Marcus Semien just keeps hitting, and now he’s climbing up the A’s franchise history books.
Last week we marveled at how Semien is one of the hottest hitters in MLB since the All-Star break, and he has continued to produce since then. During the second half of the season he’s got a 1.002 OPS and a 163 wRC+, and at 7 WAR for the year on both scales he’s looking like a legitimate MVP candidate.
On Friday, Semien laced his 40th double of the season in Oakland’s victory over the Rangers. Put that together with his 31 homers, and he joins the following list of A’s ever to hit 30+ HR and 40+ doubles:
- Al Simmons (1929), 34 HR, 41 2B
- Al Simmons (1930), 36 HR, 21 2B
- Eric Chavez (2001), 32 HR, 43 2B
- Jason Giambi (2001), 38 HR, 47 2B
- Marcus Semien (2019), 31 HR, 40 2B (w/ 8 games to go)
That’s the whole list, though of course there have been some near misses. Chavez had a 29/39 year in 2003, Reggie Jackson went 36/39 in 1975, and there have been several 27/40+ seasons including Ben Grieve (2000), Miguel Tejada (2003), Chavez (2005), and Stephen Piscotty (2018). Back in 1933, Jimmie Foxx went 48/37, and in 1969 Reggie went 47/36, both of which are way better then 30/40.
But wait! Semien also has seven triples. Factor those in and you can cut out everyone except the old-timey Philadelphia players. Reggie managed three in each of the aforementioned years, and Jose Canseco went 31/35/3 in 1987, but the only 30+ HR, 40+ double, 3+ triple seasons are Semien and the two Al Simmons campaigns from the above list. The closest miss is Chavez ‘03, with a 29/39/5 showing. (Foxx also had a few years where he only missed 40 doubles because he hit nine or 10 or 13 triples.)
These are just arbitrary endpoints, though, designed to make the most select and impressive-looking lists possible. What if we just combine it all into total extra-base hits? It’s still preferable for a higher percentage of those hits to be homers, but all XBHs are valuable and there’s something to be said for cranking out the highest overall number of them. Semien is now at 78, which ranks tied for fourth in Oakland history, and he’s got a week left to potentially move up to third place.
- 87: Jason Giambi (2001)
- 86: Reggie Jackson (1969)
- 81: Mark McGwire (1987)
- 78: Reggie Jackson (1975) and Marcus Semien (2019) (so far)
Next on the list: Khris Davis in 2018, at 77 (tied with Canseco’s 1991)
Expand to all of franchise history and Semien is only 12th, behind four seasons by Simmons, three by Foxx, and one by Wally Moses, who went 25/48/13 in 1937.
Whichever way you slice it, Semien is having an all-time great season for the A’s, and he’s got eight more games to keep adding to these totals as he helps the team push toward it’s second straight Wild Card berth.
P.S. Matt Chapman is at 34 HR and 35 doubles, so keep an eye out for him to possibly reach 30/40 by year’s end!