World Series Hero
The all-time World Series leader in OPS, Ortiz helped the Sox break the 86-year curse in 2004. The 10-time All-Star helped Boston to two more titles while batting .455 with 14 RBIs in 14 World Series contests.
Pitchers Beware: Keep The Ball Up
Since ESPN Tru Media began tracking pitches with heat maps in 2009, Ortiz has hit well over .300 against pitches down and in the middle of the strike zone. Furthermore, in 2016 the slugger has improved his average by .260 points over his career mark (.169) on pitches high and outside while also hitting over .400 in four other zones this season.
Like most lefty sluggers, the 6-3, 230-pound Ortiz has hit most of his homers to right field, nearly 72 percent over his career. Although he's hit more homers on the road than at Fenway Park while with the Sox, it certainly hasn't hurt taking aim at the Pesky Pole -- 302 feet down the right-field line.
Big Papi's Big Postseasons
Ortiz has been a part of seven postseasons for the Sox and one with the Twins, combining to slash .295/.409/.553 with 17 homers and 60 RBIs in 82 games. His .962 OPS is third best all time behind Carlos Beltran and Albert Pujols among players with 200 postseason at-bats. Here are his top three postseasons.
Ortiz has nine 30-homer seasons, more than anyone in Boston history -- even one more than the immortal Ted Williams. And Big Papi is well on his way to a 10th. Only a guy named Babe Ruth would have more such seasons with one team in AL history.
Since taking over DH duties full-time in 2005, Ortiz has been the most prolific designated hitter in MLB history. Big Papi has exactly 200 more home runs than the No. 2 homer-bashing DH, Frank Thomas, and only Edgar Martinez has a higher OPS.
*Minimum 2,400 plate appearances
Saving The Best For Last
Ortiz is trying to make his last year his best. His .682 slugging percentage and 1.107 OPS would be career bests, as would his projected total of 63 doubles, which would be just four shy of the major league record and the most since 1934. Furthermore, Ortiz has posted more RBIs and has the second highest OPS (1.107) at the break of any 40-year-old in MLB history.
Illustration by Lincoln Agnew.
Photo credits: Associated Press; Jim Rogash; Winslow Townson; Rich Pilling; John Reid III; Stephen Dunn; Jim McIsaac; Elsa; Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox; Jonathan Daniel; Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery
All Stats through July 10. Stats courtesy: Baseball-Reference.com, ESPN Stats & Analysis, STATS, Inc.