If Luis Arraez were to be traded, my new favorite stat would be in jeopardy – Brewed in the Trough

Do I think that Luis Arraez is in any great danger to be traded? No. He doesn’t have enough value to be the centerpiece in a trade for top end starting pitching.

I would be sad though. Upon his winning of the AL batting title, I did some research, and found an interesting statistic, which I shared on Reddit at the time with some inaccuracies, and I want to write up here as well as the definitive edition.

The Twins have had the AL batting champion 15 times since 1964, a whopping 26% of seasons (Carew x7, Oliva x3, Mauer x3, Puckett x1, Arraez x1). In that same timespan, the Twins have had 16 seasons with at least one (1) 30 homerun hitter. They are almost as likely to have a hitter win a batting title as they are to have a single hitter hit 30 home runs. To show my work, here is a list of years with at least one player who hit 30 homeruns:

2021: Polanco (33), Sano (30)
2019: Cruz (41), Kepler (36), Sano (34), Rosario (32). Garver (31)
2017: Dozier (34)
2016: Dozier (42)
2012: Willingham (35)
2009: Cuddyer (32), Morneau (30)
2007: Morneau (31)
2006: Morneau (34), Hunter (31)
1987: Hrbek (34), Brunansky (32), Gaetti (31)
1986: Gaetti (34), Puckett (31)
1984: Brunansky (32)
1970: Killebrew (41)
1969: Killebrew (49)
1967: Killebrew (44)
1966: Killebrew (39)
1964: Killebrew (49)

During a stretch from 1971 to 1983, the Twins had zero hitters hit more than 30 home runs, but had a player win the batting title six times. From 1988 to 2005 there were also no 30 home run seasons, but there was a batting title. There have been more players that won a batting title than have hit 40 or more homeruns in a season (Cruz, Dozier, Killebrew).

With at least one more season of Luis Arraez and no sure bets to belt 30 longballs in 2023, the record may come to 16-16, which would make any curmudgeonly, old-school, Twins Way, baseball fan like me smile.

As a side note, in 1981, Roy Smalley led the Twins in homers with 7.

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