Apr 6, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros former player Jimmy Wynn is introduced before a game against the Colorado Rockies at Minute Maid Park on Opening Day. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE
For game 15 on the season we'll be looking at The Toy Cannon's '69 season.
1969 was a good year for Jimmy Wynn, he had quite possibly his best year offensively. He lead the league in walks, finished second in on base percentage (.436), third in runs scored (113), fourth in OPS+ (166), fifth in homeruns (33) and sixth in Baseball Reference WAR (8.1).
That offensive performance placed him 15th on the MVP ballot, with 2% of the share. It's also worth noting that Wynn's 9.4 offensive WAR (oWAR) for '69 is a franchise record. In comparison Jeff Bagwell's oWAR for the 1994 season, the one in which he hit won the MVP, was 8.4. Yes, that was the strike shortened season, but Bagwell also broke his hand and wouldn't have been able to challenge Wynn for the oWAR title.
Another interesting statistic from Wynn's monster year, and the real reason for this post, is that he hit a homerun every 15 at bats. Which at the time was a franchise record and stood for 21 years, until Glenn Davis came along and bested him by a tenth of a point. Davis finished the 1990 season with a 14.9 at bats per homerun.
He has since fallen to 11th on the list passed by several other former Astros with great seasons: Bagwell of course, Lance Berkman, Richard Hildago, Carlos Beltran and Morgan Ensberg. Of course all these guys played in the offensive era and more importantly in Minute Maid Park, where lazy flies down the left field line turn into homeruns. Of those names, Bagwell is the only name on the list who a posted numbers in the Astrodome.
It's worth noting that Wynn also checks in at 19 on the list with 16.1 at bats per homerun. Among those in his same era, Cliff Johnson and Lee May are the only other two names to appear in the top 50.
At a listed 5'10", according to Baseball Reference, and the stadium in which he played in it's no wonder he got the nickname "Toy Cannon." And really Toy shouldn't be in the nickname, because there's nothing childish about the way he hit the ball.
If you were lucky enough to see him play treasure those moments, because it was something special and I am extremely jealous.