April 14, 2015
By Damon Salvadore
Several Latino baseball stars are having a phenomenal start to the baseball season, and statistics back this up.
At least one Latino player in both the American and National League is leading the league in eight of the top 10 major hitting and pitching categories. Those categories being batting averaging in both leagues, home runs in both leagues, ERA, runs batted in, and even wins in both leagues.
Don't believe us? Take a look.
Miguel Cabrera leads the American League in batting thanks to his .517 performance at the plate. While it's unlikely he will maintain that incredible .517 average throughout the remainder of the season, the Detroit Tigers know they have arguably the best player in the game. You can expect Cabrera to be in the running for his third career MVP award. In case you were wondering, Cuban infielder Jose Iglesias has the second highest batting average in the AL.
Over in the NL, Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Adrian Gonzales is leading in batting average at .556. The 32-year-old Mexican first baseman has been on a tear this year so far, as he is not only leading in batting average, but home runs as well, with five.
Speaking of home runs, Nelson Cruz leads the AL in homers to start off this season, with four. This comes as no surprise as Cruz led the AL in home runs last season with 40 for the Toronto Blue Jays. Now, he's looking to repeat that powerful long ball magic with the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners haven't made the playoffs since 2001, but Cruz could help end that drought this season.
But, it doesn't end there. Cabrera and Salvador Perez are both tied for the league lead in runs batted in this season among AL hitters with nine. Perez has the Kansas City Royals in first place in the American League Central at 7-0. Cabrera and the Tigers are presently in second place in that division. While a Latino player doesn't lead the NL in RBI's at the moment, Gonzales is currently tied for third place with seven.
Historically speaking, Latinos have always performed better at the plate than on the pitcher's mound. Names like Roberto Clemente, Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa come to mind. However, we've seen Latino pitchers increase over the years dramatically. This year is a great indication.
Of the six pitchers in the AL who are still tied for first with a perfect 0.00 ERA, two are Latin American born: Carlos Carrasco and Ubaldo Jimenez. Carrasco has had injuries in the past, most notably Tommy John surgery, but he has yet to allow a single run for the Cleveland Indians this year. Jimenez also hasn't allowed a single run yet, for the Orioles. Last season was kind of disappointing for the Venezuelan right hander, but he's off to a heck of a start this season.
The New York Mets have the winningest pitcher in baseball, and he's over 260 pounds, and he turns 42 years old next month. Bartolo Colón leads the NL in wins alongside Julio Teheran of Colombia, and Dominicans Joaquin Benoit and Rubby De La Rosa. Yordano Ventura leads the AL in wins on the undefeated Royals.
Of the 10 major player statistical categories, hitting and pitching, a Latino player has an outright lead or a share of first place in eight of them. The major categories where a Latino does not have the lead is ERA in the NL and RBI's in the NL. Although it should be mentioned that Johnny Cueto has an outstanding 0.64 earned runs against average this season for the Cincinnati Reds.
Source: Latin Post