I keep waiting for Brennan Boesh to come back down to earth, but it doesn’t seem to be happening.
At the beginning of the season, I can honestly say I had no idea who this kid was. The tigers called him up in late April to replace an injured Carlos Guillen. He honestly wasn’t even supposed to replace Guillen, just take the roster spot open to him. Someone forgot to tell him that. He came up and played extremely well, still in the shadows of Austin Jackson’s strong first month in the league.
Jackson eventually took home the rookie of the month honours for April…while a strong start to Boesh’s career landed him an outfield and DH platoon eventually forcing the tigers to move Guillen to yet another position. He took home his own rookie of the month honours in May (or at least I believe I read that somewhere, but MLB.com only has April’s winners listed despite it being July). Just to make sure people were noticing, he did it again in the month of June (I know I read about that month).
How good has he been? So good that Jim Leyland decided to use him in the outfield for the duration of interleague play when the tigers were without a DH…meaning all star players like Magglio Ordonez and Johnny Damon were sitting before him.
He is second on the team in batting average behind league leader Miguel Cabrera. He is only 2 batting points behind him in fact, but is 25 at bats away from qualifying for the league batting title. He will catch up to that minimum at bat total soon enough with the playing time Leyland is rewarding him with.
Regardless, even if we add 25 at bats to qualify him for a batting title, he is still a .300 hitter…good for 4th on the team and 16th in the AL…which is assuming he goes 0 for that 25.
He is also 2nd to only Cabrera on the team in total bases, home runs, OBP, SLG and 3rd in RBI’s.
Before this season there was no indication that he would be able to hit for such a high average. When he was called up from AAA this season he was hitting .379 but his best season’s average before that was .291 in low A ball. He has received compliments on his swing from opponents like Mark Textiera, but how can you go from being an okay hitter in the minors to one of the best in the majors over 227 at bats?
With 2 rookie of the month honours in his only 2 full months in the bigs he is clearly the lead runner for the AL ROTY. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Pitchers have to start adjusting to him and in turn if he wants to remain a big league hitter he will need to make his own adjustments. It should be fun to watch how this turns out.