A.J. Ellis continues to take advantage of his first chance at regular playing time in the big leagues.
Ellis went 1-for-4 with two RBI and a walk-off walk in a 6-5 win over the Cardinals last night as the Dodgers improved to a major-league best 26-13 on the year.
Of course, walks are nothing new for Ellis. The 31-year-old backstop is hitting .327/.459/.490 with a 22/23 K/BB ratio across 124 plate appearances this season. He’s second to David Wright (.510) in on-base percentage and only Joey Votto has walked more often this season. He leads the majors in pitches per plate appearance.
Who knows whether Ellis can keep up his unlikely hot start. His .397 batting average on balls in play hints that some regression is likely on the way, but he did have a .280 batting average and a .406 on-base percentage over nine seasons in the minors before he got his first real shot at being an everyday catcher. Seems he has a knack for this whole patience thing.
Your Friday box scores:
White Sox 3, Cubs 2
Reds 0, Yankees 4
Marlins 3, Indians 2
Pirates 0, Tigers 6
Orioles 2, Nationals 1
Red Sox 4, Phillies 6
Mets 5, Blue Jays 14
Braves 5, Rays 3
Rangers 4, Astros 1
Twins 11, Brewers 3
Diamondbacks 6, Royals 4
Mariners 4, Rockies 0
Athletics 6, Giants 8
Angels 7, Padres 2
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will opt out of his contract shortly after the World Series concludes. Cespedes, who earned $17.5 million for the 2016 season, has two years and $47.5 million remaining on his deal which includes an opt-out clause.
That Cespedes plans to opt out isn’t surprising as he’s almost certain to get a better contract entering a weak free agent market. He hit a terrific .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBI in 543 plate appearances for the Mets this past season.
It remains to be seen how the Mets will deal with potentially losing Cespedes. They can pick up a $13 million club option for Jay Bruce, but he performed terribly after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. The Mets could also go after free agents Jose Bautista or Mark Trumbo. Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto will handle the other two outfield positions.
Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.
Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.
Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.
Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.