Sunday, December 13, 2009

Juan Samuel, 1984 Philadelphia Phillies

Speaking of bizarre seasons for leadoff hitters, Samuel's 1984 season can be seen in one of two ways: (1) one of the great all-around seasons of the 1980s, or (2) one of the decade's strangest melanges of power-hitter and leadoff-hitter tendencies. Samuel was a slugger in a speedster's body, an intriguing mix of good and bad skills who, by 1987, had shown he was never going to become the next Honus Wagner. He did have one hell of an '84 season, though, becoming the only man in history to steal 50 bases and strike out 160 or more times. Further cultivating this schizophrenic skill set, Samuel hit 15 home runs and walked just 28 times (very Jose Hernandez), while also stroking 19 triples at the top of the Phil's lineup (a la Jimmy Rollins). Very strange.

50+ stolen bases, 160+ strikeouts

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