I wrote last week about how Carlos Beltran had the highest slugging percentage and the highest OPS in playoff history, and since then he’s actually managed to raise both numbers while also taking over the all-time playoff lead in batting average and on-base percentage too.
After going 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk last night Beltran is now hitting .400 with a .500 on-base percentage and .897 slugging percentage in eight playoff games for the Cardinals this season.
And here are the updated all-time postseason leaders among players with at least 100 plate appearances:
OBP SLG OPS
CARLOS BELTRAN .489 CARLOS BELTRAN .838 CARLOS BELTRAN 1.327
Lou Gehrig .477 Babe Ruth .744 Babe Ruth 1.211
Babe Ruth .467 Lou Gehrig .731 Lou Gehrig 1.208
Beltran also owns the highest postseason batting average (.378), so he’s basically the all-time playoff leader in everything. And if you prorate his playoff numbers over a full 162-game schedule it works out to .378 with 76 homers, 49 doubles, 135 RBIs, 205 runs, 130 walks, and 49 steals without being caught.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.