Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies keeps adding to his leadoff position lore, just when the Rockies perhaps need him the most.
With the Rockies offense in a funk (as witnessed by just two hits produced in the opener of a three-game series at the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night), Blackmon continues to impress.
The 31-year-old Colorado leadoff hitter connected for his career-high 30th homer of the season in the third inning. Blackmon launched an 0-1 pitch from Kansas City starter Ian Kennedy to become the first National League leadoff hitter to reach 30 home runs since the Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins in 2008.
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Mike Trout is the last leadoff hitter in Major League Baseball to total 30 or more homers in a season, accomplishing the feat in 2012.
Since 2000, just six players have hit 30 or more homers batting first for their teams. Alfonso Soriano holds the top three season marks, hitting 39 (2006), 38 (2002) and 35 (2003). He also is tied for fourth with 33 in 2007.
Blackmon is putting together some MVP-type of numbers this season, hitting .333 with 78 RBI and 115 runs scored coming into Wednesday night’s game in Kansas City. He also had 14 triples and 27 doubles, including 13 triples and 15 doubles at Coors Field, pushing his slugging percentage in Denver to .806. He also has an OPS of 1.275 at Coors Field. However, he is anything but a “Coors Field product.”
Blackmon earned his first-ever Silver Slugger last season after bashing 29 homers and posting a .324 average. People wondered how he would be able to top that, but Blackmon is certainly doing that this season.
It is strange to think how prominent Blackmon’s name was in rumors prior to the season beginning. We talked about how big it was for the Rockies to not trade him off and what it meant for the team’s successes this season in this article.