The official halfway point of the 2018 MLB regular season already happened. However, now that the All-Star Game is officially in the rearview mirror, we can finally start thinking about those wonderful dog days of summer as playoff races continue to heat up.
There are some ballplayers hoping to forget what’s happened over the last three-and-a-half months in order to turn their respective seasons around. There are also others, though, who are hoping what they just accomplished is just the beginning.
For the following 10 players, they’ve already surpassed their 2017 production when using fWAR as the measure. The only remaining question is: how much better will their current campaign be by the end?
Nicholas Castellanos, OF, Detroit Tigers
2017 fWAR: 1.5
2018 fWAR (so far): 2.4
Nicholas Castellanos set new single-season career highs in home runs (26) and RBI (101) in 2017, but he was bogged down by a rough first half (.746 OPS and 95 wRC+). He’s turned the tables around so much in 2018 that he’s already easily surpassed last year’s performance.
The 26-year-old’s current 137 wRC+ is comfortably on track to be a new career-best mark, as is his .368 BABIP. Could something like that actually be sustainable? It sure can when a player’s batted-ball profile looks like the one Castellanos boasts at the moment.
His 48.8% hard-hit rate and 30.0% line-drive rate are both among the top 10 in baseball when looking at qualified hitters. It certainly helps that the Greek God of hard contact owns a 61.6% hard-hit rate and 1.2% soft-hit rate on liners, which has led to a healthy 1.674 OPS.