MLB surprises on May 8th

We are now six weeks into the season and some huge surprises continue to dominate the baseball landscape.

You would have to be living under a baseball rock to not know that Ryan Zimmerman has emerged from his three-year cocoon to become the spring butterfly of 2017 major league baseball.  Zimmerman has a ton of fun stats but the coolest stat might be that on May 8th, 2017 he already has more WAR 2.3 than his three previous seasons combined which were 1.2 / .6 / -1.3 respectively.

My other favorite Zimmerman stat is that he leads the league in both doubles and home runs with 12 and 13.  I think Albert Belle was the last player to lead the major leagues in doubles (50) and home runs (52) back in 1995.

Everyone knows what Aaron Judge and Eric Thames are doing but how about the potent Red duo of Eugenio Suarez and Zach Cosart? The best offensive SS in baseball per Fangraphs is Zach Cosart, not Cory Seager or Carlos Correa.  Hey, did you see Tim Beckham on this list. You did, and he belongs. His exit velocity has been outstanding in 2017.

Name wOBA wRC+ PA ISO Team
Zack Cozart 0.434 166 112 0.245 Reds
Francisco Lindor 0.381 147 135 0.297 Indians
Corey Seager 0.372 132 131 0.196 Dodgers
Xander Bogaerts 0.358 126 112 0.078 Red Sox
Tim Beckham 0.336 119 113 0.236 Rays
Elvis Andrus 0.344 118 130 0.195 Rangers
Chris Owings 0.358 114 117 0.191 Diamondbacks
Carlos Correa 0.325 111 128 0.149 Astros
Asdrubal Cabrera 0.32 99 116 0.125 Mets
Andrelton Simmons 0.3 96 132 0.093 Angels

Third base is loaded but Suarez is holding his own with the best players in baseball. Rangers haven’t missed Beltre yet with Gallo doing his own Chris Davis interpretation.

Name wRC+ wOBA PA ISO Team
Miguel Sano 192 0.445 123 0.34 Twins
Eugenio Suarez 166 0.435 121 0.283 Reds
Justin Turner 162 0.419 122 0.132 Dodgers
Jose Ramirez 150 0.386 127 0.236 Indians
Kris Bryant 148 0.403 150 0.238 Cubs
Josh Harrison 133 0.376 118 0.19 Pirates
Chase Headley 129 0.355 123 0.167 Yankees
Joey Gallo 128 0.359 119 0.346 Rangers
Manny Machado 126 0.353 133 0.254 Orioles
Nolan Arenado 124 0.392 133 0.3 Rockies

On the pitching side, this is the current WAR leaderboard:

Name Team WAR IP K/9 BB/9 GB%
Chris Sale Red Sox 2.4 51.2 12.72 1.92 39.60%
James Paxton Mariners 1.7 37.2 10.75 2.63 39.80%
Jason Vargas Royals 1.4 37.2 8.36 1.67 41.70%
Ivan Nova Pirates 1.3 42 5.79 0.21 50.40%
Stephen Strasburg Nationals 1.2 40.2 7.97 2.43 52.60%
Mike Leake Cardinals 1.2 40.1 6.02 1.56 53.30%
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers 1.2 48.2 9.8 1.29 46.80%
Dylan Bundy Orioles 1.1 45.2 5.52 2.17 31.30%
Zack Greinke Diamondbacks 1.1 43.2 9.69 1.65 45.10%
Chase Anderson Brewers 1.1 34.2 7.79 3.12 40.90%

Yup, that is Jason Vargas and Ivan Nova. Many felt Paxton had the stuff to be an elite pitcher so not quite the surprise of the long time journeyman Vargas. Nova had a remarkable resurgence after being traded to the Pirates, and it looks to be holding. So when people say that Rich Hill was the best pitching FA available, they may want to change that tune.

Nice to see Zack Greinke coming back.

I guess that package for Sale was worth it. He’s at full value right now.

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