RÉSUMÉ: Young power hitter the pitching-rich Rays have long been waiting for; belted 37 home runs with a .988 OPS in Double and Triple A last year
COMP: Dale Murphy
One-run and Done
Ah, 2012—a year Orioles fans will always cherish. The franchise had its first winning record and postseason appearance in 15 years, thanks to a slew of taut, dramatic victories. The O's went 29--9 in one-run games, the best one-run winning percentage (.763) in major league history. But here's the problem with such marginal success: It's fluky, maybe even lucky, and almost impossible to replicate. Of the 12 teams that led the majors in one-run winning percentage each year from 2000 to '11, only four were above .500 in that category the following season. And only one—the '10 Phillies—had a better overall record. (Granted, the '01 Mariners "slumped" from 116 wins to 93 in '02.) On average, those 12 teams won 11.2 fewer games the year after their one-run dominance.
Height of the Matter
Last year Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, at 5'5" the smallest active player, hit seven homers. Doesn't sound like much, but it's a feat not to be looked down upon—no player that height or shorter had hit that many in more than 50 years. Suddenly, setting slugging records doesn't seem like such a tall order for Altuve: The single-season home run king for the 5'5"-and-under set is Bill Keister, who swung from his keister and whacked nine for the Washington Senators in 1902. Here are last year's other long ball leaders by height, and the historic totals they're looking up to.
Hack Wilson, 1930: 56
Yogi Berra, 1956: 30