Commentary

The Fluke All-Stars

A journeyman with a shot at 50 dingers? Bautista's just one of many Fluke All-Stars

Originally Published: September 7, 2010
By Dan Szymborski | Baseball Think Factory
Getty ImagesJose Bautista is killing the ball this year, but it may be a fluke -- and if so, it would put him in some interesting company.

Jose Bautista leads the league in home runs. Think about that. If someone had told you in March that come September, Bautista would be light years ahead of the likes of Alex Rodriguez, you'd think you were dreaming. A journeyman role player with a legit shot at hitting 50 home runs?

Inevitably, the dreaded word "fluke" comes to mind. Surely, he'll come down to earth, the aliens possessing his body will leave, and fastballs will suddenly stop being attracted, as if magnetized, to the sweet spot of his bat at the ideal moment his violent swing crashes through the strike zone. We won't know for a while whether Bautista's season will turn out to be a fluke or simply his coming-out party, but he's hardly the first player to put together a dominating season out of nowhere.

To pick out the biggest flukes in baseball history, I took every season since 1900 (minimum 300 PA or 100 IP) and compared the rate stats of hitters and pitchers to the rest of their careers. So, who makes up the Fluke All-Stars?


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