Consider that while Cabrera is at 451 home runs at age 34, Bill James’ Favorite Toy gives him just a 34-percent chance at reaching 600. In two out of every three futures, something drags him down before he hits another 149 home runs. That’s a good start on your way to being impressed with just how unlikely 600 homers is; it’s hard even if you’re spotted the first 450. The final 25 percent will mess you up.
Think of a great 34-year-old player. Like Cabrera! Think of the sentence eh, if he averages 30 home runs for another five seasons, he’ll get that extra 150 he needs. Then look at the players with five of those seasons after turning 34. There are five of them in baseball history. If you want to change the parameters, and see how many hitters have the quintet of 25-homer seasons that Cabrera needs, the answer is seven.
And if you want to change parameters to include a 30-homer season here, a 25-homer season, a 20-homer season, followed by five 15-homer seasons … I mean, maybe? But you’re digging a pretty deep hole.
There isn’t anyone young on that pace right now, which means there simply aren’t going to be a lot of contenders for the 600-dinger throne. There are just nine active players with even 300 homers, and Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion are the youngest, at 34.
Trumbo was drafted in the 18th round of the 2004 draft as a pitcher, but he appeared in his first pro game in 2005, as a first baseman. I’m guessing either instructional league wasn’t very kind to his pitching, or the Angels knew where he was playing all along.
Flames rookie Matthew Tkachuk’s chin-high elbow on the Kings’ Drew Doughty in Sunday’s game likely will get the league’s attention.
The late first-period elbow knocked Doughty down and out for the rest of the period. He returned in the second period of a 5-2 Flames win but afterward offered a not-so-flattering assessment of the rookie’s play.
He’s a pretty dirty player, that kid, Doughty told reporters, via L.A. Kings Insider. To be a rookie and play like that is a little surprising. I don’t know exactly what happened because I got hit in the head, but I thought he elbowed me. … Whatever it was, it hurt pretty bad, and it’s going to hurt for a bit.
The Canadiens collected Guy Lafleur at No. 1 overall, then added Larry Robinson at No. 20. They hoarded draft picks back then, when other teams had little use for them. The Canadiens had three firsts and three seconds that year, and even if the other players combined for less than 800 games, using those six picks to select two of the best players of the 1970s and Hockey Hall of Fame members worked out pretty well.
The Predators stocked half their defense corps for several seasons with one draft. Ryan Suter (No. 7), Kevin Klein (No. 37) and Shea Weber (No. 49) were one of the best hauls from the deepest draft in NHL history.
This is another tough one, because the Devils selected a goaltender named Martin Brodeur in 1990, and that class also included six other players who played at least 200 NHL games. The next year, the Devils landed one of the greatest defensemen of all time, Scott Niedermayer (No. 3) and Brian Rolston, who also played more than 1,200 games and had 761 points, eight picks later at No. 11. Apologies to the likes of Valeri Zelepukin, Jaroslav Modry and Mike Dunham, but Rolston was a very nice sidekick to Niedermayer in the Class of ’91.