|Courtesy of Yahoo|
Last year it was the June Swoon … this year it’s the Manic May. Yes, once again Jose Bautista has kicked his game into overdrive. I guess it’s safe to say that Joey Bats is back.
It’s funny, there are many parallels between Bautista’s unprecedented run in June of 2012 as his incredible May from this season. Many had written off Joey Bats going into those banner months, and yet he must have used it as fuel to silence his critics.
From a power standpoint, Jose Bautista’s June of 2012 was far superior to that of his May of 2013 (14 home runs compared to five), one could argue that this month has been even more impressive.
Let’s go through the basic numbers; Jose Bautista entered May batting at the Mendoza line. And as May is almost set to wrap up, Bautista is flirting with .300, currently batting .292. Jose has managed to raise his batting average an incredible 92 points in 26 games.
Jose Bautista currently holds the Blue Jays franchise record for largest increase in average from month to month. Not to mention, Bautista has been on base a total of 57 times in the month of May. As a comparison, J.P. Arencibia has been on base 21 times this month.
Again, using Jose Bautista’s June Swoon as a benchmark, in that month he collected 26 hits and drew 22 walks. In May, Jose Bautista has racked up 34 hits and has drawn 22 walks. That translates into a .366 batting average and .479 on base percentage in May.
Not surprisingly, Joey Bats leads the American League in walks this month and subsequently on base percentage and times on base as well. And Bautista ranks up there in all the rest of the major categories with a heavy hitters like Miguel Cabrera and Chris Davis,
And to think, the month isn’t even through yet as Jose Bautista still has two more days in the month to do some additional damage against opposing hitters.
Looking back at Bautista’s splits over the past few years, it’s odd because there always seems to be that one outlier month in the season where Jose simply cannot get it going. On the flip side, Bautista always has that one month where there’s almost nothing he can’t hit.
That is a very promising sign for someone who had a lot of question marks surrounding his health in the offseason. There were some major concerns about whether Jose Bautista could pick up where he left off last year, and even after undergoing wrist surgery, Bautista hasn’t missed a beat.
Perhaps part of Jose Bautista’s torrent May can be attributed to being moved into the two slot in the Blue Jays lineup. Small sample size alert, but since John Gibbons moved Bautista to bat second back on May 12th, he’s batting .439. Yes, .439.
The move into the two slot may have been out of necessity for John Gibbons, but it’s worked wonders for Jose Bautista’s game … not to mention Edwin Encarnacion and Melky Cabrera, who have also been benefactors of new spots in the lineup.
Jose Bautista may be gaining the reputation of being a slow starter, he certainly knows how to make up that lost ground. And with so many of the Blue Jays stars on the shelf, the timing simply could not have been better for Jose Bautista to heat up.