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roidneedle1220.jpgEarlier today, I started taking a look at 15 players who may or may not deserve the same level of scrutiny the 85 listed in the Mitchell Report have received, based purely on statistics. After the jump we'll take a closer look at numbers 6-10 on my list. Now we're starting to get into questionable statistical variance territory.
Darren Daulton, 1992

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Why he's on my list: I had to have one member of the early-90s Phils teams on here, and "Dutch" Daulton seemed a perfect fit. He put up monster numbers for a couple of seasons, then injuries crippled him, textbook career life cycle of a juicer. Here are the stats (Daulton's 1991 season was injury-plagued, so I've included 1990 stats as well, he last full season prior to 1992)...

Year Team Age G HR IBB AVG OBP SLG OPS
1990 PHI 28 143 12 9 0.268 0.367 0.416 783
1991 PHI 29 89 12 4 0.196 0.297 0.365 662
1992 PHI 30 145 27 11 0.270 0.385 0.524 909
Change From Previous Year: 15 7 0.074 0.088 0.159 247
Change From1990: 15 2 0.002 0.018 0.108 126

My take: Personally, I think Daulton was a user. He got huge, put up monster numbers, then suffered a myriad of injuries for the rest of his career. His jump from '91 to '92 would've put him near the bottom of this list, the jump from 1990 to 1992 was still drastic, but less so. The league-wide ERA dropped from 3.79 in 1990 to 3.68 in 1991 all the way down to 3.50 in 1992.

Jeff Kent, 2000

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Why he's on my list: Kent had several seasons with a slugging percentage of over .500, none came before his 30th birthday. In 2000, he won the MVP with his best offensive year, by a healthy margin. Plus, he was playing in San Fran during the whole BALCO fiasco, so on the list he went. Take a look at the stats, I think he was a good addition...

Year Team Age G HR IBB AVG OBP SLG OPS
1999 SFG 31 138 23 3 0.290 0.366 0.511 877
2000 SFG 32 159 33 6 0.334 0.424 0.596 1020
Change From Previous Year: 10 3 0.044 0.058 0.085 143


My take: If we're talking from a purely statistical point of view, Kent is a tough nut to crack. Yes, he didn't really start hitting for power until after his 30th birthday, but he also didn't get a whole lot of playing time in his 20s either. He didn't top a .500 slugging percentage until he was 30, but he's stayed above that point ever since. I think Kent's career arc is probably natural, it just happened later than usual because the Mets never gave him the opportunity he needed. Moving away from Shea Stadium probably helped as well.

Luis Gonzalez, 2001

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Why he's on my list: Before we get started with Gonzo I just wanted to say that every player from here on down deserves serious attention. Personally, I think all of them had some help in putting up these numbers. Luis makes the list because his 2001 season was by far the least-expected offensive explosion of the past two decades, possibly in the history of the sport. Here are the numbers...

Year Team Age G HR IBB AVG OBP SLG OPS
2000 ARI 32 162 31 6 0.311 0.392 0.544 936
2001 ARI 33 162 57 24 0.325 0.429 0.688 1117
Change From Previous Year: 26 18 0.014 0.037 0.144 181


My take: These statistics are more damning for Gonzalez than the testimony of McNamee and Radomski is for Roger Clemens, in my opinion. Gonzalez went from a decent middle-of-the order guy seeing his numbers boosted by a hitter-friendly park to one of the most productive power hitters in the history of the game in the space of one season. That just doesn't happen to 33 year-old guys.

Mark McGwire, 1998

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Why he's on my list: Duh. Although I can't write this without saying he and Sammy Sosa may have saved the sport in 1998, however they got it done. Here are the numbers...

Year Team Age G HR IBB AVG OBP SLG OPS
1997 OAK/SL 33 156 58 16 0.274 0.393 0.646 1039
1998 STL 34 155 70 28 0.299 0.470 0.752 1222
Change From Previous Year: 12 12 0.025 0.077 0.106 183


My take: The amazing thing about the giant leap in McGwire's numbers in 1998 is that his numbers were spectacular in 1997. He made this leap over a year in which he hit 58 bombs. If there was any doubt left as to McGwire's innocence in my mind (which there probably wasn't) looking at these numbers erased it.

Brady Anderson, 1996

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Why he's on my list: The biggest one-year wonder in the history of sports. Anderson got huge overnight and starting hitting bombs at an alarming rate. He set the record for HR by a leadoff hitter, then disappeared off the face of the Earth. Here are the stats...

Year Team Age G HR IBB AVG OBP SLG OPS
1995 BAL 31 143 16 4 0.262 0.371 0.444 815
1996 BAL 32 149 50 1 0.297 0.396 0.637 1033
Change From Previous Year: 34 -3 0.035 0.025 0.193 218


My take: If I had to bet on one guy on this list as a user, the money would go on Brady Anderson. No history of being a HR threat before his miracle season. A precipitous drop coupled with numerous injuries after said season. Anderson screams user to me.

Click here to view part three of the series and find out who number one on the list is (here's a hint, his initials are not BLB).
by Brian on Dec 20 2007
Tags: Mitchell Report | Steroids |