped trying to stretch, either on orders or on his own.


Since 1936 players with at least 350 home runs:
- 47 hit more home runs than doubles
- 42 hit more doubles than home runs.

Players between 1936 and 1975 with at least 350 home runs:

More home runs than doubles:
Rk Player HR 2B From To Age G PA AB R H 3B RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Hank Aaron 745 616 1954 1975 20-41 3213 13633 12093 2152 3709 98 2262 1367 292 1345 32 21 119 320 240 72 .307 .375 .559 .934 *9783DH/45 MLN-ATL-MIL
2 Willie Mays 660 523 1951 1973 20-42 2992 12496 10881 2062 3283 140 1903 1464 192 1526 44 13 91 251 338 103 .302 .384 .557 .941 *8H/39675 NYG-SFG-NYM
3 Frank Robinson 583 528 1956 1975 20-39 2772 11663 9939 1824 2928 72 1802 1409 218 1520 198 17 101 267 204 77 .295 .389 .538 .928 973DH8/5 CIN-BAL-LAD-CAL-CLE
4 Harmon Killebrew 573 290 1954 1975 18-39 2435 9833 8147 1283 2086 24 1584 1559 160 1699 48 0 77 243 19 18 .256 .376 .509 .884 357DH/49 WSH-MIN-KCR
5 Mickey Mantle 536 344 1951 1968 19-36 2401 9907 8102 1676 2415 72 1509 1733 126 1710 13 14 47 113 153 38 .298 .421 .557 .977 *8397H/645 NYY
6 Ernie Banks 512 407 1953 1971 22-40 2528 10394 9421 1305 2583 90 1636 763 198 1236 70 45 96 229 50 53 .274 .330 .500 .830 36/H57 CHC
7 Eddie Mathews 512 354 1952 1968 20-36 2391 10100 8537 1509 2315 72 1453 1444 107 1487 26 36 58 123 68 39 .271 .376 .509 .885 *53/H7 BSN-MLN-ATL-HOU-DET
8 Willie McCovey 458 287 1959 1975 21-37 2092 7977 6676 1081 1840 44 1296 1169 224 1251 66 5 59 134 22 20 .276 .386 .538 .923 *37H/9 SFG-SDP
9 Duke Snider 407 358 1947 1964 20-37 2143 8237 7161 1259 2116 85 1333 971 104 1237 21 52 32 166 99 50 .295 .380 .540 .919 *89H/7 BRO-LAD-NYM-SFG
10 Frank Howard 382 245 1958 1973 21-36 1895 7352 6488 864 1774 35 1119 782 135 1460 33 7 43 219 8 9 .273 .352 .499 .851 793H/D LAD-WSA-TEX-DET
11 Norm Cash 377 241 1958 1974 23-39 2089 7914 6705 1045 1820 41 1104 1043 112 1091 90 17 55 139 43 30 .271 .374 .488 .862 *3H/97D CHW-DET
12 Rocky Colavito 374 283 1955 1968 21-34 1841 7559 6503 971 1730 21 1159 951 58 880 29 16 60 182 19 27 .266 .359 .489 .848 *97/H31 CLE-DET-KCA-CHW-NYY-LAD
13 Gil Hodges 370 295 1943 1963 19-39 2072 8102 7030 1105 1921 48 1274 943 31 1137 25 56 50 165 63 31 .273 .359 .487 .846 *3/H275984 BRO-LAD-NYM
14 Ralph Kiner 369 216 1946 1955 23-32 1472 6256 5205 971 1451 39 1015 1011 1 749 24 9 7 126 22 2 .279 .398 .548 .946 *7/83H PIT-CHC-CLE
15 Willie Stargell 368 336 1962 1975 22-35 1753 7006 6164 955 1750 49 1197 718 177 1497 58 9 56 114 12 12 .284 .361 .533 .894 *73H/98 PIT
16 Yogi Berra 358 321 1946 1965 21-40 2120 8359 7555 1175 2150 49 1430 704 49 414 52 9 44 146 30 26 .285 .348 .482 .830 *2H79/35 NYY-NYM
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/31/2015.

More doubles than home runs:
Rk Player HR 2B From To Age G PA AB R H 3B RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Ted Williams 521 525 1939 1960 20-41 2292 9788 7706 1798 2654 71 1839 2021 86 709 39 5 20 197 24 17 .344 .482 .634 1.116 *79H/1 BOS
2 Stan Musial 475 725 1941 1963 20-42 3026 12717 10972 1949 3630 177 1951 1599 127 696 53 35 53 243 78 31 .331 .417 .559 .976 3798H/1 STL
3 Billy Williams 415 422 1959 1975 21-37 2368 10106 8999 1374 2637 88 1434 987 167 1002 43 7 70 196 86 47 .293 .363 .498 .861 *79D/3H8 CHC-OAK
4 Al Kaline 399 498 1953 1974 18-39 2834 11596 10116 1622 3007 75 1582 1277 131 1020 55 45 104 271 137 65 .297 .376 .480 .855 *98HD3/75 DET
5 Orlando Cepeda 379 417 1958 1974 20-36 2124 8698 7927 1131 2351 27 1365 588 154 1169 102 4 74 218 142 80 .297 .350 .499 .849 *37D/H95 SFG-STL-ATL-OAK-BOS-KCR
6 Joe DiMaggio 361 389 1936 1951 21-36 1736 7673 6821 1390 2214 131 1537 790 369 46 14 130 30 9 .325 .398 .579 .977 *8/79H3 NYY
7 Johnny Mize 359 367 1936 1953 23-40 1883 7370 6443 1118 2011 83 1337 856 524 52 20 99 28 1 .312 .397 .562 .959 *3H/9 STL-NYG-NYY
Generated 12/31/2015.

Triples should also be considered.  Mays hit 140 triples; three more HR than 2B+3B.  Maybe doubles plus triples divided by Hits or BIP or HR.  But not now.  Check the next few posts.