8 Wild Barry Bonds Stats After MLB Legend Was Snubbed by Baseball Hall of FameJanuary 26, 2022
8 Wild Barry Bonds Stats After MLB Legend Was Snubbed by Baseball Hall of Fame
Barry Bonds is not headed to Cooperstown, New York, and the Hall of Fame is worse for it.
After all, have you seen his numbers?
It's certainly the less-than-natural means through which Bonds came about some of his numbers that was the sticking point for Baseball Writers' Association of America voters. It wasn't unexpected that when the 2022 voting results were announced Tuesday, he fell short of the requisite 75 percent for the 10th time. At some point, the case for his enshrinement will pass to the era committees.
Nevertheless, Bonds' statistical achievements shall live on.
Anyone with even a passing interesting in Major League Baseball might be familiar with the big ones, such as his single-season (73) and career (762) home run records and his exclusive membership in the 500 home run, 500 stolen base club.
And there's more. A lot more. So much more that if a Hall of Fame plaque isn't going to do it, well, then, we'll just have to dive into the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants legend's statistical mastery on our own.
The Number: 5
Seasons in which Bonds salvaged a .400 on-base percentage in two-strike counts. Since that data became available in 1988, Wade Boggs and Joey Votto are the only other players who've done it so much as twice.
The Number: 33
Double plays Bonds grounded into from 1999 to 2004. That was the same number as Juan Pierre, who hit 285 fewer home runs than Bonds during that span.
The Number: 88
Home runs Bonds might have hit in 2001 if he'd played for the Colorado Rockies and thus his home games at Coors Field. If you think that's amazing, get a load of what he could have done under 1999 conditions.
The Number: 102
Games in which Bonds homered and stole a base. That's the most in baseball history by 15 over noted leadoff maestro and first-ballot Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson.
The Number: 160
Home runs Bonds hit at Oracle Park. Even though he retired after 2007, that's still the most in the history of the Giants' ballpark by a whopping 93 over Brandon Belt.
What He *Averaged* in His Best Power-Speed Years
The Numbers: 36-36
Home runs and stolen bases Bonds averaged per year from 1990 to 1998.
On the whole during that stretch, he ranked third with 327 home runs and sixth with 328 stolen bases. Atop the home run leaderboard was Mark McGwire, yet he merely tied for 464th with nine steals. Otis Nixon led in steals but didn't even crack the top 600 by hitting just eight home runs.
It's otherwise just plain bonkers that 36-36 was Bonds' baseline for nearly a decade. That threshold is more arbitrary than, say, 40-40, but nonetheless it's one that only 14 players have crossed in a single season.
In addition to Alfonso Soriano, Bonds and his father, Bobby, are the only other players to do so twice. They also co-lead with five 30-30 seasons apiece, though the younger Bonds missed out on a sixth because the 1994-95 strike stopped him at 29 steals in '94.
From 2001 to 2004, He Was Worth More WAR Than Whole Offenses
The Number: 47.3
Wins above replacement Bonds was worth from 2001 to 2004, according to FanGraphs.
Those were the years in which Bonds basically broke baseball. As they were his age-36-39 seasons, he wasn't the same defender who won eight Gold Glove Awards from 1990 to 1998. Yet starting with his record-setting '01 season, all he did at the plate was slash .349/.559/.809 with 209 home runs.
Per wRC+, Bonds' 2002, 2001 and 2004 campaigns are the first-, third- and fourth-best offensive seasons of all time. The only thing keeping him from holding each of the top three slots is Babe Ruth's 1920 season, in which he out-homered each American League team on his own.
As for Bonds' fWAR in that four-year span, it's more than five teams got out of their entire offenses. Not to name names, but...it was the Montreal Expos, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets.
The Best World Series Hitter...Ever?
The Number: 1.994
Bonds' career OPS in the World Series.
Granted, we're talking only one trip to the Fall Classic in 2002, which spanned just seven games and 30 plate appearances. But an impressive effort it indeed was. Bonds reached base in all but nine of his plate appearances and hit four home runs, including that one off Troy Percival that nobody ever saw land.
Alas, it was all for naught for Bonds and the Giants. San Francisco had a 98 percent chance of winning the World Series at one point during Game 6, but then Scott Spiezio happened, and the Anaheim Angels came back and won that game and then won again in Game 7.
All the same, Bonds' performance in the World Series killed what was left of the narrative that he was a postseason choker. Two decades later, he still holds career records for on-base, slugging and OPS in the World Series.
In 2004, an Ultra-Rare, Last-of-Its-Kind Home Run Feat
The Number: 4
How many more home runs than strikeouts Bonds had in 2004.
The number we initially put here was 24, in reference to how many more home runs than singles he had in 2001. That's perhaps the most obscure record he owns...but a record it is nonetheless.
And yet a hitter tallying more homers than singles wasn't unheard of even then. And that's still the case now thanks to Joey Gallo. He hit more homers than singles in 2017 and 2018, and it wouldn't be surprising if he did that at least once more before his career is over.
But more homers than strikeouts? At least among all-time 40-homer seasons—of which there are 353—Bonds' 2004 campaign marked the first time a hitter had done it since Ted Kluszewski in 1955. With strikeouts rising the way they are, Bonds is likely to stay frozen in time as the last player to do it.
Also in 2004, Bonds Was *This* Tough of an Out
The Number: 186
We'll get to what this number is all about in just a second.
First up is the number .609, which was Bonds' on-base percentage in 2004. With respect to his utterly praise-worthy 2001 and 2002 seasons, this arguably represents the high-water mark of his dominance. It is, after all, the best that a hitter has ever been at not making outs in a season.
Also extraordinary is just how much better Bonds was at getting on base than his peers in 2004. The next-best OBP that year belonged to Todd Helton, who got on at a mere .469 clip.
Which brings us back to 186. If Bonds could have kept playing at the end of the '04 season, that's how many consecutive outs he would have had to make before falling behind Helton on the OBP leaderboard.
Randy Johnson Isn't the Only Hall of Famer Bonds Pestered
The Number: .986
Bonds' career OPS against pitchers who are in the Hall of Fame.
That he came so close to matching his overall OPS of 1.051 against such stiff competition is extraordinary in its own right. And the specifics are just as impressive, particularly with regard to god-tier southpaw Randy Johnson. At 1.003, Bonds' OPS against Johnson is the best among hitters Johnson faced at least 60 times.
Even Greg Maddux, who held Bonds to a relatively painless .855 OPS, generally didn't want to bother with him. As he said in 2018, he felt Bonds was easy to pitch to because, "if it mattered, you just walked him."
Roger Clemens, who was also snubbed from the Hall of Fame for the 10th time Tuesday, can vouch. Though he didn't yield a hit in his eight matchups with Bonds, he did walk him five times. Clemens also hit him once, resulting in a not-too-shabby .750 OBP.
There's a Franchise Without as Many IBBs as Bonds
The Number: 38
How many more intentional walks Bonds has than the entire Tampa Bay Rays franchise.
Like home runs and stolen bases, walks were a huge part of Bonds' craft. He drew 1,870 just of the non-intentional variety, which would still be fourth all-time even if he didn't have a single intentional walk to his name. As it is, his 688 free passes are more than the next two players on that leaderboard combined.
However, we still have to give the nod to the Rays factoid as the most remarkable point of comparison for Bonds' intentional walks. Because even when the club inevitably catches him, that it hasn't yet boggles the mind.
It's not just that, at 24 seasons to his 22, the Rays have been around longer than Bonds was. There's also the small matter of plate appearances, of which Rays hitters have taken 131,809 more than Bonds did.
What If All His Home Runs Were Singles?
The Number: .375
What Bonds' slugging percentage would be if all 762 of his career home runs were magically transformed into mere singles.
This would, of course, be quite the step back from the .607 slugging percentage attached to Bonds' name right now. That figure ranks eighth among hitters with at least 3,000 plate appearances. A .375 slugging percentage wouldn't even put Bonds in the top 1,300 all-time.
It would, however, still be better than the marks of a surprising number of Hall of Famers, including Ozzie Smith and Bill Mazeroski. When combined with his .444 OBP, Bonds would also salvage an .819 OPS. That's the same as Joe Morgan and ahead of Hall of Fame luminaries such as Johnny Bench, Paul Molitor and Derek Jeter.
In other words, you can indeed downplay the home runs and still find a place for Bonds in Cooperstown.
Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs.