MLB Notebook: Profar joins ranks of young bashers

MLB Notebook: Profar joins ranks of young bashers

Chipper Jones' most recent extra-base hit -- his shot heard round the Braves' world on Sunday night -- gave the 40-year-old 1,053 for his career. Only 23 players in baseball history have collected more, including eight who debuted as teenagers. Like six (Babe Ruth, Ken Griffey, Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Ty Cobb, Jimmie Foxx, and Mel Ott) of those eight, the Rangers' Jurickson Profar has also collected at least one extra-base hit before his 20th birthday. Only a thousand-plus to go before he catches Jones.

Making his Major League debut at the age of 19 years and 195 days, Profar homered in his first at-bat and doubled in his second trip to the plate, and finished the day with the two hits.

Profar is the second-youngest player to homer in his first at-bat. The Giants' Whitey Lockman is the youngest, at 18 years and 345 days on July 5, 1945.

At 19 years and 195 days:

• Profar is the youngest player to homer in a game since Adrian Beltre (19 years, 171 days) on Sept. 25, 1998.

• Profar is the youngest player since Andruw Jones on Sept. 22, 1996, to have a pair of extra-base hits in a game. Jones was 19 years and 152 days old.

Youngest Players to Homer in 1st Major League At-Bat
Player Age Date
Whitey Lockman 18.345 July 5, 1945
Jurickson Profar 19.195 Sept. 2, 2012
Ted Tappe 19.224 Sept. 14, 1950
Starlin Castro 20.044 May 7, 2010
Jason Heyward 20.239 April 5, 2010
Clyde Vollmer 20.249 May 31, 1942
Jay Bell 20.292 Sept. 29, 1986
Buddy Kerr 20.306 Sept. 8, 1943
• Profar is the youngest player since Johnny Callison (19 years and 181 days old on Sept. 9, 1958) to have a pair of extra-base hits in his Major League debut.

Profar is the third player this season -- after Starling Marte and Eddy Rodriguez -- to homer in his first Major League at-bat. Overall, he is the 113th player to do it.

Jones' two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth capped a five-run rally in that inning, giving the Braves an 8-7 victory over the Phillies. The walk-off homer was the ninth of Jones' career, tying him with five others for the 13th most in past 60 seasons. Dating back to 1953, the full list of players to hit at least nine walk-off homers:

• 13: Jim Thome (all-time leader)

• 12: Mickey Mantle, Frank Robinson

• 11: Tony Perez

• 10: Dick Allen, Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, Harold Baines, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols

• 9: Roy Sievers, Hank Aaron, Eddie Murray, Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero

Orioles: Baltimore defeated New York, 8-3, to take two of three in the series and get to within two games of the Yankees in the American League East.

• Mark Reynolds homered twice -- the second time in the series he hit two dingers. Reynolds is the third Orioles player to have a pair of multihomer games against the Yankees in a season. Like Reynolds, Doug DeCinces had his two in the same series (DeCinces did it in 1981), and in 2006, Ramon Hernandez had one in two different September series against the Yankees.

• After opening the season with a 14-9 record in April, the Orioles then went 41-40 in May, June and July. Since the start of August, they are 19-10, for a .655 winning percentage, which is the second best in the Majors.

Nationals: Stephen Strasburg allowed two hits in six scoreless innings, struck out nine and walked one. With 195 strikeouts and 45 walks in 156 1/3 innings, Strasburg owns a strikeout-per-nine rate of 11.23 and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.33.

Only two qualifying pitchers in baseball history have finished an age-23-or-younger season with a strikeout rate higher than Strasburg's current mark. In 1998, Kerry Wood (age-21 season) fanned 12.58 batters per nine, while in 1984, 19-year-old Dwight Gooden finished his year with a rate of 11.39 K's per nine.

Since 1901, only three qualifying pitchers in their age-23 season or younger have finished a year with a strikeout to walk ratio better than Strasburg's current mark. In 1967, Jim Merritt finished at 5.37 K's for every walk, Mark Prior had a 4.90 mark in 2003 and in '11, Clayton Kershaw finished at 4.59. Madison Bumgarner -- pitching in his age-22 season this year -- has a better mark than Strasburg, at 4.42 strikeouts for every walk.

Brewers: Ryan Braun tied a career high with his 37th home run of the season. Braun leads the National League in homers, RBIs, slugging, OPS and total bases. Last year, when he won the NL MVP, he owned a .332/.397/.597 line at year's end, with 5.3 home run percentage, a 9.2 walk percentage, and a 12.2 extra-base hit percentage. Currently, he is at .310/.388/.607, with a home run percentage at 6.7, a walk percentage at 9.8, and an extra-base hit percentage at 12.2.

Padres: Chase Headley went 4-for-5 with a home run and set a career high with six RBIs. Headley, who owns the third highest OPS+ among third basemen in the Majors (behind Miguel Cabrera and David Wright) has reached base safely in 120 of 134 games played this season. That total of 120 leads the Majors, with Derek Jeter and Prince Fielder (116) tied for the second most.

A's: Oakland beat Boston, 6-2, for the team's ninth consecutive win overall, and their eighth straight over the Red Sox.

• The nine-game winning streak is the longest for the Athletics since a 10-game run in 2006 -- the last season the club made the postseason.

• The eight consecutive wins against the Red Sox represent the longest winning streak for the A's against Boston since 1932.

Dodgers: Adrian Gonzalez's two-run double in the bottom of the ninth gave the Dodgers a 5-4 victory over the D-backs. The walk-off hit -- the seventh of the season for Los Angeles -- snapped a streak of 19 straight saves for J.J. Putz, which represented the third longest streak in D-backs history. The Dodgers' seven walk-off hits tie them with the Reds and the Phillies for the most in the NL.

Tigers: Detroit -- behind eight innings of one-run ball from Justin Verlander -- beat Chicago, 4-2, to sweep the three-game series and jump into a tie with the White Sox for first place in the AL Central.

• Verlander struck out 11 to pass his teammate Max Scherzer (204 K's) and take over the AL lead in the category. Verlander has 209 strikeouts.

• Verlander and Scherzer are the 52nd set of teammates since 1901 to reach 200 strikeouts in the same season. They are the first pair of Tigers teammates to do it since 1973 (Joe Coleman and Mickey Lolich).

• Verlander has fanned at least 200 batters in four consecutive seasons -- the second longest streak for a Tigers pitcher in franchise history. Mickey Lolich struck out at least 200 in six straight seasons, from 1969-1974.

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.