Published On: Thu, Apr 26th, 2018

Fun with projections: 6 MLB stars on pace for preposterous stats

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Some of Major League Baseball’s biggest stars have gotten off to incredible starts, yielding ridiculous projections for where they’ll stand in September. While these players will come back to earth eventually, it’s fun to see how their hot starts could translate into a full season. Here are the incredible projections for six stars based on their performance entering Thursday’s games.

Didi Gregorius, Yankees


2018 slash line: .372/.470/.833

Split GP H 2B HR RBI BB SO
Current 23 29 7 9 29 17 9
On Pace 162 204 49 63 204 119 63

Forget the Babe and the Yankee Clipper, New York is now Sir Didi’s town. No player is off to a better start this season, and Gregorius’ projections are beyond video-game numbers. He’s got as many home runs as strikeouts and has walked nearly twice as many times as he’s whiffed. Not only is he on pace to set the single-season RBI record, but he’d also become the fifth player to reach the 60-homer mark. While these end-of-year totals are clearly ludicrous, the Yankees shortstop is still well on his way to establishing new career highs in almost every statistical category. One of the major reasons for his success has been his newfound plate discipline. Gregorius walked just 25 times in 136 games last season, and he’s more than halfway to that figure just 23 games into 2018.

Mookie Betts, Red Sox


2018 slash line: .350/.442/.750

Split GP H 2B HR RBI BB SO
Current 21 28 8 8 17 12 11
On Pace 148 197 56 56 119 84 77

Hell-bent on proving he’s not just a bowler, Betts has thrived in the leadoff role for Boston. Armed with an envious amount of speed, power, and plate discipline, Betts’ current trajectory has him joining Albert Belle as the only two players in major-league history with a 50-homer, 50-double season. While manager Alex Cora’s insistence on hitting Betts first in the batting order has depressed his RBI numbers, he’s still projected to establish a new career high if he can keep up his current performance.

Mike Trout, Angels


2018 slash line: .295/.404/.663

Split GP H 2B HR RBI BB SO
Current 25 28 5 10 18 17 22
On Pace 162 181 32 65 117 110 142

Trout already has a Hall of Fame-worthy career, and the really scary thing is that we still might not have witnessed him at his best. The two-time MVP has already set the franchise record for the most home runs in April with 10 and is on pace to blow by the single-season franchise record of 47 homers established by Troy Glaus in 2000. Not only is Trout hitting for more power, but he’s well on his way to becoming the 10th player in history with three 100-plus-walk campaigns before his age-27 season.

Aaron Judge, Yankees


2018 slash line: .345/.481/.655

Split GP H 2B HR RBI BB SO
Current 23 29 5 7 17 22 27
On Pace 162 204 35 49 120 155 190

There’s been no sophomore slump for the reigning AL Rookie of the Year. While Judge’s home-run rate has declined slightly, he’s improved as a hitter overall. He’s walking at an outrageous clip, and though he’s still striking out a lot, he’s cut his K rate down from last season’s 30.7 percent to 25 percent. Judge has already hit more home runs through 205 career games (63) than any player in history. Maybe it’s not totally laughable to predict he’ll belt another 42 this season.

Manny Machado, Orioles


2018 slash line: .344/.430/.677

Split GP H 2B HR RBI BB SO
Current 24 32 7 8 17 14 15
On Pace 162 216 47 54 115 94 101

Don’t drag Machado’s name into all the early-season Orioles slander. Baltimore has been dreadful, but that hasn’t held him back. The three-time All-Star is on pace to establish career highs in hits, home runs, RBIs, and walks, all while his strikeouts dip. Machado’s projected 54 home runs would be the second-most by a shortstop in history behind Alex Rodriguez’s 57-homer campaign in 2002. You can already see the Orioles’ front office salivating over potential trade packages.

Bryce Harper, Nationals


2018 slash line: .260/.460/.584

Split GP H 2B HR RBI BB SO
Current 25 20 1 8 19 32 16
On Pace 162 130 6 52 123 207 104

The Vegas God of walks. Sure, Harper has fewer hits than the rest of this group, but he leads the league in walks (10 more than the next highest) and is on pace to join Barry Bonds as the only two players in major-league history to walk at least 200 times in a season. Though almost none of the projections in this article will realistically be reached, here’s one that will probably be exceeded: Harper should end up with more than six doubles, even though he’s only hit one through 25 games.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)



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