Charlie Blackmon continued his blistering start on Monday night, and put himself in some heady company.
Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI against the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday night. He has multiple hits in five straight games and 11 of his last 13, with a .577/.603/.846 slash-line (1.450 OPS) over that baker’s dozen-game stretch.
For the season, Blackmon is now hitting .484/.514/.703 (1.217 OPS) with three home runs, 19 RBI, 16 runs scored and five doubles. He is leading the major leagues in batting average, on-base percentage and OPS, as well as hits (31) and RBI. Even with the track record he has built, averaging 191 hits, 36 doubles, 32 home runs and 86 RBI per season over the last four seasons with a .934 OPS over that span, Blackmon’s hot start has put him in some high-end company.
Barry Bonds posted a .525/.703/1.325 slash-line (a 2.028 OPS) over his first 16 games in 2004, with nine home runs and 20 RBI over 64 plate appearances. He was also walked 24 times in the span, with 11 intentional walks on his way to being walked 232 times and 120 times intentionally for the season.
All those free passes helped yield batting title for Bonds in 2004 (.362), and that season’s line on his Baseball Reference page is littered with italicized major league-leading/record numbers. He also won the last of his seven MVP awards that year.
Will Charlie Blackmon make a run at .400?
Blackmon doesn’t take walks at anywhere near the historic rate Bonds did at the peak (6.6 percent for his career, 7.1 percent so far this season). So he’ll being relying on putting the ball in play, and some Coors Field influence, to keep his blistering start going over what remains of the 60-game season.
The short season has brought talk about someone possibly making a run at a .400 average this year. Blackmon won’t finish at .480-something. But he’s as good a candidate as any to win the NL batting title, and it’s possible we’ll be closely watching his last few games and at-bats as he stalks .400.