Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 24, 2006

Every year, it seems, there's some impatient young hitter who comes hot out of the gate and, instead of cooling off, just keeps getting hotter all summer. This year's model is the Mariners' 22-year-old second baseman, Jose Lopez. Lopez was overmatched at the plate the past two years, batting .239/.373/.272 in 397 at bats, but at his age dramatic improvements are as much the rule as the exception (and he had smacked 32 doubles in those 397 at bats, a good indicator of power potential for a guy that young). Lopez is currently batting .302 and slugging .516, and is on pace for 34 doubles, 17 triples, 24 HR and 131 RBI (while batting second). Yet, his command of the strike zone remains appalling: at this pace he will finish with 17 walks to 86 whiffs. Eventually, that will catch up to him, but it's possible that - like Alfonso Soriano's second season with the Yankees - it won't be this year. If not, enjoy the show.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:20 PM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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