There is a trend developing in Major League Baseball with players who can hit and pitch, and Madison Bumgarner could join the list.
After his 12th inning walk-off pinch-hit appearance against the San Diego Padres, Madison Bumgarner certainly could make a case to be a two-way player.
We all know how good of a hitter he has been during his career — at least when it comes to being a primary pitcher.
Bumgarner owns a career average of .183 in 529 at-bats with 17 home runs and 58 RBI. Those certainly aren’t numbers that scream two-way player, but imagine if he actually practices hitting?
What kind of hitter could Madison Bumgarner be if he actually dedicated some time on becoming a better hitter? That’s something we’ll probably never know, but it’s fun to think about.
It would not surprise me at all if Bumgarner became a .240 hitter with 15-20 home runs a year over 300-plus at-bats. Would you really put anything past a guy of Bumgarner’s stature?
You look at someone like Shohei Ohtani who has the tools to be an elite pitcher, while also proving he can be a middle of the order bat.
I don’t know that Bumgarner could ever reach his potential, but Ohtani will certainly be a weapon down the road for the Angels once he’s healthy.
The only problem is, Bumgarner would have to move to the American League for this dream to become a reality. At this point in his career, and with how valuable he is as a pitcher, there is no way Bumgarner could play in the field.
Again, I wouldn’t put anything past Madison Bumgarner, but I just can’t see him playing a corner outfield spot or first base.
I wish this two-way player concept would have been around more when Bumgarner broke into the league.
In 2014 he hit .258 with 4 home runs, and then he followed that up in 2015 by hitting .247 with 5 home runs. You average those numbers over 162 games and that’s a solid bat in the lineup.
With Bumgarner pushing his 30’s and the injury trouble he’s had the past two seasons, I doubt we ever see this become a reality. But man would I love to see Bumgarner get 300-plus at-bats in a year just one time.