MLB: Records That Could Be Set or Broken In 2017
Every year, Major League Baseball history becomes richer. Franchises become older and records get broken. Whether it is a storied franchise that has had a player spend most of his time there, or a franchise that hasn’t been around long that has its numbers bumped by a superstar. There seems to be a record broken every year either at the league or franchise level, which makes the game exciting.
With baseball’s rich history, being the one to set a record is always impressive. If a player is a franchise leader in a big time category, usually they are considered great. While not all teams have the history that the Yankees, Red Sox, or Cardinals do, they still have had great players come through their organization. The Arizona Diamondbacks have only been around since 1998, but already have their cap on a Hall of Fame plaque (Randy Johnson), and have a chance to be on another (Curt Schilling). Record breakers come from all franchises and some set the bar high.
As for league records, those are harder to break. They require skill, but more importantly longevity. Almost all record holders in Major League Baseball have had long and productive careers. There are players who have those credentials in today’s game and they have the chance to break some records in the near future.
With a historic season in 2016, 2017 is shaping up to be historic too. Players are closer to breaking some records that have stood for a long time. There are also records that haven’t stood for very long that will be broken by some of today’s superstars. Either way, it is history being made and that is what makes baseball both exciting and beautiful. Here are the records that could fall this season and the players that could make history by becoming the best in those respective categories.
Giancarlo Stanton: Most RBIs in Miami Marlins History
Giancarlo Stanton has made a name for himself in Miami. He is a three-time All Star and has already become the Marlins’ all time home run leader with just seven seasons under his belt. He is signed through 2027, with an option for 2028, after signing a 13-year, $325 million contract to stay in Miami. If he stays healthy, there is a good chance Stanton will stand in the Marlins record books for years to come.
This year, Stanton is looking to pass a Marlins legend in a major offensive category. With just 39 more runs batted in, Stanton will pass former Marlins third baseman Mike Lowell as the Miami Marlins RBI king. The record is 578 and at the pace Stanton has been going, he should pass that mark early in 2017.
The Marlins have had some good hitters in their short history. Lowell, Jeff Conine, Hanley Ramirez and Miguel Cabrera have all donned a Marlins uniform at one point in time. Stanton has surpassed all of them in most categories, which shows how accomplished he is. At only 27 years of age, he will be a force in the Miami lineup for years to come. With the numbers he has already put up, he will surely make the Marlins record book incredibly hard to rewrite.
David Wright: Most Home Runs in New York Mets History
Since 2004, David Wright has been the face of the New York Mets. He has made seven All Star appearances and has been given the title of the team’s captain. It is only fitting that Wright is the Mets’ record holder in runs batted in, hits, and runs scored. Wright has played 13 seasons in a Mets uniform, which is a sign of dedication to the only franchise he knows.
There is one category that he is not yet the leader of and that is home runs. Wright is just 11 home runs away from breaking Darryl Strawberry’s club record of 252. With a resume like David Wright’s, many would think it is almost a guarantee that he will break the record this season. This is a case where it may not happen.
Wright has only played a total of 75 games the past two seasons with a total of 12 home runs. He has not played since last June after undergoing neck surgery, but is expected to start the season healthy. If all goes well, he will stay healthy for the entire season. The big question mark is will he be able to return to form? The last time he played close to a full season, he only hit eight home runs in 134 games during the 2014 season. Last season he batted .226 with 55 strikeouts in just 137 at bats. Hopefully Wright can stay healthy and return to form and claim one more New York Mets statistical crown.
Jose Bautista: Most Walks in Toronto Blue Jays History
Jose Bautista has made a name for himself north of the border after bouncing around the league. Since coming to Toronto in 2008, Bautista has hit 265 home runs, driven in 701 runs and racked up 984 hits. His career went from below average to MVP-caliber seemingly overnight. Ever since his breakout year in 2010 where he hit 54 home runs, he has continued to mash and build his resume.
Bautista is second to Carlos Delgado in home runs in Blue Jays history, but he could pass him in a statistical category that is still quite important. If Joey Bats draws 109 walks this season, he will break Delgado’s record of 827 free passes. The number, while big, is still quite possible for Bautista. He has drawn 110 and 132 walks in 2015 and 2011, respectively. Unfortunately, drawing walks may be harder to come by after the departure of Edwin Encarnacion.
While walks aren’t the most glamorous statistical category, that doesn’t mean they should be overlooked. Out of the top ten Base on Balls leaders, eight are in the Hall of Fame. The only two that aren’t are future Hall of Famers Barry Bonds and Jim Thome. With that said, this record is quite impressive. When Bautista walks, his numbers are at their best. The four seasons in which he has walked the most are the four years he has hit the most home runs and driven in the most runs in his career. When he walks, he is at his best. Breaking this record could help him in 2017.
Evan Longoria: Most Hits, Runs Scored, At Bats, and Walks in Tampa Bay Rays History
The Tampa Bay Rays are one of baseball’s two youngest franchises, along with the Arizona Diamondbacks, so there is not much history when it comes to this ball club. While the Diamondbacks have had success as a team and with certain players in their history, the Rays have had very little to work with. Evan Longoria is by far the best player in Rays history. He is the all time Rays leader in home runs, runs batted in, and games played already. This year, he can write his name a few more times in the Rays record books.
He is currently on pace to break the Rays records for most hits, runs scored, at bats and walks in a Tampa Bay uniform. Carl Crawford holds all of those records besides walks, which is held by Ben Zobrist. Longoria will be able to break all of these records this season if he stays on par with his seasonal production. He only needs 169 more hits, 56 more runs scored, 155 more at bats and 19 more walks. After he accomplishes those feats, he can probably be crowned the greatest Ray of all time. Also, it helps he was on the 2008 Rays team that made it to the World Series.
Bartolo Colon: Most Wins By a Latin American Born Player and Most Teams Played For By A Pitcher With At Least 2,500 Strikeouts in MLB History
Finally, we get to league-wide records that could be broken. The two that could be broken this year are both in the sights of Bartolo Colon. Yes, “Big Sexy” is closing in on some Major League history. With his longevity, Colon is about to catapult himself into some big time company. He could become the Latin American born pitcher with the most wins and the pitcher with at least 2,500 strikeouts who has played with for the most teams.
For the first record, he could surpass Dennis Martinez’s 245 career wins if he racks up just 13 more. He only needs 10 more to pass Juan Marichal for most wins for a Dominican born pitcher. Colon has been able to stay in the majors for around two decades, which has helped him immensely. Teams have also been willing to take chances on him despite his age and injury history, which has helped his with the next record.
If he strikes out 135 more strikeouts, he will be at 2,500. With his decision to sign with the Braves in the offseason, he will be pitching for his ninth major league club. With that combination, he will pass Gaylord Perry as the pitcher with 2,500 or more strikeouts that has played for the most teams. Perry played for eight different clubs. If Colon breaks both records, he may be remembered for more than just his antics and strange baseball happenings.