20 MLB Records that could be broken in 2013
20 MLB Records that could be broken in 2013
Now that the calendar year has changed and professional baseball players are beginning their preseason workouts, it might be nice to look ahead to what the 2013 MLB season could entail. Typically, there are a couple of records broken in baseball every year whether it is a single-season, career or team achievement. What are 20 possible baseball records that could be broken in 2013?
Last year saw several records fall such as Fernando Rodney’s lowest earned run average ever in a single season (0.60) along with his 48 saves that topped Tampa Bay Rays’ previous holder. Meanwhile, Rodney’s teammate David Price broke Tampa Bay’s record of most wins (20), ERA among starters (2.56) and win-loss percentage (.800).
The problem with baseball is that many records have been around for close to 100 years and since the game has evolved so much, several achievements will simply never be broken. Pitchers do not pitch consecutive games anymore and they certainly do not appear in the same amount of innings so therefore it will be impossible for a single pitcher to ever throw more than 383 strikeouts. This alone has a huge effect on many pitching records that will never be touched.
On the other hand, it is hard to say when a particular player is ready to change the history books and do something that has never been done before or something that has not been accomplished in a very long time. For instance, even though the Triple Crown has been achieved in baseball it had not happened in 45 years. However, Miguel Cabrera’s name will be remembered forever for achieving something that many people thought could not happen in the modern era.
Remember, this slideshow is a speculation of what could happen even though in some cases it is unlikely the player will be able to achieve the record.
Single-Season Strikeout Total: Mark Reynolds
Mark Reynolds already holds the Major League record for most strikeouts in a season (223) in which he set back in 2009. Adam Dunn came within two strikeouts of breaking that record in 2012, but something tells me Reynolds will be back at it again in 2013 considering he will be the everyday first baseman.
Largest Contract for a Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw
Zack Greinke became the highest paid right-handed pitcher in history when the Los Angeles Dodgers signed him this off-season. The Dodgers appear to have an abundance of money and considering they employ one of the best pitchers in the game in Clayton Kershaw, expect the 2011 NL Cy Young Award winner to overthrow C.C. Sabathia as the highest paid pitcher in history. To do that, Los Angeles will have to pay him more than $161 million.
OPS in Milwaukee Brewers History Single Season: Ryan Braun
Ryan Braun is sure to break several Milwaukee Brewers records before his career comes to an end and next up on his list is OPS. Prince Fielder currently holds the record for OPS (1.014) that he set back in 2009. However, Braun’s on-base and slugging percentage have improved over the years and after two back-to-back MVP worthy seasons expect to see him finally break the record.
Team Losses: Houston Astros
The Houston Astros have had back-to-back 100-loss seasons and the team does not appear to be getting any better. Houston will rely on their farm system to try and improve, which is a big gamble because several players have to develop at the same time in order for the team to be successful. The New York Mets lost 120 games in 1962 and that number seems will in the reach of the Astros in 2013.
Most Wins in Colorado Rockies History: Jeff Francis
Starting pitcher Jeff Francis’ career is spiraling downward after his inconsistent season last year. However, the Colorado Rockies have signed him to a one-year contract in 2013, which means all he needs is 12 wins in order to break Aaron Cook’s record of 72 victories. It took Francis the last two seasons combined to get 12 wins but with history on the line, he will buck up and get the job done.
WAR Position Players: Mike Trout
Wins above replacement is a statistic that represents the number of wins a particular player added to the team above what a minor league player would have done. The all-time record is 13.7 set by Babe Ruth back in 1923, but after Mike Trout’s unbelievable rookie season, I think he can accomplish the feat. Trout posted a 10.7 WAR in 2012, good for 20th all time, and the best is clearly yet to come for this talented athlete.
Doubles in Milwaukee Brewers History Single Season: Aramis Ramirez
Aramis Ramirez is known for getting off to slow starts to begin a season and 2012 was no different. However, the 34-year-old was still able to set career numbers including hitting 50 doubles, the most in the NL. Lyle Overbay holds Milwaukee’s single-season doubles record (53), but in a season in which Ramirez is determined to get a championship ring expect to see the slugger pull out all the stops.
Plate Appearances: Derek Jeter
Jimmy Rollins holds the record for most plate appearances in a single season (717) but if anyone can top that mark it is Derek Jeter, who led all of baseball in 2012 with 683 at-bats. If Jeter can stay healthy, I believe he has at least one more magical season in him to break another record.
Most Total Bases in Chicago White Sox History: Paul Konerko
Frank Thomas currently holds the record for most total bases (3,949) in Chicago White Sox history but Paul Konerko is on pace to blast right past that number in 2013. Konerko needs 172 total bases to surpass Thomas and considering the last time he finished the season with a number less than that was 1998, I feel confident he will break the record.
Single-Season Opponent Batting Average: Aroldis Chapman
Aroldis Chapman will make the highly anticipated move to the starting rotation, which means he will have a great opportunity to break Pedro Martinez’s single-season opponent batting average record of .167 that he set in 2000. In order to be eligible, Chapman will have to pitch in at least 162 innings, which should not be a problem if he stays healthy. The 24-year-old kept opponents under a .150 batting average the last two seasons and his triple-digit fastball should keep hitters off guard at all times.
Saves in Milwaukee Brewers History Single Season: John Axford
John Axford set Milwaukee’s record for most saves in a single season with 46 back in 2011. However, Axford fell off the wagon in 2012 with an unbelievably inconsistent season that took much of the blame for the Brewers horrendous bullpen. However, Axford clearly has the talent to be a top notch closer in the majors and 2013 could be the year he gets things back on track by breaking his own franchise record.
Highest Single-Season Attendance Record: Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles has high hopes for the Dodgers this season as the team’s new ownership has spent a truckload of money to improve the team. The fans are excited and the team should be good enough to be in the thick of it for the entire season, which means the Dodgers could realistically break the all-time single-season home attendance record set by the Colorado Rockies in 1993. The Rockies had an attendance of 4,483,350 people with an average of 55,350 per game. Los Angeles would have to come close to selling out all 82 home games in order to break the record but if the Dodgers are as good as they are supposed to be, the loyal fan base could get it done.
Career Postseason Strikeouts: Andy Pettitte
Andy Pettitte has come a long ways since admitting to taking performance enhancing drugs. After his 10 strikeouts in the 2012 playoffs, he is now 17 shy of John Smoltz’s all-time postseason strikeout record of 199. It is unknown how much longer Pettitte will be able to take the mound as his age is certainly becoming a factor, but the reality is the New York Yankees will make the postseason again in 2013 and that could be just enough for the 40-year-old to etch his name in the record books.
Doubles in Los Angeles Angels History Single Season: Albert Pujols
Albert Pujols had a down year in 2012 compared to his standards, yet he was still able to hit 50 doubles, 30 home runs and 105 RBIs. I believe Pujols will bounce back in 2013, especially with a little help from Josh Hamilton, and break Garret Anderson’s franchise record of 56 doubles. This would also be a career-high for Pujols as the most he has ever hit in a single season is 51.
Home Runs by a Team: New York Yankees
The most home runs hit by a combined team in a single season is 264 set by the Seattle Mariners in 1997. I believe the 2013 Yankees have what it takes to surpass that number, especially after the team smacked 245 last year with several key injuries. If Alex Rodriguez can stay healthy and Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira can keep pace, New York should have a legitimate shot at the record.
Wins in Washington Nationals History Single Season: Gio Gonzalez
Gio Gonzalez set the Washington Nationals franchise record for most wins in a single season with 21 last year, but I believe he can top his own mark in 2013. Gonzalez has steadily increased his win total from season to season and now that he is on a team that is primed to make another deep run, there is no reason why he cannot break the record. Not to mention, competition amongst the starters will only improve his chances of doing it.
Team Wins: Los Angeles Dodgers
The most wins in MLB history is 116 and considering the talented team the Dodgers have managed to put together, that total could be topped. With pitchers Greinke and Kershaw taking the mound and sluggers Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier smacking the baseball all over the place, expect the Dodgers to seriously compete for this record.
Saves in Atlanta Braves History Single Season: Craig Kimbrel
Closer Craig Kimbrel has recorded 46 and 42 saves in the last two years, but I believe the 24-year-old is ready to set his sights on the Atlanta Braves franchise record of 55 set by Smoltz in 2002. It would certainly take precision on Kimbrel’s part, as well as, the team to have a successful season in order for him to have a shot at the record. However, I believe the Braves are going to step their game up in 2013, which means Kimbrel will at the very least get the opportunity to accomplish the feat.
Putouts as a Catcher: Russell Martin
Russell Martin has come close to breaking Johnny Edwards’ single-season record of putouts (1,135) by a catcher. Martin has set his mark in the top 10 three different times over the course of his career with the closest coming in 2007 when he fell just short. Martin will be the everyday catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates so he will have a legitimate chance at breaking the record.
Most Hits by 21-Year-Old: Mike Trout
There have only been a handful of successful 21-year-olds who have played in the majors. Ted Williams and Ricky Henderson come to mind while Trout is hoping to join their ranks. I believe the talented right-handed batter could break Lloyd Warner’s single-season record of 223 hits that he set in 1927 at the age of 21 years old. Considering Trout posted 182 hits last season in 139 games, and he should play in close to 162 this season if he remains healthy, there is no reason why he would not be able to break the record.