I love Mike Aviles. He's probably my favorite Royal, for whatever that's worth. He's the kind of late blooming, little acclaimed player that stat guys and bloggers latch onto, and I'm no different. At the moment, despite returning from a serious injury and uneven playing time, Aviles is hitting .388/.388/.513. No, that .388 batting average is not going to last, and yes, I'd like to see him take his first walk. Nevertheless, my fanboy side feels like this is very good news, confirming that 2008's breakout season was legitimate. That's probably not actually true, but it is what I want to believe.
- If anything, Aviles's hot start has bought him time. I dont' really think the organization believes in him with any real gusto, and it isn't obvious where he plays, not with beloved options like Getz and Betancourt around. Nevertheless, if there's one org. that sees a high batting average and buys in, its this one. Starting .388 has introduced another data point after 2009's poor/injured entry.
- Aviles has never been a huge walks guy. His BB% in 2008 was only 4.1%, and his numbers in the minors weren't much higher. Then again, if you were Aviles right now, playing for this team, would you be patient? Mike is playing for his baseball life, and can probably notice (at some level) that walks don't get you noticed as much as singles do. He's trying to prove he's healthy and capable of hitting. I can get that.
- Two homers in his first 49 PAs is a good start, but moving forward, I'd like to see Aviles show a little more doubles power, given that the singles are going to drop off. At the moment, he's sporting a high LD%, which might help.
- With his current numbers banked, ZIPS projects Aviles to end up with a .298/.323/.428 line. To tell the truth, that's not super great for a middle infielder, but it is a line you can certainly take. Again, the OBP is going to be an issue unless Mike hits .330.
- Seriously though, damn this roster.