I read an article on FanGraphs and couldn’t resist linking to it.
It’s written by Dave Cameron, who I know has a pretty loyal following. Once again, he’s dug up an interesting nugget, this time in regards to Atlanta Braves rookie Jason Heyward.
For those of you living in a cave, you don’t know what you’re missing. Heyward, who is just 20 years old, is off to an impressive start to his career. He entered Tuesday night’s action with a .290 average, 9 homers, 33 RBIs and 3 steals, posting a .290/.409/.580 line. That’s a .989 OPS from a guy who isn’t old enough to order a beer.
According to Cameron’s story, only six players in major league history have posted a .900 OPS or better at the age of 20, and it’s an incredible list. Here goes: Mel Ott, Alex Rodriguez, Ted Williams, Al Kaline, Frank Robinson and Mickey Mantle.
That’s five Hall of Famers, and a guy in A-Rod who might be heading there if voters look past his abuse of performance-enhancing drugs.
And I know there are some of you out there who don’t believe in situational stats, or clutch hitting, to put it another way.
But it’s worth noting, despite his youth, he’s a .412 hitter with runners in scoring position, and a .450 hitters with RISP and two outs.
I know, I know. It’s early. I’m aware. But we’re a quarter of the way into the season. At what point should everyone start taking notice?