It was a fun first couple of months of the 2019 MLB season. The Minnesota Twins keep surprising everyone, the Los Angeles Dodgers can’t stop winning, and Justin Verlander is convinced MLB is juicing their baseballs (he might be right). We also had an amazing Home Run Derby with a stellar semi-final between Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Joc Pederson. Now with the All-Star Game completed, it’s time for the home stretch of the season. But before, let’s take a look back at some of the trends or statistics which stood out.
Here are the nine pre-All Star break stats that caught my eye.
It’s no secret Pete Alonso is having himself a fantastic year. He won the Home Run Derby and is one of the best hitters in Major League Baseball. In his rookie season, Alonso has been the top slugger for the New York Mets. He’s sixth in the league in OPS, fifth in slugging percentage, fourth in RBI’s, and tied for second in home runs. Alonso’s play at the plate has been one for the record books.
His 30 home runs are tied for second most of all time by a rookie before the All-Star break. He tied Aaron Judge in 2017 and was only three off Mark McGuire’s total in 1987.
The Kansas City Royals are currently in the cellar of the AL Central standings and have the second worst record in all of baseball. It looks like it will be another year of finishing last Ned Yost’s side. KC has not any success when leaving Kauffman Stadium. The Royals have won just one road series so far this season.
It took them until the third week of June to do this, when they took two out of three games from the Seattle Mariners. As expected, the Royals have the worst road record in the league at 14-33.
After finishing 78-84 last season, the Twins are on pace to beat that record by a far margin. They currently lead the AL Central with 56 wins and the home run ball is much to thank for that.
The Twins lead the MLB with 166 home runs before the All-Star break. As noted in the tweet below, they hit that total for all of last season.
Four Twins have hit 15 or more home runs with Max Kepler (21) and Eddie Rosario (20) leading the way. Six of them have driven in more than 40 RBI’s.
They are just crushing baseballs.
The Mariners haven’t been careful with the baseball. They currently lead the league with 92 errors, 24 more than second place Baltimore. Obviously this hasn’t helped their pitching, which leads the league in runs allowed with 550.
Eight Mariners who have committed five or more errors. There have been two instances this season where a Mariners player has committed three errors in a single inning.
Having been only implemented in 2014, challenges are a very recent addition to the MLB. Slowly but steadily, managers are getting better at correctly challenging decisions. This season, Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward has had the magic touch when asking for reviews. He currently leads the league with 23 successful replay challenges, four more than second place Gabe Kapler. Woodward also has the highest overturn percentage at 79.3 despite only being number three on replays challenged.
Josh Bell has had a good fourth season in the MLB. The outfielder is on pace to break his career high in RBI’s and hits. Bell has been exceptional in getting extra base hits with a league leading 30 doubles along with three triples. He already set a career high in home runs with 27 which makes it a grand total of 60. This broke a record of XBH (extra base hits) by an NL player before the All-Star break. The record was previously held by Albert Pujols who had 58 in 2003.
Things haven’t gone well for the last place Baltimore Orioles and their pitching is a big part of it. They have given up a lead leading 170 home runs and have a team ERA of 5.59, which is also at top of MLB. Here is a bigger breakdown of how historic this is.
After five years with the Detroit Tigers, James McCann decided to join their division rivals in the Chicago White Sox. A new change of scenery has seemed to given him a spark as he already has 73 hits after only recording 94 the year before. He recorded 16 doubles before the All-Star break, equaling his total of last season entirely. McCann also has the highest OPS and on base percentage of his career. In turn his batting average has jumped up from 0.220 to 0.316
As noted by Joe Buck, the 0.96 batting average increase was the highest in the MLB this season. The White Sox have had a nice year so far as they are at least somewhat in the playoff hunt. McCann’s hitting and solid defense from the catcher spot has been a part of their jump.
The last couple of weeks have been jubilation for the Dodgers. LA had a stretch of home games where they walked off five times in a row, three against the Rockies and two against the Diamondbacks. The run was capped off by Cody Bellinger launching a moon shot in the 10th inning against Yoan Lopez.
CODY BELLINGER, YOU ARE RIDICULOUS. pic.twitter.com/AvDKVDk5SM— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 4, 2019
The streak bumped the Dodgers to eight walk off’s this season, a league high.