Omar Infante: Player Of Occasional Interest

Cincinnati, OH, USA; Miami Marlins catcher John Buck (14) is met by second baseman Omar Infante (12) at home plate after hitting a home run during the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark. The Marlins defeated the Reds 8-3. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

You probably don't think about Omar Infante very often, which is just as well. He's not among baseball's most interesting players. He can be, though, sometimes.

Think about Omar Infante, right now. Good. Feel unfamiliar? It should. Why would you spend a lot of your time thinking about Omar Infante? I don't have anything against Infante, because I don't know that much about him, but that's just the thing. Infante's just a baseball player who's been around for some years. He's not one of the compelling ones. He's not Albert Pujols, or Eric Hosmer, or Trevor Bauer, or even Matt Bush. Matt Bush has never played in a major-league baseball game, but you've probably spent more time thinking about him than Omar Infante.

Now I'm going to talk to you about Infante for a bit, though, because he's earned it. Monday afternoon, Infante started at second base for the Miami Marlins. In the fifth inning, facing Cole Hamels in Philadelphia, he hit this:

Infante1_medium

That's a short home run. In the seventh inning, facing Joe Savery, Infante hit this:

Infante2_medium

That's a short home run. A good nickname for Joe Savery would be Umami if he were talented enough to have a nickname. Anyway.

Monday, as the Marlins beat the Phillies 6-2, Omar Infante had a multi-homer game. Multi-homer games aren't always that remarkable, but they are when they come from someone like Omar Infante, and they are when you consider that this is Infante's third such game since last August 2. Let me try that again: They are when you consider that this is Infante's third such game in his last 44 starts. Last August was a while ago. Last August, England rioted.

This was also Infante's seventh multi-homer game in his career. Omar Infante has 55 career home runs, and 14 of them have come in seven games, which seems like a lot. That means just under 26 percent of Infante's home runs have come in multi-homer games. For reference, some other rates:

Sammy Sosa: 23.6%
Juan Gonzalez: 22.8%
Fred McGriff: 12.6%
Rafael Palmeiro: 11.6%

What does it mean? Almost certainly nothing. Is it interesting to observe? Almost certainly yes! Unless I have greatly overestimated the mass appeal of Omar Infante fun facts.

Along the same lines, Omar Infante now has as many career multi-homer games as Robinson Cano and Jack Cust. And Milton Bradley, and Jimmy Rollins, and Ray Durham. He has more career multi-homer games than Troy Tulowitzki, Hunter Pence, Victor Martinez, and Jason Kubel. This isn't to suggest that Omar Infante possesses some natural ability to group his home runs together. This is to suggest that Omar Infante has grouped his home runs together so far at an unusual rate.

I don't really have a lot more to say. Omar Infante is not a power hitter, but every so often he looks like a power hitter. He hit 11 home runs in the minor leagues. Oddly, he hit 16 home runs with the 2004 Detroit Tigers, in a very pitcher-friendly park. But then he dropped down to nine in 2005, and he hasn't equaled nine in any season since. As a pitcher, you usually don't have to worry too much about Omar Infante. But Omar Infante has had his superstar outings.

You might think you haven't gained much from this. But the next time someone asks you to think about Omar Infante, what do you think you're going to think about? The answer won't be "nothing."

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