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Play Index: Marcell Ozuna doubles, home runs edition

New big-bat carrying acquisition Marcell Ozuna was one of only 17 players in Major League Baseball to hit at least 30 doubles and 30 home runs in 2017. To put an exact number on it, he hit 30 doubles and went yard 37 times. The 30/30 doubles/home runs version is a made up accomplishment (perhaps by me at this very moment, not sure) that was also pulled off by the likes of Joey Votto (165 wRC+ in 2017) and his teammate Adam Duvall (98 wRC+), so using it as some meaningful measuring stick of value is probably not ideal.

Still, 30-plus doubles and home runs is fun, and if you've been watching the Cardinals since Albert Pujols left you might guess that it's been pretty damn rare. Non-existent, in fact. Using Baseball Reference's Play Index, here's every Cardinal to reach the 30 doubles/home runs mark since Stan Musial retired (Musial, if curious, had six such seasons of his own):

I've remarked before that the main purpose of the Play Index is to remind all of us over and over of Pujols's brilliance. Be thankful if you can honestly say that you didn't take him and those years for granted. And then, admire the fact that he's responsible for ten of the 18 seasons above and know that he would have pulled off this feat every year while wearing a Cardinal uniform had he hit just one more double in 2011. Blame Wilson Betemit. Also of note: The MV3 crew was fully represented in 2004.

Ozuna, as noted, actually hit closer to 40 home runs than 30 in 2017, and for some very exclusive company, here's another search with the same parameters from above only with the home runs increased to at least 35:

And now we have pretty much all Albert other than a double-dose of Jim Edmonds and that one season from Ryan Ludwick - who was sort of our own Brady Anderson in a way.

Is this information really all that interesting? I don't know. Most people aren't expecting Ozuna to repeat the production from his breakout season (although his ZiPS projections look very good). Even if he did reach this arbitrary 30/30 mark, that in and of itself doesn't guarantee a spectacular season. Per above, Adam Duvall was a sub-two win player in 2017.

On the other hand, Ozuna isn't Duvall and their offensive similarities in 2017 pretty much began and ended with doubles and home runs. Really, if there's any takeaway here at all, it's that Albert Pujols is one of the greatest players ever, AND if Ozuna can join him in the above-list in 2018 then the Cardinals can probably declare mission accomplished on this "trade for a big bat" thing we've been hearing so much about.

As always, credit to Baseball Reference's Play Index, to which you can subscribe to here.


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