David Ortiz's Best Year Ever
At long last, the Red Sox are bludgeoning teams like we all expected. This past weekend’s series against the Blue Jays was almost grotesque, as Boston outscored the Torontonians 35-6. And while Jacoby Ellsbury has been hot and Adrian Gonzalez is a hitting machine, if you want to look for one big reason why the Sox are suddenly posting football scores on a regular basis, it’s really pretty simple: David Ortiz. In just the last six games against the Yankees and Blue Jays, Big Papi has slammed four homers while posting a batting average of .320 and a ridiculous OPS of 1.294. In fact, through 63 games, it’s clear that Ortiz is off to his best start ever with the Red Sox. That’s right, ever. Behold the numbers:
2011: 17 home runs, .325 batting average, .395 on base percentage, .624 slugging.
We all remember his cold starts in 2010 and 2009, so those years are out. In 2008, through 63 games, he’d clubbed 14 homers, but his averages were all down (.259 BA, .360 OBP, .481 SLG). In 2007, at this point, his averages were all excellent (.333 BA, .450 OBP, .596 SLG), but he’d only hit 11 homers. In 2006, it was the opposite: he’d walloped 18 homers, but the averages weren’t as high (.261 BA, .365 OBP, .538 SLG).
His next best start, besides this one, was probably 2005, when it seemed like he was delivering walk-off hits on a weekly basis. But even his numbers 63 games into that season don’t quite match up to this year: 16 HR, .292 BA, .375 OBP, .560 SLG. Finally, there’s 2004 (13 HR, .292 BA, .338 OBP, .533 SLG), and 2003 (10 HR, .302 BA, .385 OBP, .558 SLG).
I rest my case. Based on all those stats through 63 games, 35-year-old David Ortiz is off to the best start of his Red Sox career by a fairly significant margin, which is really pretty amazing.
The only thing more amazing, actually, is this video treatment Big Papi’s mini-controversy with the Yankees got from Next Media Animation, the infamous Hong Kong news re-creators. I tripped across it at Universal Hub, and all I can say is enjoy: