Early in the MLB season, we observe many players posting stat lines that bear little resemblance to their past work. For better or worse, the following guys have gotten off to surprising starts and temporarily affected our perceptions of them.
Understand that this isn't only about red-hot individuals and those mired in hideous slumps. Torii Hunter and Adrian Gonzalez, for instance, lead their respective leagues in hits. Granted, they weren't popular preseason picks to win batting titles, but both veterans have already established themselves as elite offensive contributors.
The focus is on players who have dramatically defied expectations through the first several weeks. Read on as we delve into extreme examples like Paul Maholm and Matt Kemp.
*Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com, accurate as of April 18, 2013.