Top 10 Active MLB Rally Killers

In baseball, nothing kills a rally like an inning-ending double play. Well, this list of the Top 10 active players who hit into double plays does not take the inning-ending variety into account, but it sure does give some insight into who erases base runners. And a lot of these guys are also some of the game’s best sluggers. With that, here we go….

1. Ivan Rodriguez, New York Yankees (284)—What’s most amazing about the fact that Pudge leads everyone in double plays among active players, is the fact that he did it 31 times in 1999. That’s not a record (Jim Rice holds that distinction with 36), but what’s crazy is that is the same year Pudge won the AL MVP with Texas….he hit .332, and had career highs in homers (35), RBI (113), and double plays.

2. Manny Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers (229)—The way Manny Being Manny runs to first base most of the time, it’s a wonder he only has 229 of these.

3. Frank Thomas, Oakland Athletics (225)—I guess a lifetime .301 hitter with 521 homers has to hit a few ground balls too. But with 32 career stolen bases, you have to think this dude is also a pretty slow runner.

4. Jeff Kent, Los Angeles Dodgers (224)—It seems like Jeff Kent gets better with age as a hitter, but on top of that he has increased his double play numbers the more his career wears on. He’s also become a bit grumpier.

5. Gary Sheffield, Detroit Tigers (222)—Okay, look back over the first five names on this list. All five are volatile personalities who are also quite bitter. The fact that they top this list might have something to do with that.

6. Vladimir Guerrero, Los Angeles Angels (220)—Of any name on here, Vlad is the first guy I’d welcome on my team, all 220 double plays and all. The guy is just an amazing hitter.

7. Miguel Tejada, Houston Astros (212)—In 144 games this season, Tejada has already tied his own single-season record with 28 double plays. For a guy earning eight figures, that just doesn’t seem right.

8. Luis Gonzalez, Florida Marlins (211)—At 40, Gonzo is slowing down a bit. Still, for a guy who once stole 20 bases in a season and hit .336 in another, 211 double plays is just a tad excessive.

9. Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox (209)—Forget about Konerko’s double plays for a second. He hit 41 homers in 2004, 40 in 2005, 35 in 2006, 31 in 2007, and in 109 games this year has 16. I’m just sayin’……

10. Edgar Renteria, Detroit Tigers (207)—You’d think a guy with 280 career stolen bases would be hard to double up. That’s what makes this statistic for Edgar a little puzzling.

Source: Baseball Reference

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Top 10 Active MLB Singles Leaders

In baseball circles, guys who hit way more singles than they do extra-base hits are called “banjo” or “Punch and Judy” hitters. Well, that’s mostly sluggers talking, and who are those guys to complain when they come to bat with more teammates on base? Anyway, you won’t notice anyone calling anyone on this list a wimpy hitter—not when they have this many singles. This is a Top 10 of active players in that category, and there are some potential Hall of Famers to be sure:

1. Omar Vizquel, San Francisco Giants (2068)—In addition to being one of the game’s greatest defensive shortstops of all-time, Omar Vizquel is a damn good hitter. That’s a fact that everyone tends to forget. But in 20 seasons, Omar is hitting .272 and in addition to all of these hits, has stolen 384 bases.

2 Derek Jeter, New York Yankees (1844)—A prototypical #2 hitter, Jeter is an absolute pest to opposing pitchers. And he’s a really tough out in the playoffs, though it looks like the guy will be watching the entire postseason from his couch for the first time ever.

3 Ivan Rodriguez, New York Yankees (1734)—I’m not accusing anyone of anything, but Pudge looks a lot leaner these days than he did a few seasons ago. Regardless, you can’t chemically enhance bat speed, and to hit this many singles you just have to be a talented hitter.

4. Gary Sheffield, Detroit Tigers (1630)—For a guy closing in on 500 home runs, you just wouldn’t really expect to find him on this list. But there it is—another guy who just makes contact. In fact, Sheff has never struck out more than 83 times in a season over his 21-year career.

5. Johnny Damon, New York Yankees (1570)—What? Another Yankee? Just goes to show the Steinbrenners don’t shell out the big bucks solely for home runs.

6. Luis Gonzalez, Florida Marlins (1570)—In addition to all of those base hits, Gonzalez has 596 doubles, 68 triples, 353 homers and 1436 runs batted in. Whether or not he’s a Hall of Famer is borderline, but Gonzo is surely in the conversation.

7. Garrett Anderson, Los Angeles Angels (1550)—Okay, so I read recently where Mark Teixeira, after being traded from the Braves to the Angels, said that he grew up watching Anderson play for the Angels. It amazed me that Anderson has been playing since 1994, and all with the Angels. And he’s been one of the best under the radar players in the game that whole time.

8 Ken Griffey, Chicago White Sox (1521)—Griffey has 609 home runs and 1144 extra base hits in all, but a guy has to mix in a few singles, too. The Hall of Fame waits.

9 Edgar Renteria, Detroit Tigers (1519)—Renteria is still only 32, and has over 2000 hits. Here’s another guy who just quietly produces, every single (no pun intended) year. Well, most every year.

10. Jason Kendall, Milwaukee Brewers (1504)—And this guy is only 34? That’s 104 in catcher years, but Kendall stays in great shape and still hits the crap out of the ball. He’s lost most of his power stroke, but still has a lifetime .294 batting average.

Source: Baseball Reference

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