One of the most exciting and fun facets of being a fan of baseball is the frequency in which things can change.
At the beginning of the season, Josh Hamilton and Matt Kemp were the best players in the world and nobody could touch what they were doing.
Injuries happen, droughts happen, things change.
Here we stand, post non-waiver trade deadline, ready to kick off the month of August and gear up for a postseason push.
Some players embrace the challenge better than others.
Over the past 30 days, fans have been spectators of some fine baseball. Here is a list of the 10 best batters to emerge in the past 30 games.
Note: Players were only eligible for my ranking if they played in 20-or-more games over the past 30 days.
Somehow, some way, Josh Willingham was not dealt by the Minnesota Twins at the trade deadline. That's a good thing for Twins fans.
In the past 30 days, Willingham has played in 24 games, posting a .273/.387/.636/1.023 batting line.
He has added 24 hits (12 of which were for extra bases coming in the form of 10 home runs and two doubles) while driving in 23 runs, scoring 17 of his own.
His 10 home runs place him in a four-way tie for the most long balls over the past 30 days. Two of the other three players are on this list as well.
The only player omitted (honorable mention, I guess you could say) was Jason Kubel.
Through 25 games in the past 30 days, Miguel Cabrera has posted an impressive .330/.390/.691/1.082 batting line.
He has 31 hits, 14 of which were for extra bases in the form of 10 home runs and four doubles.
Cabrera has driven in 22 runs while scoring 21 of his own.
As you've likely noticed, he is tied with Josh Willingham and two others for the most home runs over the past 30 days.
The St. Louis Cardinals are playing pretty great baseball lately, thanks in large part to the contributions of David Freese.
Over the past 30 days, in his 21 games played, he has posted a .435/.547/.623/1.170 batting line.
He has racked up 30 hits, seven being doubles, two being home runs, and he drove in 11 RBI while scoring 14 of his own.
Milwaukee has been kind to Aramis Ramirez, and in turn he's been a solid player for the Brewers.
Over the past 30 days, Ramirez has played in 25 games, posting a .373/.393/.618/1.010 batting line.
He has managed 38 hits, 17 of which were for extra base hits. That breaks down to 13 doubles (leading the league over the last 30 days) with four home runs.
Additionally, Ramirez has driven in 22 RBI while scoring 15 of his own.
Finally, Albert Pujols is looking like Albert Pujols once again.
Over the past 30 days he's played in 24 games, posting a .323/.394/.720/1.115 batting line for the Angels.
In this time he has also posted 30 hits, 17 of which for extra bases. Broken down, that equates to 10 home runs and seven doubles.
In addition to finding his stroke, he has driven in 23 RBI, adding 18 runs of his own.
As you've figured out, he is the third of four players tied with 10 home runs over the past 30 days.
Low-risk with a high-reward.
That is exactly the type of player that Ryan Ludwick has been for the Cincinnati Reds this season, especially in the absence of Joey Votto.
Through the past 30 days, he has played in 22 games, posting a .333/.383/.747/1.129 batting line.
In addition, Ludwick has compiled 25 hits, and scattered throughout are five doubles, a triple and eight home runs.
He has driven in 23 RBI adding 12 runs of his own.
Like Albert Pujols with the Angels, Ryan Zimmerman started the 2012 season rather slow for the Washington Nationals.
That's certainly changed, specifically over the last 30 days. Zimmerman has posted a .361/.431/.722/1.153 batting line.
He has racked up 35 hits, 17 for extra bases. That equates to eight doubles and nine home runs for the All-Star third baseman.
He has driven in 20 RBI while scoring 24 runs of his own.
Though he owns the best OPS and has the most hits in baseball over the last 30 days, there are several other factors that went into this ranking system that brought 'Cutch to No. 3.
Don't get me wrong, I love what he's doing this season. His .433/.510/.733/1.243 batting line is certainly eye-popping.
He has played in 25 games and racked up 39 hits for the Bucs, breaking down to four doubles, a triple and seven home runs.
He has driven in 14 RBI while scoring 22 runs of his own.
Starting this process, I thought there was a good chance that Matt Holliday would have taken the No. 1 slot. He's been phenomenal for the St. Louis Cardinals.
In the past 30 days he has played in 24 games for the Cards, during which time Holliday has posted a .371/.456/.719/1.175 batting line.
Over the course of those 24 games, Holliday has racked up 33 hits, 15 of which were for extra bases in the form of seven doubles and eight home runs.
He has driven in 24 RBI and scored 17 runs of his own.
There's no surprise here, is there?
The kid has been incredible this season for the Angels and is on his way to owning the single greatest season any rookie has ever put together.
He owns a .371/.442/.742/1.185 batting line in 24 games over the last 30 days.
Trout has compiled 36 hits, 16 of which have been for extra bases. Broken down, that means five doubles, two triples and nine home runs.
He has driven in 22 RBI while adding 30 runs of his own.