By this point in the season, Albert Pujols should be flirting with .400 - not sitting below .300 with a gap (.033) between the magic mark and where he's at. He shouldn't be breaking a 100+ (105 at bats and 119 plate appearance) at bat streak without a home run. Is it really the year of the pitcher, or are we ushering in a new crop of offense?
Matt Joyce is currently leading the major leagues in batting average with a .367 mark. If I wouldn't be looking at him in his Rays uniform, I would have no idea who he was, but he seems to be part of the new Tampa Bay outlook and his 8 home runs attests that he's not all singles either.
This is not diminishing Jose Bautista, who is still hitting at a .340 clip with 19 home runs (guess I was really wrong on not believing in his salary bonus), but other than that, there are people with about 10-12 home runs, and they're the usual suspects, but there aren't many big time boppers - save Curtis Granderson and his 16 jacks (and 45 strikeouts in 178 at bats).
Matt Holliday has also been solid with his .349 average and 6 home runs, but for the most part, the bats have been silent this year. Big boppers like Adam Dunn who came to new teams with hope for power are striking out a lot more (60) than they are connecting (5). Mad Mark Reynolds is drifting into worse obscurity (.191) as he racks up his usual misses (49) and falls short on his connections (5). It's an ugly affair really.
So when Carlos Quentin hooks me up fantasy style with 3 jacks and 5 RBIs for my 2nd place fantasy team (the Ephrata Green Dragons), I have to give props (that said, I like the acquisition of Jair Jurrjens as well since he's always been good for me and last night, his 4 Ks and 7.2 scoreless innings brought a much needed win to my team, which has been decimated by injuries to Joe Mauer and Josh Hamilton).
Now that Quentin opened up, he's tied for 3rd place with Ryan Braun, Mark Teixera, and Jay Bruce. Yeah... that Jay Bruce, but that's fantasy points as well, so we can live with that. Looking at the home run leaders... you really wouldn't guess many of them. The same could be said for the free swinging strikeout leaders.
And as I heard it said the other day, it's not 1.12 in 1968, but it's a step away from the steroids era home run boppers of years past.