With one-third of the season completed, the Baltimore Orioles have proven themselves to be players to watch.
The 30-year-old shortstop has nine years of service under his belt, but 2020 is his best by far. He’s a career .276 hitter, but as of August 15, he’s batting a clean .400. And, the kicker – he’s got a sore quad muscle.
This short season is taking its toll on pitchers and position player alike. Many of the best pitchers in the League are out, and pitchers who aren’t usually the aces of the teams are taking the lead. The Red Sox are without their two top starting pitchers, several Yankees pitchers are injured or sick, and six Tampa Bay Rays pitchers are out. This could end up helping players like Iglesias who are on the way to career-high batting stats.
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When watching Iglesias field at shortstop, it is evident that he has a sore quad muscle. He’s not moving as well as he usually does, and he’s not making the acrobatic plays that Orioles fans were just beginning to see.
But, at the plate, the sore quad is not slowing him down. In his 55 at bats, he’s got a slash of .400/.414/.564. He hasn’t hit a home run or a triple yet. But, he’s leading all shortstops with nine doubles. He’s also just a few behind Hanser Alberto who has 11 to lead the League. Iglesias is on a four-game hit streak, and in two of those four, he’s got multiple hits. In fact, in Saturday night’s game, he went 3-5 with a double.
Iglesias discussed the chemistry of the Orioles after sweeping the Phillies. Here’s the video courtesy of MLB.com:
Iglesias has never been a power hitter, but his consistency in 2020 has been remarkable. What’s even better is that he isn’t hitting to same spot each time. Teams can’t predict where his next hit will land, so they can’t figure out where to put their defenders. If he can keep this up, could Iglesias bat .400 for the short season? He’s played in 16 out of 20 possible games, and he’s only getting better. At this point, batting .400 doesn’t seem as fluky as it sounds.
With Richie Martin out with a broken wrist, Iglesias is the best option they have for shortstop in 2020. Of course, Pat Valaika or Andrew Velazquez could take over if needed. But, even injured, Iglesias has a better bat.