Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Amazing August 2014

Martinez was at the top of his game during the dog days of August
A quick look around at some of the MLB's best offensive performers in during the month of August.

Chris Carter
Carter's torrid production in July (1.005 OPS with eight homers and 19 RBI) carried over into August, with the Astros' slugger belting 12 home runs, knocking in 29 and slugging .613. His dozen long balls were tops for the month and increased his seasonal output to 33, putting him just two behind big-league leader Nelson Cruz. If Carter can stay hot, look for him to leapfrog Cruz (and Jose Abreu, with whom he is tied) during the season's final month.

Victor Martinez
V-Mart's monster season continued in August with 30 RBI--most in baseball--out of Detroit's cleanup spot (I guess it helps to hit behind Miguel Cabrera). He also banged out 41 hits and walked 19 times en route to slashing .350/.442/.547 for the month. Martinez made this list last year after similar production (44 hits, .386/.449/.491).

Nolan Arenado
Arenado had a big month for the rapidly fading Rockies, rapping out 36 hits and batting a robust .336/.400/.570. The 23 year-old's huge leap at the dish this year has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise horrendous campaign for Colorado.

Giancarlo Stanton
Stanton's been a beast all year, so it should come as no surprise that he tore it up in August. Stanton supplied his usual big-time power, slamming eight home runs and driving in 25. He also walked 25 times, giving him a strong .289/.431/.567 batting line for the month. Stanton enters September atop the National League leaderboards in home runs, RBI, walks, slugging, OPS, and total bases, will be a slam-dunk MVP candidate if he can help the Marlins overcome their current 6.5 game deficit for the second wild card, or at least come close. I wouldn't expect him to get much to hit, though.

Danny Santana
Santana shined for the moribound Minnesota Twins with 41 hits, 23 runs and a .313/.357/.481 August line. Not bad for a 23 year-old shortstop.

Adrian Gonzalez
Gonzo's bounced back from a rough June with a fine July and an even better August, which he capped with a four-hit day in San Diego yesterday. The aging first baseman batted .337/.377/537--outstanding numbers for someone who calls Dodger Stadium home--while also driving in 20 runs. It's easy to forget about Gonzalez on the star-studded Dodgers, but he's been a rock in the middle of their lineup all season long.

Justin Upton
The Braves' cleanup hitter went bananas in August, putting together a 13-game hitting streak at one point and flashing the pop that made him a serious MVP candidate in 2011. B.J. Upton's little bro bashed seven home runs and knocked in 28 while batting a healthy .291/.383/.563. He's already established a career-high with 91 RBI and is poised to crack 100 for the first time in his career.

Josh Harrison
Harrison had a huge month in August, batting .347/.374/.602 with 41 hits (19 of the extra base variety) and 21 runs to shoot past Justin Morneau for first place in the NL batting race. Though he hit safely in 23 of 28 games last month I expect him to cool off in September and will be shocked if he finishes the season with a .300 average.

Jose Abreu
The Cuban rookie sensation continued to dominate the majors in August, raking big league pitching at a .376/.466/.475 clip with 38 base knocks and ending the month on a 12-game hitting streak. With only two home runs, however, Abreu all but guaranteed that he will fall short of Mark McGwire's single season rookie record of 49. As it stands Abreu needs 16 to tie.

Buster Posey
Posey put up numbers reminiscent of his 2012 MVP season with a .336/.372/.579 August line to go along with six home runs and 17 RBI. Red-hot since the All-Star Break, Posey's in the midst of a monster second half.

Jacoby Ellsbury
New York's shiny new (not to mention expensive) center fielder helped the Yankees stay in the hunt by hitting .324/.366/.539 and going a perfect 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts. With his combination of power and speed, Ellsbury resembled the 2011 version of his former self, at least for awhile.

Alex Gordon
Gordon began gaining traction as a viable MVP candidate (at least in the sabermetric community) in August as he and the Royals both got hot. Kansas City leapt into first place largely thanks to Gordon, who cranked nine home runs and batted .292/.356/.585. I'm not completely sold on Gordon as a legit MVP, so look for more to come from me on that front.

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