Matt Chapman after sending a ball out to the fences.
Baseball is back, and with its return comes the constant ebb and flow of slumps and hot streaks. Batters will go from week-long hitting streaks to massive droughts where they can’t hit a ball to save their life. This early into the season, nothing can really be considered as a season-long trend, but there are still some hot bats out right now that deserve some love.
Among these names is the Boston Red Sox center fielder Adam Duvall. Although he is currently on the injured roster after just eight games due to a fractured wrist incurred on a layout catch attempt, he started the season as the hottest bat in baseball. With a 33 at bat slash line of .455/.514/1.030, he was an absolute force during the few games that he played. His slash line contains the third best average in baseball, the third best on-base percentage, and the highest slugging percentage. This slugging percentage is especially impressive, as he beats out the second place man, Matt Chapman (we’ll talk about him later), by an extraordinary .179 percent. Duvall has been a mediocre bat over the course of his MLB career, with a career slash line of .233/.292/.472 over 10 seasons (two were shortened), but this season, he has been blasting balls left and right.
Matt Chapman, the third baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays, is having a dream start to the season. His slash line is absolutely incredible: .460/.518/.800. This line is practically unheard of. He is the leader in slugging percentage, second on average, second on hits with 23 hits, and fourth in home runs with an incredible 15 home runs over the course of only 13 games. That’s nearly a homer every game. I’ll let that sink in. He is featured in a line up that also contains Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, who are also incredibly hot bats right now, so look out for the Blue Jays.
The Miami Marlins' second baseman Luis Arraez has also been having an incredible start to his 2023 campaign. With a current slash line of .500/.558/.696, he has been getting hits constantly. He is the current average and on base percentage leader by a relatively large margin in both stats. Arraez has always been a consistent competitor throughout his career, but this start to the season is still a very sizable improvement to his career averages.
These three hitters are the ones to watch out for coming into the season. It will be interesting to see which of these players will be able to sustain this early season momentum and carry it with them throughout the season. Duvall is already injured, though, which shows how short lived these successful streaks can be. It will be something to look forward to down the stretch of the season. After all, we have got 162 games in a season of baseball, and you can be sure that one of these guys will be making something happen in almost every single one of them. I can’t wait to watch.