Even At 40, Jason Giambi Still Packs Potent Punch

NEW YORK, NY: Jason Giambi of the Colorado Rockies watches the flight of his second inning home run against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

So anyway, I'm in Denver to see a couple of also-rans playing a three-game series -- the Marlins showed up in town, right around the same time I did -- and was reminded (yes, again) why we shouldn't ignore also-rans.

Monday night, the Rockies improbably tied the game in the ninth inning, which brought Jason Giambi to the plate with a couple of runners on base. He drove a 2-and-1 pitch over the scoreboard in right field for a three-run walkoff job.

Tuesday night, the Rockies didn't quite tie the game in the ninth, but they came close on Giambi's pinch-hit two-run homer, again lined over the barrier in right field.

Giambi's now got a dozen homers this season, which might not seem all that impressive until you notice that he's done that in only 118 plate appearances. See, Giambi's not much of a defensive player these days, plus the Rockies are paying Todd Helton a great deal of money to play first base. So Giambi's started only 21 games all season: 15 at first base (when Helton was on the Disabled List) and six as DH (in American League ballparks).

How impressive has Giambi's performance been. Among players with between 100 and 150 plate appearances in a season since 1969, here are the top five slugging percentages:

Mark McGwire     1997 .726
Mike Jacobs      2005 .710
Jason Giambi     2011 .676
T. Hollandsworth 2001 .667
Des. Jennings    2011 .640

It's an odd group, to be sure. That's what happens when you base your analysis on small sample sizes. Mike Jacobs? And hey, there's Tampa Bay rookie Desmond Jennings, who's never been this powerful in the minors.

Also, Giambi's not the only Rocky on this list; Hollandsworth played for the Rockies in 2001. And while Coors Field isn't quite as hitter-friendly today as it was in '01, it's still the hitter-friendliest yard in the major leagues. Giambi's actually hit only five of his 12 homers at home this season, but he's seen significantly more action on the road this season, so his home percentages are significantly better than his road percentages.

Anyway, I'm wondering why some contender hasn't yet picked him up to serve as a pinch-hitter or DH down the stretch. Because it's apparent that Giambi, even at 40, can still hit.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.