Daily Archives: August 26, 2016

Joey Votto, Jose Altuve Aren’t the Only MLB Hitters Enjoying a Huge Second Half

The MLB regular-season schedule is a grind, and there’s a reason why they call it the “dog days of August.” For some reason, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve aren’t paying much attention to that as they each chase history with torrid runs through the second half.

Basically, no opposing pitcher is safe, as they’re each looking to become the first hitters to hit over .400 after the All-Star game since some guy named Ichiro Suzuki did it in 2004.

While they’re grabbing all the headlines, they’re not the only ones tearing the cover off baseballs since the league’s brightest stars met up in San Diego. In fact, Votto and Altuve are just two of seven hitters with at least 30 second-half games played and a batting average higher than .350. Here’s a look at the list with some stats for perspective:

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Yasmany Tomas Is Better Than You Think

When the Arizona Diamondbacks signed Yasmany Tomas to a $60 Million dollar deal, many thought the Cuban “third-baseman” would be an instant star. Little is known about Cuban players when they come over; their skills are often exaggerated and their numbers on the Cuban National Series inflated. While some players, such as Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Abreu, do come over and become instant stars, others, such as Hector Olivera, simply don’t have what it takes to make it in the majors. For the better part of last year, Tomas seemed a lot closer to the bust category than major league stardom. That assessment seems destined to change soon.

Too quick and binary is our collective assessment of players. They’re either good or bad and we know within the first weeks of April. We care little about their story, or struggles to adapt. It’s the Twitter era; context and nuance is dead.

That is the story of Yasmany Tomas. The Diamondbacks miscast Tomas as a third baseman and the metrics hated him there. They probably knew he was not a third baseman, but there he was. Unable to help the team defensively, and struggling a bit in his first offensive season at the Major League level, Tomas got a label. He was a bust, just another of the missteps in a reign of terror  for a Diamondbacks front office that doesn’t even know the rules.

But that label loses all context.

To continue reading about the context that shows Yasmany Tomas may be on his way to stardom, please check out the full article at Off The Bench.

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