Belt is The Man and Pagan Needs to Dial it Down a Little
Brandon Belt past 500 plate appearances last night and all signs are pointing to him being a critical piece in the line up for the 2014 season. Aside from Buster’s bomb, Belt was the man last night doing what we will always need him to do: drive in runs. His two hits were brilliant swings, the first one beating a breaking ball like he knew it was coming and the second one driving the ball impressively in the opposite direction for the walk off win in the 10th inning.
On a team that has had no identity since Pagan went down in May, Belt has stepped up and gone beyond just putting up a nice OPS. But I was surprised to see where he ranked vs NL first basemen on bb%.
Votto is walking at an unnecessary rate but it works on that team with so many other hitters in their line up. Plus, as the identified team superstar in the line up, there are times he just has to take his walks and eat them. We need Belt to do more than take walks and he’s doing those things this year, especially since he sat down for a few games and had brett Pill take over the reigns at 1st base. Doesn’t that seem like it was a dream?
Side note on NL 1st base power: Outside of Goldy, this group is hitting home runs at an underwhelming rate. I’m not sure if I can ever remember a limper collection of first basemen in the NL, at least when it comes to home runs. Regardless, Belt is having a very productive year. He’s taken the next step and while I don’t think he has another step in him I also didn’t think he had the step he just took in him. But where he is right now is a good place to be. We are lucky to have him.
Did anyone catch Pagan’s post game dive attempt on top of a group of STANDING TALL, JUMPING players? That’s quite a leap to try to make (he failed, only getting about 2/3 the way up the *mountain of men* before giving up and coming down). If he was looking to re-injure himself he gave it a pretty nice go with that stupid move. I’m guessing the surgeon who preformed the work on his hammy a few months ago would probably frown on him trying to leap to the top of a group of standing, moving men.