This afternoon in Seattle, Raul Ibanez hit his 19th HR. Though Chris Davis’s power display in Baltimore is stealing headlines, what Ibanez is doing is perhaps more impressive given where he is in his career. Ibanez was born on 6 June 1972 (or two months before me). He really had a fairly nondescript career until 2001, his age-29 season when he left Seattle and hit 280/353/495 (13 HRs) in 103 games for the Royals. From 2001-2009, Ibanez established himself as a very good hitter for KC, Seattle and Philadelphia. Over those nine seasons, he averaged 289/351/489 with 22 HRs a season (119 wRC+). Over the past 3 seasons (ages 38-40) he has remained a solid if unspectacular DH type – he hasn’t hit more than 19 HRs since that 2009 season in Philly.
Fast forward to today. He clubbed the aforementioned 19th HR. Looking back since 1972, I searched for players aged 41 or more that hit at least 20 HRs in a season. Here’s the entire list:
Two steroid aided seasons from the all-time HR leader, Darrell Evans impressive season in old Tiger Stadium, and hall of Famer Dave Winfield’s 1993 season in the Homerdome.
What does this tell us about Raul Ibanez? Well, nothing specifically. I hope he keeps it up (though it pains me that he isn’t doing this in the Bronx given the Yankees struggles at the plate). But Ibanez seems like a prime sell high candidate in fantasy leagues (particularly AL Only leagues).