Alfonso Soriano, he’s so hot right now! Hotter than at any time since…
Wait, wait – this isn’t about WHY he’s been hot. Or HOW badly we might need/want to trade him. Or even IF we can expect him to get this hot again anytime soon. I don’t want to talk about his contract, his defense (or lack thereof), his bonehead plays, or any of the other regular Soriano flashpoints.
He’s been absurdly hot, and I want to acknowledge and quantify it.
Coming into play yesterday, he had registered 34 hits in 32 games. More than half of those hits went for extra bases (20). His stat line during those 32 games was .288/.344/.678 – as a point of reference, his career line is .274/.323/.505 – and the best year of his career, the one year with the Nationals, he put up .277/.351/.560; he hasn’t finished a year hitting better than .258 since 2008. He’s been mashing the ball; but he’s also had 8 multi-hit games and a remarkable 9 walks during that stretch as well.
He had 20 extra base hits in 35 games during the second half last year- the best part of that stretch was the end. In 12 games he put up .310/.375/.667 with 7 extra-base hits. Soriano started last season with a 15 game stretch that saw him hit .291/.328/.618 and 8 extra-base hits. Combine his best two 2011 stretches – that’s pretty similar to what this recent barrage has been.
There was another preposterous stretch in May 2010 – in 14 games Soriano battered pitching to the tune of .404/.426./.827 with 12 extra-base hits. He’d started 2010 hitting .356/.396/.667 with 9 extra-base hits in the season’s first two weeks (14 games).
In July 2009, for 16 games he went .410/.455/.623 with 7 extra-base hits. He had more frequent, but milder – and shorter – hot streaks during 2009. He’d go crazy for a series or two and have a rough string of games.
All-Star Soriano went off for 21 games in August 2008 with a line of .348/.398/.618 with 12 extra-base hits. One of his hottest streaks was in May and helped him get to that 2008 All-Star Game. For 12 games he posted an absurd .500/.500/1.065 with 12 extra-base hits. That’s the Soriano that was winning games single-handedly.
But perhaps the stretch that compares most favorably to the current streak, during September 2007 Alfonso propelled the division champs with 28 games of .320/.354/.754 and 25 extra-base hits. It was his hottest, prolonged streak of his initial season as a Cub – and he’s nearly replicated it in his 6th season.