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Shohei Ohtani - The Babe Ruth of Japanese Baseball


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#1 Texsport

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 09:15 PM

A better pitching prospect than hitter - the opposite of the Babe -

22 yr old will sign with a MLB team within the next 3 weeks.

Has already eliminated Yankees, Red Sox, D-Backs, As, Blue Jays, Brewers, Twins, Pirates, at least.

Best spot for him is clearly the Houston Astros!

Reasons:

1 - American League team, so DH in effect allowing 2 way play.

2 - Champion Astros comprised of young stars - Altuve - 27, Springer - 28, Correa - 23, and Bregman - 22, with #1 minor league prospect 20 yr old outfielder Kyle Tucker.

3 - Tremendous run support from Astros' #1 offense in baseball

4 - Members of the Astros' family - all residing in Houston -Justin Verlander, Roger Clemens, and Nolan Ryan - the 3 most dominant RH power pitchers of the last 50 years.(Put Ohtani in a room with them and see what happens!)

5 - A great pitching coach and veteran catcher in Brian McCann, who has called pitches for many great pitchers.

Nolan Ryan's son Reed is the President of the Astros.

Texsport

Edited by Texsport, 04 December 2017 - 08:56 AM.

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#2 quackhead

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 01:49 AM

Padres have a good shot at him.  AJ Preller has worked his magic before.  Andy Green has some cultural experience from playing in Japan, as well.  He is probably going to west coast team.

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#3 Texsport

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 08:22 AM

Many Japanese players first choose a West Coast team because of the proximity to Japan.

One problem with the Dodgers, Radres, and Giants is no Designated Hitter in the National League. Ohtani would have to play in the field when he wasn't pitching - a very, very unlikely scenario. He most likely would be a pinch hitter only in the National League.

IMO it would be a big mistake for Ohtani, selecting one of the remaining West Coast teams, unless its the Dodgers ,because of the poor quality of talent playing in the West now. One reason the Dodgers won as many games as they did is because the worst teams in baseball are all West Coast teams currently, and in the Dodgers' division. The only half-way logical West Coast National League team is the Dodgers, but their payroll is already bigger than the Yankees - over $140 Million - they are dumping players to get it down.

If the kid thinks he just has enough talent to be ready to excel in MJB already, he's wrong. He may have the idea that he can get some experience and blossom with a low level team, and then sign his next contract with a contending team. The problem is that he must excel with a poor team - a difficult task. Practically every scout is more enthused with Ohtani as a pitcher, rather than a hitter.

If he thinks going to a poor team, because they need help is the smart route, he's wrong, because particularly hitting, he'd just be pitched around on teams like the light hitting Padres. The Padres scored 600 runs this year, while the Astros scored 900. The Padres finished more than 30 games behind the Dodgers. As a pitcher, on a weak team, he might find himself going against the opposing teams' aces, but without much run support from his team. A losing record for a couple of years might dampen his enthusiasm somewhat.

The organizations which excel in developing young players were all in the playoffs this year. Modern baseball is very analytically based. The Astros were able to improve the slider of a future Hall of Fame pitcher, Justin Verlander, using modern analytics.

In MLB at the end of the 2017 season, the Padres have the 9th best farm system and the Dodgers #10. 7 of the top 10 Padre prospects are pitchers however - not indicating an upcoming crop of position players. Other West Coast teams, like the Giants, As, and Angels are way down in talent - the Angels having about the worst ranked minor league talent pool.

The Astros still rank at the #5/30 minor league system, with young stars already in the bigs, winning the World Series. Well designed to continue winning with 1 or 2 young, great position player prospects(#4 MLB prospect OF Kyle Tucker) + several young, great pitching prospects.(#15 MLB prospect - 6'8" P Forest Whitley)

The Yankees rank #2, with 6/10 and their top 3 prospects are position players, but Ohtani has already eliminated them. The Braves have #1, but also eliminated by Ohtani.

http://bleacherrepor...-2017-mlb-draft


Texsport

Edited by Texsport, 05 December 2017 - 02:14 PM.

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#4 scomac2002

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 08:59 AM

I had hope that somehow against all odds that Ohtani might have found his way to the Blue Jays, but such is not the case.  I know that they put a lot of time and effort into him, so on to plan "B" I guess.  Seattle seems like a logical fit to me as they need pitching help and have a pretty solid core of offensively minded position players along with the DH option available so that he would get extra AB's versus an NL squad.  They also have a history of success with Japanese players.
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#5 Texsport

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 09:05 AM

Also ruled out by Ohtani - Cardinals, Nationals, Rays, Braves, White Sox, Marlins, and Reds. 17/30 eliminated.

Giants, Padres, Dodgers, Mariners, and Astros still in contention - only the Mariners and Astros can field a DH!

Mariners farm system is poor, ranking #22 out of 30 MLB teams, but top 3 prospects are position players and #1 prospect considered a "can't miss".

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Edited by Texsport, 04 December 2017 - 09:31 AM.

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#6 quackhead

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 11:33 AM

Looks like the Astros are out:

https://deadspin.com...eams-1820971279

I think the team most likely to get him at this point are:

1.  Mariners
2. Padres
3. Angels
4. Giants/Dodgers
5. Cubs/Rangers

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#7 Texsport

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 11:57 AM

Strange choices- only 3 American league teams with a DH - Mariners, Angels, and Rangers.

It was reported that he didn't want a big market/media city either - so LA and Chicago are puzzling. Must be lots of rumors that are unfounded.

He may not know it, but he'll just be a pitcher, and pinch hitter, with Padres, Giants, Cubs, and particularly the Dodgers, who have a full roster of position players better than Ohtani.

He is reported to have a long, slow bat swing. So what we saw in the playoffs with Judge, and  in the World Series with the Dodgers long swingers, will likely be his problem - fastballs on the hands and hard sliders down-and-in - lots of strike outs.

I agree with quackhead - Looks like the Mariners to me - the city closest by air to Japan, and where Ichiro played. Except for the Dodgers, he seems to have picked teams devoid of young talent - somewhat guaranteeing him a spot on the MLB team roster.(Avoiding minor league assignments?)

Good luck to the kid!

Texsport

Edited by Texsport, 05 December 2017 - 05:58 AM.

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#8 dcmidnight

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 08:18 AM

I wish the kid all the luck in the world but the uberhype/"actually delivers" ratio for these guys coming over from Japan is usually just off the charts.

I remember when Dice-K was coming over, the national papers were just...outrageous. About his work ethic, how much he threw, how his magic pitch bent in a way that no other pitch ever has. That worked out well. Turns out almost nothing translated over to the American game. For whatever reason.

Ichiro is probably - by far - the most successful Japanese player here right?

I do wish this kid all the best and kind of hope he picks a smaller market kind of place.
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#9 Texsport

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 02:18 PM

Difficult to understand his choices other than picking the Mariners because Ichiro starred there.

But the Mariners best players, Cano and Cruz, are nearing the ends of their careers, and Cruz is the DH - so Ohtani won't unseat him as DH.

I still think he'd be best served playing on a good team, where he would be considered a development project and wouldn't be expected to carry the team on his back.

Though not a West Coast team, the Rangers could slot him at DH, though I'd expect 40-yr old Adrian Beltre to be more of a DH than at 3B in the future.

Outside the AL, he won't get many at bats - nobody is going to have him play in the field between pitching assignments. The most logical position to reduce injury chance is most likely First Base rather than OF I think.

Maybe that's a plan? But both the Mariners and Rangers have 1B players with power now.

Possibly leaves the Giants in a good position as they don't have any non-expendable players at 1B or OF - they're the worst team in MLB.

Puzzling!

Texsport

Edited by Texsport, 05 December 2017 - 04:43 PM.

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#10 cdnglf

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 02:42 PM

View PostTexsport, on 05 December 2017 - 02:18 PM, said:

Difficult to understand his choices other than picking the Mariners because Ichiro starred there.

But the Mariners best players, Cano and Cruz, are nearing the ends of their careers, and Cruz is the DH - so Ohtani won't unseat him as DH.

I still think he'd be best served playing on a good team, where he would be considered a development project and wouldn't be expected to carry the team on his back.

Though not a West Coast team, the Rangers could slot him at DH, though I'd expect 40-yr old Adrian Beltre to be more of a DH than at 3B in the future.

Outside the AL, he won't get many at bats - nobody is going to have him play in the field between pitching assignments. The most logical position to reduce injury chance is most likely First Base rather than OF I think.

Maybe that's a plan? But both the Mariners and Rangers have 1B players with power now.

Puzzling!

Texsport

This is a pretty interesting story, but I haven't been following that closely. Do you know what positions he can play defensively?


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#11 Mr. Grumpy

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 03:10 PM

Kid is like no other. 60 min. did a great piece on him.

Here is the piece... https://www.cbsnews....pan-60-minutes/
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#12 Texsport

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 03:11 PM

He was a pitcher and right fielder in Japan, although limited to few games in the field last year by an ankle injury.

1st base isn't a difficult position - many teams play their worst defensive player there - and he'd rarely have to make a full velocity throw at 1st base.

I'm beginning to think that Ohtani believes that he will be a Super Star in MLB and wants a team where he will be THE franchise player.

I think he needs some seasoning before reaching the full potential he possesses. But, it will be quite exciting to watch him, if he really is "the Babe Ruth of Japan".

Texsport

Edited by Texsport, 05 December 2017 - 03:36 PM.

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#13 Mr. Grumpy

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 03:12 PM

Selfishly,, I want him to go to the Cubs!
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#14 Texsport

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 03:37 PM

Well his home run totals might be impressive in cozy Wrigley Field.

But Russo is maybe the Cubs best hitter and he can only play 1B - so Ohtani would have to play the OF for the Cubs.

Texsport

Edited by Texsport, 05 December 2017 - 03:40 PM.

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#15 dcmidnight

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 06:33 AM

View PostMr. Grumpy, on 05 December 2017 - 03:10 PM, said:

Kid is like no other.

You seem to hear this before every "big" player comes over from Japan. And yes I'm jaded from all the Dice-K hype LOL. But I've never, every seen hype surrounding a player like there was around him. Stats off the charts, media all over. Guy has one good season and lays a turd for the next ten years.

I had to look it up but Otani is playing in ~ 80 games a year now? How's his "I want to hit and pitch and take BP and do everything" routine going to translate in twice as many games, over ~ 8 months of spring training, practices, games and playoffs? I remember Dice-K had his own routine and the Red Sox basically let him run his own show. That worked out well.

I don't know much about Seattle the city but people seem to think it would be a good fit. West Coast, smaller market, can DH - seems to check all the big boxes.

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#16 scomac2002

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:39 AM

View PostTexsport, on 05 December 2017 - 03:11 PM, said:

He was a pitcher and right fielder in Japan, although limited to few games in the field last year by an ankle injury.

1st base isn't a difficult position - many teams play their worst defensive player there - and he'd rarely have to make a full velocity throw at 1st base.

I'm beginning to think that Ohtani believes that he will be a Super Star in MLB and wants a team where he will be THE franchise player.

I think he needs some seasoning before reaching the full potential he possesses. But, it will be quite exciting to watch him, if he really is "the Babe Ruth of Japan".

Texsport

And here I always thought that Sadaharu Oh was the Japanese Babe Ruth...
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#17 hammy83

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:44 AM

View Postdcmidnight, on 06 December 2017 - 06:33 AM, said:

View PostMr. Grumpy, on 05 December 2017 - 03:10 PM, said:

Kid is like no other.

You seem to hear this before every "big" player comes over from Japan. And yes I'm jaded from all the Dice-K hype LOL. But I've never, every seen hype surrounding a player like there was around him. Stats off the charts, media all over. Guy has one good season and lays a turd for the next ten years.

I had to look it up but Otani is playing in ~ 80 games a year now? How's his "I want to hit and pitch and take BP and do everything" routine going to translate in twice as many games, over ~ 8 months of spring training, practices, games and playoffs? I remember Dice-K had his own routine and the Red Sox basically let him run his own show. That worked out well.

I don't know much about Seattle the city but people seem to think it would be a good fit. West Coast, smaller market, can DH - seems to check all the big boxes.

I'm still waiting to see the gyro ball.

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#18 Mr. Grumpy

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 08:50 AM

View Posthammy83, on 06 December 2017 - 07:44 AM, said:

View Postdcmidnight, on 06 December 2017 - 06:33 AM, said:

View PostMr. Grumpy, on 05 December 2017 - 03:10 PM, said:

Kid is like no other.

You seem to hear this before every "big" player comes over from Japan. And yes I'm jaded from all the Dice-K hype LOL. But I've never, every seen hype surrounding a player like there was around him. Stats off the charts, media all over. Guy has one good season and lays a turd for the next ten years.

I had to look it up but Otani is playing in ~ 80 games a year now? How's his "I want to hit and pitch and take BP and do everything" routine going to translate in twice as many games, over ~ 8 months of spring training, practices, games and playoffs? I remember Dice-K had his own routine and the Red Sox basically let him run his own show. That worked out well.

I don't know much about Seattle the city but people seem to think it would be a good fit. West Coast, smaller market, can DH - seems to check all the big boxes.

I'm still waiting to see the gyro ball.

lol
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#19 Mr. Grumpy

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 09:03 AM

View Postdcmidnight, on 06 December 2017 - 06:33 AM, said:

View PostMr. Grumpy, on 05 December 2017 - 03:10 PM, said:

Kid is like no other.

You seem to hear this before every "big" player comes over from Japan. And yes I'm jaded from all the Dice-K hype LOL. But I've never, every seen hype surrounding a player like there was around him. Stats off the charts, media all over. Guy has one good season and lays a turd for the next ten years.

I had to look it up but Otani is playing in ~ 80 games a year now? How's his "I want to hit and pitch and take BP and do everything" routine going to translate in twice as many games, over ~ 8 months of spring training, practices, games and playoffs? I remember Dice-K had his own routine and the Red Sox basically let him run his own show. That worked out well.

I don't know much about Seattle the city but people seem to think it would be a good fit. West Coast, smaller market, can DH - seems to check all the big boxes.

I agree totally. I love to hop into the hype though. Makes the season seem less,,, long...

Madden is considering the experiment. However, not many places to put him. Outfield is set, Rizzo and Bryant have a lock on 1st. Hmm.. Happ saw reduced playing time and Zobrist is not getting any younger...
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#20 Texsport

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 09:12 AM

View Postscomac2002, on 06 December 2017 - 07:39 AM, said:

View PostTexsport, on 05 December 2017 - 03:11 PM, said:

He was a pitcher and right fielder in Japan, although limited to few games in the field last year by an ankle injury.

1st base isn't a difficult position - many teams play their worst defensive player there - and he'd rarely have to make a full velocity throw at 1st base.

I'm beginning to think that Ohtani believes that he will be a Super Star in MLB and wants a team where he will be THE franchise player.

I think he needs some seasoning before reaching the full potential he possesses. But, it will be quite exciting to watch him, if he really is "the Babe Ruth of Japan".

Texsport

And here I always thought that Sadaharu Oh was the Japanese Babe Ruth...

Me too, so whoever wrote the article must be a millenial.

Texsport

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#21 cdnglf

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:53 PM

Angels it is

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#22 Texsport

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 10:25 PM

Surprising!

Will get to see Ohtani in Houston for 2-3 series.

I notice that Giancarlo Stanton will not approve Cardinals or Giants deals. His preferred teams are Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, and Astros.

DH for the 'Stros works for me! Maybe they could score 1,000 runs this year-

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Edited by Texsport, 08 December 2017 - 10:38 PM.

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#23 bscinstnct

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 10:56 PM

Guy sounds like a head case.

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#24 Texsport

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 10:06 AM

I don't see how this fits with the Angels unless Pujols isn't going to play as much this season. He is the DH for the Angels, not playing much in the field because of foot problems. Its bad because he is trying to lose significant weight in this off season to take the pressure off his feet.

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Edited by Texsport, 09 December 2017 - 10:07 AM.

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#25 Texsport

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 10:53 AM

Stanton rumored to Yankees.

With Judge - nearly 400 Ks between them. With Sanchez, nearly 150 HR combined - team season HR records in grave danger.

Power pitchers may set K records against them.

Non-power pitchers may set high ERA records against them.

Would truly be the return of "The Bronx Bombers"!

I like the Astros chances against them with nasty stuff from Verlander, Kuechel, McCullars, and Morton.

Texsport

Edited by Texsport, 09 December 2017 - 10:55 AM.

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#26 cdnglf

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 11:21 AM

View PostTexsport, on 09 December 2017 - 10:53 AM, said:

Stanton rumored to Yankees.

With Judge - nearly 400 Ks between them. With Sanchez, nearly 150 HR combined - team season HR records in grave danger.

Power pitchers may set K records against them.

Non-power pitchers may set high ERA records against them.

Would truly be the return of "The Bronx Bombers"!

I like the Astros chances against them with nasty stuff from Verlander, Kuechel, McCullars, and Morton.

Texsport

Shades of the A-Rod trade. Could be a great deal for the Yankees, depending on how much salary the Marlins pay.

Edited by cdnglf, 09 December 2017 - 11:21 AM.


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#27 Texsport

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 11:30 AM

The Yankees have the #2 minor league prospects list, so they can afford to give up some talent.

Top 2 Yankee minor league prospect are latin players -  SS/3B Gleyber Torres (#3 prospect in baseball) and CF Estevan Florial. Florial is best athlete/fastest runner. Many good pitching prospects.

https://www.baseball...p-10-prospects/

Marlins primarily trying to dump payroll, but wonder if Jeter wants someone off Yankees roster, also?

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Edited by Texsport, 09 December 2017 - 11:39 AM.

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#28 cdnglf

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 11:35 AM

The Marlins have very little leverage, so I don't think the Yankees will have to give any high-end prospects. The Yankees might have to send some lesser prospects, but I think it's mostly a matter of figuring out how much of Stanton's salary the Marlins will pay and/or offset by taking Ellsbury.

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#29 Texsport

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 12:49 PM

Starlin Castro in trade but Yankees would replace him with #1 prospect Torres at 2B.

Texsport

Edited by Texsport, 09 December 2017 - 12:50 PM.

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#30 Texsport

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 04:06 PM

Question - which pair of right-handed hitters holds the current record for the most home runs by right-handed-hitting team mates?

Answer - Jeff Bagwell (47 HR) and Richard Hidalgo (44 HR) on the 2000 Houston Astros.

Texsport

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