The List: RBI < (HR x 2)
Josh Willingham is on the verge of history. At the mathematical midpoint of the Washington Nationals' season, the outfielder has amassed 10 home runs but only 21 RBI. In other words, he is within another solo homer of the magical formula that is the subject of this week's The List.
This, folks, is not easy to do. To pull it off, you need to hit almost exclusively solo home runs (all 10 of Willingham's are of the solo variety), and you need to perform poorly with runners in scoring position (Willingham: .180/.293/.220). (Alternately, you can accomplish it by drawing a gazillion walks, but this method is not recommended for mere mortals.)
By our research, there are only six examples in history (post-1900) of players who hit more than 20 home runs in a season while driving in only twice that many runs, or fewer. Here are the five players who have done it, in order from fewest to most home runs:
5. Chris Hoiles, Orioles (1992): 20 HRs, 40 RBI. Number of solo HRs: 17. BA/OBP/SLG with RISP: .205/.337/.370.
4. Kevin Maas, Yankees (1991): 21 HRs, 41 RBI. Number of solo HRs: 16. BA/OBP/SLG with RISP: .180/.318/.303.
3. Chris Duncan, Cardinals (2006): 22 HRs, 43 RBI. Number of solo HRs: 14. BA/OBP/SLG with RISP: .183/.320/.250
2. Rob Deer, Tigers (1992): 32 HRs, 64 RBI. Number of solo HRs: 22. BA/OBP/SLG with RISP: .212/.336/.424.
1. Barry Bonds, Giants (2003): 45 HRs, 90 RBI. Number of solo HRs: 35. BA/OBP/SLG with RISP: .338/.654/.558. And Bonds, once again (2001): 73 HRs, 137 RBI. Number of solo HRs: 46. BA/OBP/SLG with RISP: .382/.650/.944.
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