The MLB Home Run Derby is set to begin Monday evening, and perhaps the Diamondbacks’ Zack Greinke is deserving of a spot in a hypothetical all-pitcher slugging exhibition.
At least that’s what Sports Illustrated’s Jay Jaffe suggested in a list of pitchers worthy of consideration for such an event.
Overlooking the fact that he’s currently on the DL with an oblique strain, Greinke is one of the game’s elite hitters among pitchers: He owns a career .226/.265/.332 line with six homers in 384 plate appearances. His slugging percentage is third among those with at least 50 PA, his 64 OPS+ and 16.7% strikeout rate are second and his 3.6 batting WAR is tied for first. Get well soon, Zack: This event needs you, preferably with those long, flowing locks.
That .226 average spans 13 MLB seasons and 384 plate appearances with the Royals, Brewers, Angels, Dodgers and Diamondbacks. This season, Greinke is hitting .270 with one double.
As SI mentioned, Greinke has six home runs, two of which came last season with the Dodgers. In 2013, he won the National League’s pitchers’ Silver Slugger Award, hitting .328 with four RBI.
Other notable players on the list included the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta (four career home runs, .181 average), the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner (active home run leader among pitchers, with 13) and the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard (had a two-homer game on May 11 vs. the Dodgers).
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