.399 — Jason Heyward’s on-base percentage, fourth-highest in the National League and one of the highest in history for a player so young.
Heyward’s second-half resurgence has solidified his position as a leading candidate for National League Rookie of the Year, and also has him poised to join a list comprised almost exclusively of players who’ve gone on to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Heyward has hit .337 with a .439 on-base percentage in 53 games since the All-Star break, and in his past 21 games he’s hit a gaudy .437 with five homers, 15 RBIs and a .525 on-base perentage.
That torrid stretch boosted his season OBP to .399, fourth-highest in the NL behind Joey Votto (.422), Prince Fielder (.406) and Albert Pujols (.401), and ahead of Adrian Gonzalez (.393).
ESPN researcher Mark Simon points out that only five players with the minimum plate appearances to qualify for a batting title since 1900 have had an OBP higher than .392 in an age 20 or younger season. (Heyward is 21 now, but was 20 for more than half of the season, thus this is considered his age-20 season for statistical purposes).
The select group: Mel Ott (.449 in 1929), Ted Williams (.436 in 1939), Al Kaline (.421 in 1955), Jimmie Foxx (.416 in 1928), Alex Rodriguez (.414 in 1996) and Ott again (.397 in 1928).
Only four others were as high as .375: Mickey Mantle (.392 in 1954), Ty Cobb (.380 in 1907), Frank Robinson (.379) and Arky Vaughan (.375 in 1932).
That list of nine players includes A-Rod and eight Hall of Famers.
Simon also pointed out Heyward is drawing unintentional walks a little more than 13 percent of the time, or one every seven to eight plate appearances. The only two players to surpass that rate since 1900: Mel Ott and Ted Williams.