Jose Bautista, to his credit, is silencing all his critics by putting together some numbers that can rival any in recent memory.
At the end of May, Bautista was leading the Majors in home runs (20), runs scored (54) and batting average (.363).
All fine and dandy if you’re thinking in the present tense.
By ending the month of May as the league leader in home runs, Bautista accomplished something that only one other player in the past 80 years has done: lead the league in homers for five consecutive months.
According to ESPN and the Elias Sports Bureau, Bautista led the American League in homers in July, August and September of 2010 and in April and May of 2011 (discounting March and October).
Jimmie Foxx was the one and only player to do this way back in 1933 and at the beginning of 1934.
To put this into perspective, Bautista—who has only been on the radar for a little over a year—has taken the baseball world by storm going from averaging 15 big flies a year during his first five full seasons to end up leading the league with 54 in 2010 and continuing that torrid pace in 2011.
Considering that baseball has been around for over 140 years, what Bautista has accomplished really makes you stand up and take notice, bearing in mind that nobody in the great history of baseball— Mays, Aaron, Mantle, McGwire, Griffey or Sosa—matched the same feat.
Whether or not Bautista can continue this pace, it takes a heck of a lot of skill to keep doing what he’s doing.
Can he lead the league for a sixth consecutive month? If history suggests anything, the answer is yes, without a doubt.
Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective