I woke up this morning and could barely believe my eyes when I checked the stats page at MLB.com.
Here we are almost one third of a way through the season and Jose Bautista is leading the majors with 15 home runs. Somebody pinch me … seriously.
I’ve been racking my brain trying to find out just why Jose Bautista is out-slugging perennial home run hitters like Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder.
While there isn’t one simple explanation, there are certainly a multitude of things that have contributed to his recent power surge, says Fantasy Baseball Junkie:
He’s hitting a lot of fly balls (50.4%), and a lot of those flyballs seem to be leaving the park (20%) so while I think he’s been a little lucky, he should still have been in line for 8-9 homeruns so far, well above what many were predicting.
Many pundits are screaming “sell high” but 25 homeruns seems inevitable, and he’s actually been unlucky when he hasn’t hit the ball out of the park with a low .234 BABIP (about 40 points less than his career norm).
Combine that with Bautista’s work in the off-season with hitting coach Dwayne Murphy and you have a serious home run threat hitter down in the number seven slot.
Of course, Jose Bautista’s .244 batting average is much left to be desired, however if we take a look purely at his statistics batting seventh in the lineup, you can see that a majority of his power comes from hitting there:
Take away those 10 games at the start of the season during the Bautista Leadoff Experiment, and Jose’s numbers shoot through roof.
Initially I was a little disappointed to see Jose Bautista moved out of the leadoff spot, but now that he’s settled in closer to the bottom of the lineup, I couldn’t think of a better place for him.
Who knows how long this hot streak will last, but trust me when I say that the Bautista Appreciation Society will be living every moment to its fullest.