Sunday, April 3, 2011

Buster & Belt B2B ROY? It's happened... a lot

Are we jumping ahead of ourselves here? Absolutely. Is 4 games a good sample size for determining anything--except whose mustache and new tattoos you like/don't like? No.

And yet, Brandon Belt has us salivating. Salivating like we first did over Lincecum, Cain and Posey. Belt has us thinking possible dynasty. And I don't think anyone can blame us. We're fans, still high as kites from our Championship Season, and we're damn excited.

Not only are we rewarded by receiving some more press, coverage, bragging rights, and a shiny trophy, but it's as if we received a Christmas bonus or something. We knew we wanted Belt. We did research, we dropped our hints around our parents, but knew it was a long shot to get such a valuable present.

But when Christm-- I mean Opening Day Eve came along, we snuck a peek in a closet we weren't supposed to sneak peeks in-- and sure enough, behind the ties and ugly summer shirts the shape was unmistakable; it was Brandon Belt.

It was the greatest thing ever. Even when the Giants unwrapped him on Opening Day against LA, we were still surprised that it was real, and he was all ours.

Okay, enough gushing like a school girl.

The prospect of having Back to Back Rookies of the Year is definitely an exciting one. Let's for a minute just assume Belt plays the season the way he's played the first series. Let's say I don't know, 23 HR, 74 RBI, and a .285 average with great defense. We'll just assume that gets it done.

When I began to think of B2B ROYs, I had to do a little research about how many times that has happened. I was pretty surprised by what I found...

Years Team Name
1952, 1953
Brooklyn Dodgers
Joe Black
Jim Gilliam
1954, 1955
St. Louis Cardinals
Wally Moon
Bill Virdon
1958, 1959
Washington Senators
Albie Pearson
Bob Allison
1958, 1959
San Francisco Giants
Orlando Cepeda
Willie McCovey
1961, 1962
Chicago Cubs
Billy Williams
Ken Hubbs
Los Angeles Blue Bastards
Rick Sutcliffe
Steve Howe
Fernando Valenzuela
Steve Sax
1983, 1984
New York Mets
Darryl Strawberry
Dwight Gooden
1985, 1986
St. Louis Cardinals
Vince Coleman
Todd Worrell
1986, 1987, 1988
Oakland Athletics
Jose Canseco
Mark McGwire
Walt Weiss
Los Angeles Blue Bastards
Eric Karros
Mike Piazza
Raul Mondesi
Hideo Nomo
Todd Hollandsworth
2000, 2001
Seattle Mariners
Kaz Sasaki
Ichiro Suzuki
2004, 2005
Oakland Athletics
Bobby Crosby
Huston Street

Are you as surprised as I am at how many repeat ROY selections have occurred? I am especially appalled by the fact that the Doyers once had 4 ROYs in a row and then broke their own record with 5 in a row! It does comfort me however, that most of those guys sucked, and despite having 5 ROYs in a row in the 1990s, the Blue Bastards still did nothing of note, and still haven't.

And if you're wondering who has the most ROYs in history, this is how it breaks down:

Blue Bastards (12), Oakland (7), Yankees (7), Cincinnati (7), St. Louis (6), Baltimore (6), Boston (6), Minnesota (5), White Sox (5), Cubs (5), Philadelphia (4), Mets (4), Kansas City (4), Cleveland (4), Detroit (4), and the rest have 3 or fewer.

A lot of the names also jump out at me. You're like, "How in the hell was Todd Hollandsworth a ROY???"

I remember him more for playing center field with a goddamn Cherry Tootsie Pop in his mouth than being a Rookie of the Year...

Simply baffling.

The Giants if you're wondering, had 5 Rookies of the Year, 6 if you count Willie Mays who was ROY on the Giants when they still played in New York. But if you give the Giants 6, you have to count the 2 extra ROYs the Brooklyn Dodgers had. GROSS.

Giants Rookies of the Year:

1951: Willie Mays (NY)
1958: Orlando Cepeda
1959: Willie McCovey
1973: Gary Matthews, Sr.
1975: John "The Count" Montefusco
2010: Buster Posey

Anyway, besides a little bit of a history lesson, this shows us that back to back ROYs have happened fairly frequently. So that gives me even more hope that Belt will be able to do it.

Buster & Belt have a chance to be the first Giants to win B2B ROYs in 52 long years. Pretty cool stuff.

If you missed my take on Belt's swing and who it reminds me of, I included it below.

It's been a series of firsts for Brandon Belt. First hit, first walk, first stolen base, first RBIs... but most impressively, his first home run. Wow. That was just awesome on Friday night wasn't it? I don't know about you, but it gave me chills.

In only three games, Belt has answered the question I asked a couple days ago. He's not going anywhere. I know you hear the Front Office say things about their intentions with Belt, but once you see all this for yourself in meaningful games, you're like... "Whoa. This guy IS for real. And he's good NOW!"

He's so patient; so poised. His swing is beautiful. I see a little Palmeiro in that swing. Maybe a touch of Will Clark. I think I've nailed down what he looks most like.

Belt, to me anyway, really looks like John Olerud. @JohnnyUtah530 suggested that to me on Twitter Friday and he was right on. We forget how good of a pure hitter Olerud was. The helmet in the field is his real legacy unfortunately.

And I know this seems like a lazy comparison, but Belt has a similar swing to Buster Posey. While Olerud's front foot is quiet and he takes a short stride toward the pitcher, Belt's is more like "stepping in the bucket" like Posey's. And yes, you can compare the lefty Belt to the righty Posey.

And here's Buster:

I'd say Belt's mechanics are combination of Olerud/Buster and he's got a beautiful damn swing.

If you can't see the YouTube videos above, come directly to the site by clicking here.

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