60 HR for Vlad? Kershaw with how many K’s?

We’ve all heard this expression at this time of year: It’s too early!

Yes, it’s early days, but that doesn’t make it any less fun to highlight some of the more eye-catching stats from this campaign start. Eighty home runs? Of course, why not? Four hundred strikeouts? Well, it could happen, right?

Well, it is possible that we are getting ahead of ourselves a little and that those numbers are really impossible to get. But after a week and a half into the campaign, let’s take a look at some of those funny “rhythm to” stats we love to look at in April.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and CJ Cron: Pace to hit 88 home runs
(Based on a 600-turn season)

Following his incredible three-homer night against the Yankees in New York on Wednesday, in which he hit two solo shots and a double after suffering a cut on one hand during a stomp on first base, can we really rule out an 88-homer season for the Dominican?

Well, Vlad Jr. is not going to hit 88 homers. But is 60 out of his reach? Not for a hitter like him, the surefire AL MVP in 2021 had it not been for Shohei Ohtani.

Cron continues to impress after the best season of his career last year, when he hit 28 home runs with a 131 OPS+ for the Rockies. Thanks to a two-homer day Saturday at Coors Field, the first baseman already has five this year.

Clayton Kershaw: Pace for 465 strikeouts
(Based on his current strikeout rate of 62% and projected 750 batters faced)

Kershaw? Silly stats? We have seen this before. But no, the three-time Cy Young Award winner and future Hall of Famer isn’t going to come close to 465 strikeouts in 2022. Still, it’s fun to see how Kershaw continues to dominate opponents at age 34 and beyond. of so many injuries in recent years. During the seven perfect innings he pitched Wednesday at Minnesota, he struck out 13 of the 21 batters he faced.

Kershaw’s record for strikeouts in a season is 301, way back in 2015. And the record for the live-ball era (since 1920) belongs to none other than Nolan Ryan, who struck out 383 opponents in 1973 with the Algerians.

Owen Miller and Nolan Arenado: Slugging over 1,000

Owen who? That’s right, time to learn this name: Owen Miller. Miller led all qualified hitters in almost every offensive category going into the day Sunday, including a 1,080 slugging percentage. The Guardians infielder made his MLB debut last year and already has more than a third of all the hits he has given in 2021 with 39 in 60 games.

Arenado had a season below his standards in 2021, largely because his OPS at Busch Stadium was just .722. This year has had a full-throttle start, with a slugging percentage of 1,000. He already has four home runs and has looked like that perennial MVP candidate from his best days in Colorado.

That number will go down, of course, as will Miller’s. But Arenado probably won’t be happy if he slugs below .500 when the season ends.

Christian Yelich: 76.5% hard hitting rate

Yelich? Really? Yes really. Although the NL MVP in 2018 hasn’t had a good start at the plate in 2022 after two tough seasons, the truth is that he is hitting the ball very well. Going into Sunday’s game, 13 of his 17 hits this season, or 76.5%, have had an exit velocity of 95 mph or more, according to Statcast.

So if there’s anything positive about what Yelich is doing despite that .659 OPS, it’s that he’s made some pretty good contact.

Hunter Greene: Fastball with average speed of 100 mph

No starter in the pitch-tracking era (since 2008) has averaged more than 99.2 mph with his fastball in a season. That 99.2 mark belongs to Jacob deGrom in 2021 (although he made only 15 starts due to injury). And while the rest of the numbers on this list might be unattainable, Greene just might be able to do this.

After his tremendous performance on Saturday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, in which he set a record (in the pitch-tracking era) with 39 pitches at 100 mph or higher and averaging 100.2 mph, no one can say that the phenomenon 22 years old is unable to achieve it.

The Guardians? Yes, we know that José Ramírez is a perennial MVP candidate. But how about the rest of the lineup? Meet Steven Kwan and Owen Miller, who have taken the Major Leagues by storm. Miller entered Monday batting .500, while Ramirez had .457 and Kwan had .385.

But while those numbers are pretty impressive, that’s not what we want to focus on here. No, it’s that collective .793 OPS.

Rockies: 1.80 ERA for the bullpen, the best in the Major Leagues

Finding “Rockies” and “best bullpen in the majors” in the same sentence is something very rare. But it’s true, at least after this first week and a half of 2022. If you’re going to win in Colorado, a good bullpen helps a lot. And while that ERA is going to get worse, the Rockies could be a much more dangerous team than we thought if relievers are significantly better than they are in 2021 (4.91, 26th in MLB).

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60 HR for Vlad? Kershaw with how many K’s?