Article published June 10, 2015- all stats up to date as of then
Yes. My favorite thing to talk about.
Baseball is a team sport, but let’s be real, every team has that one player that every fan knows of. With the season rolling along and the all-star game (half-way through the season) approaching, I figured we’d take a look at the big names putting the team on their back, Greg Jennings style.
Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers
Gonzalez is all over the stats board for the Dodgers. He is in the top of all offensive categories with a .324 batting average, 11 HR, 39 RBIs and has an OPS of .985. He is an extra-base hitting machine, delivering doubles left and right in clutch situations. The Dodgers are first in the NL West and can thank their all-star game bound first baseman for his contributions to the team.
Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins
The Twins are in second place in the AL Central with a record of 33-26, just trailing the Kansas City Royals. Brian Dozier has stepped up big time and can be thought of as the best second baseman in the AL. He is batting .265, has 11 HR, 28 RBIs and an OPS of .863. He also leads the MLB with 47 runs. Not only can he perform at the plate, he is great in the field.
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
The question is what can’t Harper do? Not only can he chase down baseballs in the outfield and throw runners out, Harper is a threat at the plate. He is batting .330 and leading the MLB with 20 HR (yes, I said TWENTY) and OPS of 1.187. OW, OW! Harper has also knocked in 47 RBIs helping his team move to first place in the NL East at 31-28. With the numbers to show, Harper has proved this season he can hit any pitch from any pitcher. Harper is playing “put your money where your mouth is” kind of ball.
Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays
Talk about an ace! Archer seems pretty much untouchable. He is 7-4 with a 1.84 ERA and leading the MLB with 108 strikeouts. He surely is doing all he can to keep his team in the race, as they trail the New York Yankees by 1.5 games. With Archer’s crazy ability to find the strike zone, you hardly ever see this guy walk a batter. It’s not even all-star break yet and he is already going down in history for what he has done this season.
Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros
Can Keuchel pitch every night? He can be thought of as one of the best pitchers in the AL. No, I am not being biased – he has been named the AL pitcher of the month for April and May. He is 7-2 with an ERA of 1.9 and 72 strikeouts. He has been dominant all year and is a big reason why the Astros are in first place in the AL West. Keep your eyes on Keuchel to see if he will be the starting pitcher in this years all-star game.
Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals
Hosmer really emerged last season when he helped his team to the World Series. This season he is looking to do the same, and he is off to the best start of his career. He is hitting .301 with 7 HR and an OPS of .859. Although Hosmer is not always the long-ball hitter, he is efficient at the plate with 35 RBIs. On top of his stats, Hosmer is the backbone of the Royals composure on the field and in the clubhouse – just the type of player you would want on your team.
Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
Last year’s NL Rookie of the Year is off to a great start again. deGrom is 7-4 with an ERA of 2.42 and 81 strikeouts. This season he has taken a perfect game into the sixth-inning and although he could not pull that gem off, he showed everyone what he was capable of. He also has the ability to settle down after a rough start – something all baseball fans want their pitchers to be able to do. The Mets are second in the NL East and look to deGrom to keep pitching well.
Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis Cardinals
The best team in the MLB (39-21) has many weapons but there’s one in particular. Peralta is leading the Cardinals in almost all offensive categories. He is batting .315, has 10 HR, 35 RBIs and a .900 OPS. He also leads the team with 69 hits. Peralta is the go-to guy to get a rally going, which is what he did recently to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also is great on the field making plays at shortstop look too easy.
Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees
The Yankees are in a close race with the Tampa Bay Rays, but Teixeira is doing all he can to keep them in the top spot. He is batting .238 with 17 HR and a .917 OPS. His batting average is not as high as he is capable of, but with 45 RBIs he proves that he can pull through in the right situations.
Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers
Coming back from an injury-ending season, Fielder is on a roll and proving why the Rangers paid the big bucks for him. He is hitting .354, has 10 HR, 41 RBIs and an OPS of .953. Oh, and he has 81 hits. Not too shabby. Fielder has also come up with a couple of walk off wins, helping the Rangers pull within two games behind the AL West leading Astros. Good news for the Rangers that they got this “Fielder” back.
With the first half of the season almost in the books, it’s time for teams to focus on their play-off push. It is a long season but EVERY GAME COUNTS. Look for these big names to hopefully take their team into October and win the pennant.
But let’s be real. Hopefully I will be sipping some World Series champagne – Go Astros!