Monday, March 9, 2009

Behind the numbers: Career HR List

I’ve decided to start a new contribution to the blog whenever possible. I will start taking a look at the Career leaders for certain categories and then investigate their career to let you know how they got there, trades, FA, waivers etc.

1. Lonny Igelias, Col/Col Springs (559 HR)

Lonny was the first player to reach 500 HR in Hunter beating Magglio Javier by a single game in S10. He was also a member of Hunter’s NL All-Decade team as the starting 2b.

Igelias has only played for two teams in Hunter : Colorado and the now defunct Mule Deer (now know as Salt Lake City).

Colorado acquired Igelias in season 5 from philo and the Mule Deer for three players. The three players were Dennis Abe, Rex Lawerence and Phil Maxwell. Dennis Abe currently plays for the Chicago Fire and has 872 ML games played results in 102 career HR and a .267 Average. Rex Lawerence currently plays for Richmond and has 83 ML IP with 41 SVs and a career ERA of 6.51. Finally, Phil Maxwell is now retired although he did have a brief ML career playing 194 ML games and finishing with 20 career HR and a ML career average of .279.

Thus far Dennis Abe has been the best of the bunch and currently sits 457 HR short of Igelias. Rex Lawerance does show some promise however, has yet to have the ratings translate into stats. Needless to say, I’m guessing Leppy is okay with the results from this trade.

For his career he has received the following awards: 3 All-Star appearances, 2 Second base Silver Sluggers, 1 LF Silver Slugger and 1 LF Gold glove.

2. Magglio Javier, LA/Sal/Lou (534 HR)

As mentioned above Javier was the 2nd palyer in Hunter history to hit 500 HR but was the first to reach 1500 RBI earlier this season for the Salem Bald Beavers. Javeir like Igelias was a member of the Hunter All-Decade team as the starting LF for the AL team. Javier could arguably be considered the greatest player in the first 10 years of Hunter.

Up until Season 11 he had spent his entire career with the Louisville Sluggers organization leading the franchise to their first World Series victory in Season 10, while picking up his 5th MVP award along the way. As a side note, M. Javier’s also finished 2nd in MVP voting three times behind another member of this list (I believe this is called foreshadowing).

After season 10 Javier left Louisville Sluggers and signed a 4 year with the Salem franchise, after only half a season in Salem he was dealt to LA Baja Racers for Spike Hunter, Albert Velaquez and minor league pitcher. Hunter and Velaquez are currently playing on Salem’s ML franchise. Since Javier’s arrival in LA, the Baja Racers have found their way into a tight NL wild card race. The Baja Racers are looking for their first playoff appearance.

For his career Javier won the following awards all as a member of the Louisville Sluggers: 5 AL MVPS, 1 Rookie of the Year, 9 All-star Appearances and 5 LF Silver Sluggers

3. Rich Peters (Balt.) (522 HR)

Peters out of all the players on this list has the stable existence as he has spent his entire career as a member of the Baltimore Baydogs. Peters was the 3rd member of Hunter to reach the 500 HR mark. Had it not been for an injury that limited Peters to 5 GP in season 4, he would have had a good chance to be the first man to 500 HR.

Peters like Javier and Igelias was also a member of the Hunter All-Decade team. He was the starting 1b for the NL team.

For his career Peters won the following awards: 1 Silver Slugger RF, 2 Silver Slugger 1b, 1 All-Star appearance and 1 1b Gold Glove

4. James Hayahsi (Lou/Wich/Col/Tuc/LA) (470 HR)

Hayahsi like Peters, Javier and Igelais was a member of the Hunter All-Decade team however, he was the first one not to garner a starting spot. Hayashi made the team as the NL Lf back-up to Albert Henly.

Hayashi had quite an interesting career as far as movement went. He spent his first 3 .5 seasons in the AL as a member of the Wichita Bad-boys who are now know as the Montgomery Mastodons.

He was traded to Colorado in season 4 in a 3 for 3 deal. Wichita landed Harry Miller, Kris Fontenent and Tony Piedra in the deal that saw Hayahsi, Quixote and a career minor league move to COL. Miller currently plays for Buffalo and has racked up 2230 ML IP with a career record of 120-134 and a 4.96 ERA. Fontenent currently a reliever for the Louisville Sluggers and has accumulated 165 ML IP with a record of 15-2 and a career ML era of 3.28. Piedra has since retired and had a brief cup of coffee in the majors resulting in a 5.17 ERA over 76 IP. Along with Hayashi, Colorado also received Odalias Quixote a catcher who has bounced around the bigs and has 346 GP with a .262 ML batting average and currently plays for the Burlington.

Here is where things get interesting after season 4 Hayashi declined the player option on this contract making him a FA after a Hunter record 87 HR season. Needless to say he was a man in high demand. The result was the largest contract in Hunter history and Hunters’ first 100M dollar man. The total value of the deal was 106.5M dollar and was given out by 13black and the Tucson Shockers (now St. Louis). At the time there were concerns 13black would bail soon after handing out the contract to his credit 13black stayed and saw the monster deal to it’s end. For a 106M dollars Tucson got 180 HR and 617 RBI’s over 5 seasons. Very good production but I’m guessing 13black wanted more when inking the deal.

After his contract ended with Tucson he signed on with LA Baja Racers for season 10 where he added another 11 HR to his career total in 330 at-bats. After leaving LA as a FA, the Louisville Sluggers signed Hayashi to a minor league deal barring a late season call-up Hayashi’s career is probably over and he will fall 30 HR shy of 500.

5. Lou Stevenson (Salem/Augusta/St. Louis/Chicago) 450 HR

Each member of this list can claim their career to be something relative to the four. Igelias can claim to be the 1st (to 500), Javier can claim to be the most prolific, Peters can claim to be the most stable, Hayashi can claim to be the most “interesting” and finally Stevenson can claim to be the biggest “disappointment”. Now it seems odd to say about a man with 5 MVP’s and 450 career HR but you’ll understand after looking at his career.

Stevenson started his career for the Chicago Fire playing 4 full seasons in the AL before being traded to the NL mid-way through 5th season. Stevenson won MVP EVERY full season he played in the AL. In fact him and Javier have combined to win 9 out of the 10 AL MVP’s awarded. In Stevenson’s first full NL season (Season 6) he added an NL MVP to his award case making him the first player to win AL and NL MVP’s and sits tied with Magglio Javier for the most total MVP’s.

Chicago traded Steveson to St. Louis Clydesdales (Now Augusta) for three players: Glen Morris, Olerud and Marc Ratcliff. Olerud still plays for Chicago and was the Season 9 Rookie of the year, Glen Morris is currently the CF for the new St. Louis franchise and has two 20 HR seasons under his belt and finally Ratcliff sits at AAA for LA but has pitched 450 career ML innings with 156 career saves and a career ERA of 4.97.

As an interesting side now the owner that traded for Stevenson (St. Louis Clydesdales) returned to Hunter this season after a few season hiatus as Burlington (Jdkaput).

This is where the plot thickens or so they say. After his season six MVP Stevenson was relegated to limited playing time and saw his at-bats drop from 347 to 216 to 102 at bats over seasons 7-9. This was a result of two factors St. Louis/Augusta was a good team, plus at this point in his career Stevenson was a DH playing in the NL. This is where the disappointment comes in for seasons 7-9 he was still good enough to be a starting DH on an AL team and proved that by hitting 15 HR 81 RBI and .323 average in season 10 upon his return to AL (Salem). Had Stevenson not been stuck in a bad situation for three seasons, you could safety add 60 HR to his career total putting him in contention for the first hitter to 500. Instead it looks like he will fall 50 HR short of the 500 club barring a few HR down the stretch for Salem.

For his career he won the following awards: 4 AL MVP’s, 1 NL MVP, 4 1b Silver Slugger, 1 DH Silver Slugger and 3 all-star appearances.

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