StaTuesday: Braun joining elite company with 10 HR, 10 SB seasons
Ryan Braun turns 35 in November and as with anyone, he’s slowed down as he’s gotten older.
But the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder can still knock a ball out of the park and he knows how to steal a base.
Braun is the Brewers’ all-time leading home run hitter, with 314, and is third on the franchise list in stolen bases (202), behind just Hall of Famers Paul Molitor (412) and Robin Yount (271).
But no one in team history has more seasons of 10+ homers and 10+ steals than Braun. Only 11 players have accomplished that season feat at least three times.
In his almost 12 seasons, Braun has hit 10 or more home runs and stolen 10 or more bases 10 times. Entering Tuesday’s game, he’s just one steal away from making it 11.
With over a month remaining in the season, it’s really a question of when not if Braun gets his 10th stolen base. He’s proven over the year he knows how to steal, with a 77.9 percent success rate.
Entering Tuesday, Braun has 12 homers this season. Meaning another steal would be his 11th 10-10 season. He’d become just the 21st player in major-league history with 11 or more such seasons. Braun would join, among others, Willie Mays, as those with 11 years with 10+ homers and 10+ steals. Not bad company to keep.
In case you were wondering, after Braun, the next leading active player with 10-10 seasons are San Francisco’s Andrew McCutchen and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chase Utley, who have eight. Like Braun, entering Tuesday’s games, McCutchen is one stolen base from reaching that milestone once again. Utley hasn’t done it since 2014 and has just one homer and two stolen bases in 2018.
Hanley Ramirez, who began the season with Boston, and David Wright, who is now rehabbing trying to get back to the Mets’ active roster, both have nine such seasons. However, even if on a roster (or healthy), Ramirez hasn’t had a 10-10 season since 2014, when he was 30 years old, while it’s been 2013 for Wright, also when he was 30.
Braun has had four 10-10 seasons in his 30s — yes, every year since he turned 30 — with No. 5 just around the corner.
Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow (a Larry Ritter Book Award nominee), Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns