The Brewers Connection: Home Runs and Sacrifice Bunts

Jerry Tapp@@StatsonTappSenior Analyst IIIOctober 2, 2012

Corey Hart
Corey HartMark Hirsch/Getty Images

Milwaukee Brewers fans have seen their share of home run sluggers since the Seattle Pilots moved to Milwaukee in 1970.

But you may find it interesting that several Brewers players play prominent roles when you compare home run sluggers who have (and have not) put down sacrifice bunts in their careers.

Take a look at the stats line of the six players who have hit 40 or more home runs this season: Josh Hamilton, Miguel Cabrera, Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Dunn, Brewer Ryan Braun and Curtis Granderson. Of those six sluggers, only one of them, Granderson, has a sacrifice bunt this season. In MLB history, 231 players have hit 40 or more home runs in a season with no sacrifice bunts.

It’s pretty rare to see today’s home run hitters squaring around to bunt. If we drop the qualifier down to 30 or more homers this year, we discover that of the 27 players who have reached the 30-HR mark, only four have a sacrifice bunt on their stat line for the season.

Leading the way is the Brewers’ Corey Hart who has 30 home runs and two sac bunts. The others: Granderson (41 HR, one sac bunt), Josh Reddick (32 HRs and one sac bunt) and Carlos Beltran (32 HRs and one sac bunt).

Over the course of Major League history, it’s interesting to note that of the 206 players who have 250 or more career home runs, 17 of them never had a sacrifice bunt in their career. They are:

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Players with no career sacrifice bunts, total home runs

Harmon Killebrew 573

Frank Thomas 521

Carlos Delgado 473

Vladimir Guerrero 449

Mike Piazza 427

Mark Teixeira 338

Mo Vaughn 328

Troy Glaus 320

Cecil Fielder 319

Richie Sexson 306

Ryan Howard 300

Tim Salmon 299

Pat Burrell 292

Eric Karros 284

George Bell 265

Prince Fielder 260

Tony Clark 251

On the other hand, there have been nine players in history that have 250-plus career homers and 100-plus career sacrifice bunts (including one Brewers player). Leading the way is Rogers Hornsby, who had 301 HRs and 216 sac bunts. The others on the list:

Cy Williams (251 HRs and 164 sac bunts)

Babe Ruth (714 HRs and 113 sac bunts)

Al Simmons (307 HRs and 111 sac bunts)

Mel Ott (511 HRs and 109 sac bunts)

Lou Gehrig (493 HRs and 106 sac bunts)

Robin Yount (251 HRs and 104 sac bunts)

Craig Biggio (291 HRs and 101 sac bunts)

Brooks Robinson (268 HRs and 101 sac bunts)

Note: Brewers fans will find it interesting that another Brewer legend, Gorman Thomas, is one of only 26 players in MLB history to have 250-plus home runs and 40-plus sacrifice bunts (he had 268 HRs and 41 sac bunts)

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp