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June 25, 2012

BP Unfiltered

Casey Kotchman and Mike Napoli Chase History

by R.J. Anderson

Are you a fan of witnessing baseball history? If so then start rooting against Casey Kotchman and Mike Napoli getting hits. That’s because Kotchman and Napoli would become the first players since 2002 to sandwich a season of hitting .300 between two seasons with sub-.250 batting averages. To date, 14 players have accomplished the feat:

Player

Year Started

Richard Hidalgo

2002

Rickey Henderson

1998

Scott Brosius

1997

Alan Trammell

1989

Len Randle

1976

Dave May

1972

Cito Gaston

1969

Roy Campanella

1954

Bill Cissell

1931

Lu Blue

1930

Nemo Leibold

1918

Emmett Seery

1888

Ed Andrews

1886

Reddy Mack

1886

You might expect no-names to pepper a list like this. Instead, Hall of Famers (Henderson, Campanella), a near-Hall of Famer (Trammell), and one-time All-Stars (May, Brosius, and Gaston) salt a list that looks better than anticipated. No, it isn’t the same class of company as the 500 home run club, but it could be worse. After all, the entrance criteria calls for the player to have two ostensibly down seasons within a three-year stretch.

Think of it this way: You aren’t rooting against Kotchman and Napoli to get hits. You’re rooting for them to join an exclusive club* with decent company.

*of players with at least two lousy seasons

Special thanks to Bradley Ankrom for research  assistance

R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

Related Content:  Casey Kotchman,  Mike Napoli

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