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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Jon Jay at 50 (games, that is)

After 50 games, outfielder Jon Jay has the third highest average of any St. Louis Cardinals player since 1920.

Jon Jay (Doug Benc/Getty Images)For those waiting for St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay to come back to earth, 50 games into his career, it hasn’t happened yet. Certainly the club’s comfort with Jay playing a regular role over a longer period was a factor in the trade of Ryan Ludwick this past weekend.

To that end, researcher Tom Orf pulled the stats from the top 20 players in Cardinals history in the last 90 years, since 1920, in terms of batting average through their first 50 career games. During that time, Jay’s .378 mark is third highest.

Several very familiar names are down the page from Jay, including Albert Pujols, Stan Musial, Jim Bottomley and Enos Slaughter. There are plenty of long-since forgotten players and ones who didn’t pan out, too.

Which will Jay become?

St. Louis Cardinals, highest batting average, first 50 career games, 1920-2010

Player PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
George Watkins 165 146 58 16 3 6 33 13 26 0.397 0.453 0.671 1.125
Don Lang 98 79 31 5 1 1 9 16 11 0.392 0.495 0.519 1.014
Jon Jay 134 119 45 12 1 3 13 11 18 0.378 0.427 0.571 0.999
Stu Martin 199 173 65 15 3 5 29 21 12 0.376 0.446 0.584 1.030
Wally Roettger 183 170 63 11 3 5 29 7 14 0.371 0.399 0.559 0.958
Albert Pujols 213 185 66 10 1 16 51 19 33 0.357 0.423 0.681 1.104
Art Rebel 79 72 25 4 0 0 5 6 4 0.347 0.397 0.403 0.800
Eddie Kazak 201 183 63 11 0 4 26 12 12 0.344 0.388 0.470 0.858
Wally Moon 235 202 69 8 4 6 32 28 19 0.342 0.417 0.510 0.927
Specs Toporcer 165 144 49 10 2 2 17 12 10 0.340 0.391 0.479 0.870
Heinie Mueller 184 169 57 9 5 0 27 10 23 0.337 0.381 0.450 0.831
Willie McGee 171 161 54 3 6 0 22 7 23 0.335 0.361 0.429 0.790
Mike Ryba 60 51 17 2 0 0 11 6 10 0.333 0.404 0.373 0.776
Stan Musial 194 174 58 13 4 6 22 18 9 0.333 0.399 0.557 0.956
Gus Mancuso 160 147 49 6 2 4 31 8 11 0.333 0.372 0.483 0.855
Jim Bottomley 217 200 66 13 6 6 45 10 17 0.330 0.371 0.545 0.916
Gene Green 168 149 49 10 2 4 15 16 14 0.329 0.389 0.503 0.893
Brian Barden 71 64 21 2 0 3 7 5 12 0.328 0.386 0.500 0.886
Brendan Ryan 151 137 45 6 0 4 11 12 15 0.328 0.383 0.460 0.842
Enos Slaughter 227 211 69 14 4 6 34 15 18 0.327 0.372 0.517 0.888

Footnote: For those who wonder, after his first 50 games, 2003 phenom Bo Hart’s average had already fallen to .301 on his way to a .277 mark over 88 career games in that season and the next.

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