On Saturday, Danny Valencia lit the sky on fire. He blasted three home runs in the same game against the Tampa Bay Rays, including the eventual game-winner in the 9th inning. Two days later, Khris Davis did the same thing, khrushing three dingers including a walk-off grand slam. They were both enormous individual performances, and both played primary roles in close team wins as opposed to coming in garbage time.
There are all kinds of ways you can break down these feats, from personal firsts to historical to oddities to Statcast info. But there is one stat in particular that I want to highlight here, and it comes from a post by Christina Kahrl at ESPN. The following is a list of all the players in the last five seasons to hit three homers in a game and have all of them exceed 400 feet:
- Miguel Cabrera, 5/19/13
- Ryan Zimmerman, 5/29/13
- Bryce Harper, 5/6/15
- Alex Rodriguez, 7/25/15
- Danny Valencia, Sunday
- Khris Davis, Tuesday
Even better: Valencia was the only one to have all three go at least 425 feet, though Cabrera came close at a minimum of 423.
The criteria for that list are somewhat arbitrary, but it still fascinates me. First off, May is apparently Home Run Month in baseball. Second, this had only been done four times in four seasons, and then two guys on the same team did it in a span of three days. But mostly, look at the other names on that list:
- Miguel Cabrera, two-time MVP, Triple Crown winner, surefire Hall of Famer
- Alex Rodriguez, three-time MVP, used to do a bunch of PEDs, nearing 700 career homers
- Bryce Harper, defending MVP, just posted all-time great season at age 22
- Ryan Zimmerman, former No. 4 overall pick, former face of his franchise, playing on $135 million contract
... and ...
- Danny Valencia, picked up off waivers in August, has never lasted three full seasons on one team
- Khris Davis, acquired in mid-February for a couple prospects (but not Top-100 guys)
The list previously included a couple all-time greats, the budding Next Big Thing, and a guy who spent the better part of a decade as a legit star. And now it has added a couple classic Oakland Misfit Toys, who many casual baseball fans probably hadn't even heard of at this time last year. That's got to be the most Oakland A's stat of the 2016 season, at least so far.
Since we're on the topic of Khrush, he joined MLB Tonight on Wednesday to talk about his dingers.
I bet Bob Melvin was pleased to hear that Davis' last three-homer game came against Stanford.