May 06, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; St. Louis Cardinals infielder David Freese (23) appears to be surreptitiously posing for the cover of a regional in-flight magazine during a game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE
These St. Louis Cardinals have been hitting really, really well. I don't have a lot of time today—the world must know what I think about Wilkie Collins, and they must know it today, so grad school's got precedence for one more day—but I wanted to know just how well they were hitting, as individuals. Here's what I've got:
Yadier Molina: Yadier Molina's hitting .304/.357/.529 this year, in 28 games. 11 doubles, four home runs, yet more small-sample hints that he's developing Old-Molina-Strength. This is a continuation of last year's crazy finish, in which he hit .337/.372/.535 after the All-Star Break. Because you're probably wondering, he's 1.4 fWAR and $6.5 million FanGraphs-bucks into justifying that $70 million contract.
If you want to get really arbitrary, of course, I can find you an even better 30-game stretch from last season. After his slow start, before a brief late-spring lull—from April 15 to May 22 he hit .383/.419/.570, with nine doubles, three home runs, and a triple.
Rafael Furcal has built small sample sizes into his career on a regular basis, as a courtesy for sportsbloggers everywhere. In 36 games in 2008 he hit .357/.439/.573, before graciously suffering a severe back injury. His best month in 2011 was September—.275/.347/.473, in the midst of his brief flirtation with Atypical-Furcal-Strength.
In 2010, though, you'll see some 29-game-stretches the Furcal of this year's .342/.409/.496 start might envy. In June and July he hit .326/.396/.554. Furcal just wants to educate you about small sample sizes—it's his life's work, and he's given up most of his limbs and tendons for the cause.
David Freese had some good games after it got cold last year, one right after the other, and is now hitting .307/.369/.564. His BAbip is a career-low .353!
Jon Jay is hitting a career-high .400 on balls in play, which is just one of those things they make you do when you're hitting .381. His playing time has rarely been so consistent as it is now, but he already has one near-.400 month to his name, across 16 games last May. Then he hit .397/.420/.590, with 13 RBI, and made our job as Colby Rasmus Apologists-in-Chief very difficult.
Of course, he'd hit .226 in April, and then he hit .262 in June, so we never had much reason to talk about it—his average peaked, for a few days, above .340, and ended those first three months in his usual .300-somehow routine.
Until he flirts with .400 another month, the canonical Jon Jay stretch will remain his July 2010 run, when he hit .431/.500/.667 and then proceeded to disappoint everybody when he didn't hit .431 again after Ryan Ludwick was traded.
We talked about Carlos Beltran in detail re: this theme a little while ago, but it's worth noting just how oddly he's approximating last year's career-renaissance slash lines in 2012. That year: .300/.385/.525. This year: .280/.395/.530. Last year: 39 doubles, six triples, 22 homers. This year: one double, eight home runs. He's striking out more frequently, too. If he wants to do an Adam Dunn impression this season—well, I'm just saying I would be mostly okay with it.
Bonus: The last time Tyler Greene had a seasonal OPS over .800 two days in a row was July 3-4, 2010, when he went 2-3 with a triple to get his OPS over .905 against the Brewers and then went 0-3 the next day.
Double-Bonus: I received this information in the e-mail today, and it might be interesting to some of you who don't want to click onto the leaderboard proper I guess?
If you don't know what this is, it might be time for you to learn about the only fantasy baseball team we're obligated to care about: SB Nation Pick 6.