Albert Pujols’ impending free agency dominated the preseason headlines, but once play began, several career-low batting statistics subsequently shifted him out of the baseball spotlight.
One scorching hot streak could change all that, and with Prince Albert that could come any day. However, the media has found fresh meat to feast on with the MLB All-Star Game just one month away.
Even though the Dodgers sit fourth in the NL West (6.5 games back of first), Matt Kemp has been torching opposing pitchers this season. Kemp leads the National League in homers, SLG and OPS.
Prince Fielder has rebounded nicely from a disappointing 2010 that saw him bat just .261 with 83 RBI. Fielder currently tops the NL in RBI with 58, ranks second with 19 home runs and is second to only Kemp among National League batters in SLG.
I can picture the Wrigley faithful just salivating at the thought of the big fella in a Cubs uniform.
Jose Bautista has turned a highly debated offseason contract renewal into an absolute steal for the Blue Jays, by leading all major league players in round trips for the second straight year.
Fellow AL East resident David Ortiz is also getting plenty of love from fans and scribes for not only having his best statistical season since 2007, but additionally adding fuel to the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry with his “bat-flip” controversy.
Those players who have managed to remain healthy—the list of those who haven’t is quite extensive—are roughly 240 plate appearances into the 2011 campaign, making it fairly safe to place judgments on performance.
Outside the sabermetrics universe, there are plenty of sluggers who have not received enough credit for their fruitful play on the diamond. Here we will tip our caps to a select bunch that for one reason or another, have managed to stay inconspicuous.