The Texas Rangers have outscored their opponents 57-23 in the past eight days, and Endy Chavez has been the unsung hero of this recent hot streak. While players like Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz have been hitting balls out of the park, Chavez has been hitting .435 in 13 games while crossing the plate 11 times.
The emergence of this new hitting machine has surprised many in the Rangers fan base. Chavez began the year in AAA Round Rock hitting .305 in 30 games. He recently made his first major league appearance since 2009 where his season ended with a torn ACL. He was called up after Julio Borbon was placed on the disabled list but has remained on the roster despite Borbon being activated.
Chavez is putting up career high numbers in a lot of offensive categories and in many cases is outpacing the player he was sent to temporarily replace. Here's a look at some figures comparing this year's stats with his previous career-high stats.
|AVG||OBP||SLG||WAR||Cutters Seen||Fastballs Seen||Strike Contact||Ball Contact|
|Career High||.306 (2006)||.348 (2006)||.464 (2002)||1.1 (2008)||4.2% (2009)||70.4% (2002)||93.1 (2008)||78.5% (2008)|
It's very telling that he's seeing fewer fastballs and more secondary pitches yet his average is up over .100 on his career high. Even dropping pitches outside of the strike zone isn't enough to keep him off the bases.
If Borbon wants to come back to the majors, he's going to have to improve his plate discipline. He's certainly more of an elite defender in the outfield than Chavez but the Rangers can't afford to keep Endy's hot bat on the bench. Don't be surprised to see a trade involve David Murphy because the Rangers don't really have a need for two outfielders to warm up the dugout during games, especially if the Rangers really want Borbon to come back.
Can he keep this hot streak alive through the rest of the season? Only time will tell.