Today I continue my historical quest to determine if there has ever been a rookie hitter as good as Albert Pujols. Check out the Smells Like Pujols archives by clicking on it in the tag cloud in the sidebar, and you can see what we made of the go-go 80’s and the bulked-up 90’s, as well as the hitters of the new millennium.
Today we time-warp back to platform shoes, jive, and disco. It’s the 70’s, baby.
Lots of great names in this decade: Lou Whitaker, Eddie Murray, Fred Lynn, and Carlton Fisk and Thurman Munson in the AL, and Bob Horner, Bake McBride, Andre Dawson and Gary Matthews (Sr.!) in the NL.
Let’s go to the chart:
|Albert Pujols||Saint Louis Cardinals||2001||1000|
|Fred Lynn||Boston Red Sox||1975||967|
|Al Bumbry||Baltimore Orioles||1973||910|
|Carlton Fisk||Boston Red Sox||1972||900|
|Eddie Murray||Baltimore Orioles||1977||866|
|Mike Hargrove||Texas Rangers||1974||870|
|Bob Horner||Atlanta Braves||1978||859|
|Gary Matthews||San Francisco Giants||1973||858|
|Andre Dawson||Montreal Expos||1977||857|
|Earl Williams||Atlanta Braves||1971||846|
|Bake McBride||Saint Louis Cardinals||1974||839|
|Thurman Munson||New York Yankees||1970||836|
|John Castino||Minnesota Twins||1979||804|
|Alfredo Griffin||Toronto Blue Jays||1979||801|
|Chris Chambliss||Cleveland Indians||1971||800|
|Lou Whitaker||Detroit Tigers||1978||789|
I was surprised to find that, overall, the scores were much higher in the 70s than they were in the 80s or 90s. Only Sweet Lou Whitaker dropped below the 800 point threshhold. I suppose that trend can be attributed to the focus on hitting for average in the 70s, which kept that crucial measuring stick near .300. When chicks started to dig the long ball, averages went down, and slugging % stayed, oddly enough, in the same general range.
So, alert Bill Simmons, Fred Lynn is the best offensive ROY of the 70s. And Pudge Fisk comes in third. Not bad, New Englanders. Next week we get groovy with the 60s.