Let’s play a fun game – blind player taste test game! You know the drill, all answers revealed below the jump.
Player A: 98 PA, 12 HR, 13.3% BB, 21.4% K, .417/.490/.893 – .442 BABIP. 19.4 wRAA. (Team record 17-6)
Player B: 111 PA, 12 HR, 10.8% BB, 19.8% K, .344/.405/.781 – .323 BABIP. 14.6 wRAA (Team record 14-13)
Player C: 125 PA, 12 HR, 12.8% BB, 20.0% K, .343/.432/.769 – .352 BABIP. 18.3 wRAA. (Team record 20-8)
Player A is Matt Kemp, anointed king of the world after his obviously incredible April. The subject of many a fuzzy feature and proclaimed saviour of baseball in Los Angeles. The key piece of one of the most storied franchises in baseball, Kemp and his Dodgers make for perfect fodder for the national media. A Google search of “Matt Kemp amazing April” yields more than 23000 results from the first week of May alone. He recently became very, very rich.
Player B is Josh Hamilton over the month of May. He hit four of those twelve home runs in one game. He had a two week dry spell. He is soon to become very, very rich.
Finally, Player C is Giancarlo Stanton during the fifth month of the year 2012. Giancarlo Stanton is 22-years old. He is one of baseball’s brightest stars. He will not become very rich for a little while, mostly because he is only 22 and in the midst of the “indentured servitude” portion of his career and also because he plays for the Marlins.
Stanton’s May numbers are , admittedly, not quite as good as Kemp’s, though they dwarf Hamilton’s. Lagging behind Kemp’s April should not diminish all that Giancarlo Stanton accomplished over the last 30 days – his month is still one for the ages, powering his team to an equally incredible run of play. Sadly, there are no soft-focus features on Giancarlo Stanton in the offing…and it breaks my heart (To his eternal credit, Carson Cistulli’s Arbitrary Endpoint Leaderboard features GC Stanton prominently, the name of which I appeared to have stolen.)
Giancarlo Stanton does things to baseballs that may be considered cruel and unusual in more just places in the world. Not only is he unkind to baseballs, he is unkind to baseball stadia – even the one he technically helped pay for as a taxpayer in Miami!
Take that, bizarre art installation!
And one for you, auxiliary scoreboard!
Giancarlo is no one-dimensional hacker, as his walk and strikeout rates indicate. He is simply one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball, a 22-year old slugger with 80 power and a team on his back. Consider this heat map of his month of May. I believe the experts call this “plate coverage.”
Matt Kemp’s pristine numbers stand out in April as they are unmuddied by inevitable regression and/or slumps that inevitably occur. Matt Kemp also lapped the field quite convincingly in April, putting up nearly 6 more weighted runs above average over the next best player. Stanton’s May is by far the best in the league, outpacing the next most prolific May performer (Joey Votto).
With the emergence of young phenoms like Bryce Harper and Mike Trout while storylines like Kemp and Hamilton dominate the headlines, it isn’t too surprising that Stanton’s achievements get lost in the shuffle a little. A slow start brings down Stanton’s overall season line but his May has truly been one for the ages – his team sits just a half-game behind in the standings and he is breaking team records at every turn.
As with everything in life, it is better to leave the last word to Stanton’s manager, noted wordsmith Ozzie Guillen. (via marlins.com)
“I doubt many have put up better numbers than him this month. Maybe somebody out there. I don’t know which one. Whoever had better numbers this month better than [Stanton], he had a very good month.”
Wow, Ozzie. Easy on the hyperbole, bro.