Originally posted on Down with Goldy  |  Last updated 5/22/12

-  Quick, what's the flukiest home run season in history?  You thought of Brady Anderson's 50 in 1996, right?  Of course, I'm pretty sure everybody did.  He's as out of place on a list of players with 50 homers in a season as most of this blog's readers would be in a book store, and I'm pretty sure he's the first name most people would come up with.  But wait.  Check this out:

These are the home run % (% of PAs the player hit a homer) for Brady Anderson and Joe Mauer by season, with season five obviously both of their big HR year.  I looked at the four seasons prior and three after because that's all Mauer has, and looked at HR % instead of total HRs because Mauer is injured more than your mom.  The two charts look awfully similar, no?

Even more, if you take each players' average HR rate outside of the fluke season, Anderson's was 2.7% (which jumped to 7.3%) and Mauer's was 1.4% (which jumped to 4.6%).  What's that mean?  It means Anderson's season was a fluke by 2.7x his career average, while Mauer's jumped by 3.3x.  So in other words Joe Mauer's big-time season, the one that landed him that $300 million contract or whatever it was, was a bigger HR fluke than Brady Anderson's.  And since the whole point of giving him all that money was based on the idea that he'd be more than just an average hitter, I'm pretty sure it's the worst contract in baseball history other than probably Barry Zito or either of those Rockies' pitchers (Hampton, Neagle) from a few years ago (although depending on how Carl Crawford and Jason Bay finish out they'll probably end up on this tier as well).  

The extra good news is that he hasn't even come close to duplicating any of his other numbers from that year either, but hey hey, he's on pace to set a new career high in walks!

But wait!  There's more.  Here's a list of the highest paid players this year:

1.  A-Rod, $29 million
2.  Johan Santana, $24 million
3.  Joe Mauer, $23 million
4.  Prince Fielder, $23 million
5.  CC Fatbathia, $23 million
6.  Mark Texeira, $23 million
7.  Cliff Lee, $22 million
8.  Vernon Wells, $21 million (Note:  Holy ******* ****)
9.  Miguel Cabrera, $21 million
10.  Adrian Gonzalez, $21 million

And here's a list of the highest paid players last year,

1.  A-Rod, $31 million
2.  Mauer, $23 million
3.  Sabathia, $23 million
4.  Wells, $23 million (jesus christ somebody ****** this one up)
5.  Santana, $23 million
6.  Texeira, $23 million
7.  Cabrera, $20 million
8.  Ryan Howard, $20 million
9.  Roy Halladay, $20 million
10.  Todd Helton, $19 million (lol)

You'll not most of those names are the same.

And here's that same list in WAR order, which is a metric which attempts to give players a value in Wins Above Replacement, which means how many wins that player has given their team over an average AAA player at the same position the last two years combined:

1.  Cliff Lee, 9.5 WAR
2.  Roy Halladay, 9.4 WAR
3.  CC Sabathia, 8.6 WAR
4.  Cabrera, 7.9 WAR
5.  Adrian Gonzalez, 7.6 WAR
6.  Prince Fielder, 4.7 WAR
7.  A-Rod, 4.2 WAR
8.  Texeira, 2.8 WAR
9.  Joe Mauer, 2.5 WAR
10.  Helton, 2.2 WAR
11.  Ryan Howard, 0.8 WAR (hasn't played yet this year)
12.  Johan, 0.6 WAR (missed all of 2011, would be 5.1 using 2010 instead) 
13.  Vernon Wells, -1.1 (this is hilarious)

 So Mauer ranks ahead only of an old as **** guy, one of the worst contracts in the history of baseball (sorry I missed that one but holy **** that Wells contract is/was brutal) and two guys who have missed an entire year. 

I know I should probably be celebrating the Twins' ability to steal the next great pitcher (PJ Walters, yo) however it was again they got him but I started writing this before the game so I'm pretty much stuck in negativity mode.  If you don't like it, you should probably just find a blog that updates more than once a week.
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