Top 5 'What Have You Done for Me Lately' Hitters of the 2011 MLB Season

Kenny IpContributor IAugust 26, 2011

Top 5 'What Have You Done for Me Lately' Hitters of the 2011 MLB Season

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    “Are you kidding me? That guy is horrible…pass the crab fritters.” If you’ve ever been part of a long running fantasy baseball league, then you have probably heard something very similar every year. You take a flier on a guy who you think will bounce back from a terrible year only to be ridiculed by a buddy. An ensuing argument erupts, thus giving birth to questionable side bets.

    However, you can’t blame your buddies because we do live in a society that thrives on instant gratification. How you performed your last time out is how people think you will always perform going forward. Just ask LeBron James. Here are the top five major league hitters who have far exceeded expectations since the beginning of the season.

Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland Indians

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    Cabrera has always been a Gold Glove caliber defender, who can hit for average and find the gaps. However, with a disappointing 2010 season marred by a midseason broken forearm injury, Asdrubal fell below the radar for most fans.

    Well now he is blinking brighter than ever. Cabrera turned a lot of those doubles in the gaps to home runs, raising his slugging percentage from .346 to .470. Looking at the numbers of the top shortstops in AL, it’s easy to see that Cabrera is a cut above the rest.

    The Indians shortstop was rewarded for his stellar year when he got the start for the AL in the All-Star Game, his first appearance. 

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    Top 5 AL Shortstop Comparison 2011

    Asdrubal Cabrera 502.2837714228320743816.343.470
    Jhonny Peralta 426.312561332231868310.358.505
    Elvis Andrus 478.268731281913473832.328.331
    J.J. Hardy 397.275591092102460250.317.509
    Derek Jeter 441.299681321944483813.359.388

    SS Last updated by StatSheet on 2011-08-26

Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals

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    Finally! Just when the hype balloon began to deflate, Gordon has reminded everybody why he was one of the game’s best young prospects five years ago.

    After a rough start to his career which saw Gordon often injured and never hitting above .260, he showed why the Royals selected the Nebraska product second overall in 2005. Gordon ranks in the top 10 in the AL in runs (ninth), hits (eighth), and extra base hits (fifth).

    On top of those impressive rankings, he’s second in the majors with 39 doubles. Now just imagine if he starts turning those doubles into home runs…yikes. For anybody who feels like reopening those George Brett comparisons, at least they are now feasible. 

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    5th Year Player Comparison

    Alex Gordon 506.2968215039417685514.371.490
    George Brett 564.312105176321322885514.373.532

    SS Last updated by StatSheet on 2011-08-26

Melky Cabrera, Kansas City Royals

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    Melky checks in as the second Royal to make the list. Two years removed from the limelight in New York, Cabrera has thrived in the less stressful environment of Kansas City.

    Melky is currently ranked fourth in the big leagues in hits and is on pace to reach the 200 hits mark. For someone who has never reached 150 hits in his seven year career, that’s not too shabby.

    On top of hits, he has already set career highs in runs, doubles, home runs, RBIs, and stolen bases and is well on his way to finishing with a reasonable 95-20-95-20-.300 stat line for the season. 

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    Melky Cabrera

    SS Last updated by StatSheet on 2011-08-26

Lance Berkman, St. Louis Cardinals

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    Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Well, in this case a cat, as The Big Puma is having his best year since 2008.

    Last season, Berkman seemed washed up as he put up the lowest numbers since his 34-game rookie year.  However, a move to St. Louis has rejuvenated the 35 year old and he is a major reason why the Cardinals are the top offense in the NL.

    Berkman has been a fixture at the top of the NL leaderboard as he is currently ranked fourth in home runs, fourth in walks, and third in OPS. On July 5th, Berkman hit his 350th career home run, which also was the longest homer ever in Busch Stadium at the time.

    Although Berkman has missed some time this season, his averages are very similar to his two best seasons (2002 & 2006) when he finished third in MVP voting. Spread those averages across the 578 at bats he had in 2002, they are almost identical: .291 BA 168 H 106 R 45 HR 120 RBI 111 BB.

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    Lance Berkman: 2011, 2006, 2002 Seasons

    Lance Berkman 383.292691121812979730.405.572
    Lance Berkman 536.3159516929045136983.420.621
    Lance Berkman 578.292106169352421281078.405.578

    SS Last updated by StatSheet on 2011-08-26

Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees

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    After being traded to the Yankees last offseason, it was assumed Granderson would flourish in such a potent lineup and in a stadium tailor made for him. However, Grandy struggled mightily to start the season. Granderson surged through the second half of the season, but there were still mixed reviews as to how good he could really be.

    The Grandy Man has far exceeded even the highest expectations of him this season and put his critics to rest. The Yankee center fielder is either first or second in the MLB in runs, RBIs, home runs, extra base hits, and slugging percentage. The monster year has firmly positioned him for a run at the AL MVP award.

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    2011 AL MVP Comparison

    Curtis Granderson 474.2781191322010361037124.378.591
    Jose Bautista 407.3179312921237821056.458.651
    Adrian Gonzalez 520.3488918138323102531.410.565
    Jacoby Ellsbury 519.3129316231323814235.369.516
    Miguel Cabrera 458.321831473202381861.428.541

    SS Last updated by StatSheet on 2011-08-26