It’s been almost 20 years since Jose Canseco did the unthinkable and became the founding member of the 40-40 club. He managed to do in his 4th season what other legendary speed/power superstars spend a career attempting to do. When Canseco’s marvelous season was over he predicted he would do 50-50 next year. Unfortunately, Jose never came close and year after year he would predict a 50-50, even when his old age caught up to him and he could barely hit .230 and play in more than 100 games.
Many expected Eric Davis but the best he could do is 30-30. Barry Bonds once stole over 50 bases in 1990, but that was before he dipped into the juice and hasn’t reached double digits in steals in 6 seasons. A-Rod stole 46 in a season he hit 42 but since then he’s not done more than 28 in 9 seasons. Soriano? He has the best chance among active players. He is constantly coming close to 40-40 and did reach the mark in 2006.
There is another man that has a shot. I am going to go out on a major limb here with this one but I believe that the Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez has a chance to become the very first 50-50 man in baseball history. First of all, he has shown power and is only 23 years old which means he is only going to get stronger. Second, he has stole 50 or more in his last two seasons. Third, and perhaps the most promising is that he added 12 home runs to his numbers from 2006 to 2007 (17, 29).
If he adds another 12 in 2008 that would be 41 home runs and if he gets his usual 50+ steals then we have a possible 50-50 man that will probably not only outgrow the Marlins, but demand some serious cash on the free agent market. Hanley is only going to improve from his 2007 breakout season so now is the time to invest in this promising slugger.