The Next Four Home Run Hitter

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On Tuesday, we saw something that had only been done by a select few throughout baseball history. Someone hit four home runs in one game. And of course, his name is Scooter Gennett.

Gennett put up one of the best offensive games in the history of the sport: 5 for 5, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 17 total bases. Again, not Mike Trout, nor Bryce Harper, nor Aaron Judge… Scooter Gennett!

My question is, who will be the next player to hit four homers in one game?

To hit four home runs in one game, a player generally has little to no breathing room. Yes, Gennett had five shots at four homers, which is still tough, but some only have four chances. After all, Gennett barely got to bat for a fifth time. So if you want to do it, you need to hit fly balls, while not striking out or walking.

For example, Aaron Judge is known as a slugger, for good reason. But I don’t think he has a chance at four home runs in one game. His strikeout and walk rates are so high that it would be hard enough for him to put the ball in play four times. Most sluggers are like this, a ton of walks and strikeouts lead to fewer opportunities.

I decided to look at who put the ball in the air the most, but not per batted ball, per plate appearance. This could help eliminate high strikeout/walk guys.

Here are the top 10 qualified players in (FB+LD)/PA in 2017:

  1. Salvador Perez
  2. Josh Reddick
  3. Daniel Murphy
  4. Mike Moustakas
  5. Jed Lowrie
  6. Jorge Polanco
  7. Nolan Arenado
  8. Ian Kinsler
  9. Jose Ramirez
  10. Kyle Seager

Of these players, let’s take a look at their HR/FB% to get a feel for how often the balls they put in the air go over the fence. This is important to look at because guys who hit bloop fly balls probably shouldn’t be considered.

Here are the top three:

  1. Mike Moustakas (20.0%)
  2. Nolan Arenado (14.7%)
  3. Daniel Murphy (13.9%)

So, if I’m betting on this (not recommended), I’m putting my money on one of those three guys. Nolan Arenado stands out during home games, but these are probably the guys with the best chances.

Then again, if Scooter Gennett can do it, then who knows?

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