There’s still another month of baseball to be played before 2016 is officially put in the books, but the cold winter months are feeling closer than ever. The mornings feel brisk, leaves are falling from trees and 20 of MLB’s 30 teams will soon be forced to watch the postseason from their respective couches.
Instead of focusing more on young players who took a huge step back this season, we’ll shift to those who used 2016 to show the tremendous progress in their development. The following five ballplayers put together the type of performance that will make their respective teams depend on them heavily to either repeat or continue growing in 2017.
DJ LeMahieu, 2B, Colorado Rockies
It’s been amazing to watch this transformation over the past three seasons. In 2014, LeMahieu won a Gold Glove award, but his offense mostly revolved around hitting singles. His average jumped in 2015 along with a slight bump in power, but he’s come into his own as a 27-year-old this season.
Now, he’s in command of the National League batting race with a few games to go and is slugging nearly .500. Check out the three-year progression in his triple slash:
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:
Hi, my name is Josh Robbins. I would like to share my Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) strategy with you throughout the MLB season during weekdays. Fanduel is my preferred game of skill.
Welcome to the 4th week of the 2016 MLB season.
3-Strikes: Here’s what you expect from my daily articles:
My Top 3 Starting Pitchers (aces, mid-level, bargain)
My Top 3 Stacking Options (multiple players from the same team)
My Top 3 BVP (Batter vs. Pitcher) Options Read the rest of this entry
Charlie Morton pitched shutout ball into the 7th, finishing 6 2/3 innings, 3 hits and 7 strikeouts, getting the 3-0 decision for Philadelphia over San Diego.
Trevor Brown continued his surprising power surge with a pair of homers and 4 RBI to lead the Giants to a 7-2 victory in Colorado.
Derek Holland gave the Rangers 6 2/3 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits and striking out 4 in the 8-0 blowout in Seattle.
Justin Upton went 4 for 5 with a homer, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored in the Tigers 8-2 win over Pittsburgh.
They all owned baseball on April 12, 2016.
To view the Yearly Leaders for Who Owned Baseball Standings, plus see who gained 1/2 WOB’s – Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON OR SCROLL DOWN.