Each week, BA will take a look at the trends in major league baseball.
Jose Altuve | 2B | Astros. Just when it looked like Aaron Judge was threatening to run away with the American League MVP award, the Astros dynamo has kicked it up a notch and thrust himself into contention. Altuve, already a two-time batting champ, is one pace for his best season yet with a .365 batting average. What is particularly notable about that mark is no one has hit .365 since Joe Mauer in 2009. Altuve got to it with a recent scorching stretch that includes four hits in each of his last two games, and he enters Tuesday riding a 16-game hitting streak.
Nolan Arenado | 3B | Rockies. A poor World Baseball Classic has done nothing to hold Arenado back from his elite ways. In fact, he is performing better than ever before. The 26-year-old third baseman is on pace for his highest career batting average (.311), slugging percentage (.584), OPS (.942). He is also on pace for his third straight NL RBI crown, and in all reality his fifth consecutive Gold Glove Award. He’s been particularly exceptional recently, hitting .382 with five home runs in the past nine days to help the Rockies reel off a 6-2 stretch.
Nick Williams | OF | Phillies. In a horrendous year for the Phillies, the play of Williams since his callup has been a bright spot. In his first 20 games in the majors Williams has hit .315/.350/.616 with four doubles, three triples and four home runs. He has already been elevated to the No. 3 spot in the Phillies lineup and enters Tuesday with five multi-hit efforts in his last nine games.
Derek Holland | LHP | White Sox. While the White Sox continue to tear down and build for the future, the current members of the big league club aren’t exactly performing their best. Chief among them is Holland. The oft-injured lefty has stayed healthy this season but been largely ineffective, especially recently. In his past four starts Holland is 0-2, 8.69 with eight home runs allowed in 19.2 innings. Overall he is 5-9, 5.12 with a career-worst 1.50 WHIP.
Rougned Odor | 2B | Rangers. While no one on the Rangers is hitting, Odor’s struggles have been particularly acute. Even with 19 home runs, Odor enters Tuesday with .399 slugging percentage and .649 OPS, the sixth-lowest OPS in the American League. Add in a .211 batting average and an adjusted OPS+ of 67, and you have one of the most ineffective hitters in the league this year.
Keon Broxton | OF | Brewers. Broxton began they year as the Brewers’ starting center fielder, but performed so poorly he lost the job and was demoted to Triple-A over the weekend. Broxton hit .218/.294/.430 with a stunning 38 percent strikeout rate with the Brewers and now finds himself looking up at Brett Phillips on the organizational depth chart.