Part of what makes baseball so much fun is how long a season is. You can have your ups and downs, and it’s inevitable that people are going to struggle at some point. Shoot, even Ty France is only 4-25 over his last handful of games. For some guys, it takes them a while to figure it out. Cal Raleigh looks like he might be starting to do just that for the Mariners.
So many fans want players to come up and instantly do well. They expect them to make the leap from the minors to the Show and produce right away. For some, it happens. Others, it might take a little bit. Trout struggled, and Julio wasn’t good his first 8-9 games. Some players it takes a bit longer.
After 66 games, Cal Raleigh looks to be figuring it out
Through the first 66 games of his career, Raleigh struggled. He was hitting just .157. He was playing decent defense, but the offense just wasn’t there. Again, that was just 66 games. It’s only 41% of a season. And that was to start his career at arguably the hardest position in baseball to put up good offensive numbers.
The last ten games have been different, as Raleigh has turned in arguably the best stretch of his young career. He’s been playing nearly every day behind the plate for the Mariners over that stretch, starting 9 of the last 13 games at catcher, and pinch-hitting and playing a couple of innings in the 10th game he appeared in. Check out the difference in his play.
- First 66 games: 185 AB, .157/.220/.303, 29 hits, 12 2B, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 9 R
- Last 10 games: 37 AB, .270/.263/.568, 10 hits, 2 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R
He’s hitting the ball well, more consistently, and hitting it harder as well. I’m not saying that Raleigh is going to hit .270 the rest of the year, and he is probably going to walk at least one more time. However, if he could hit around .240 the rest of the season, that would move his career average up to .207.
What I’m trying to say is that it was way too early for all those fools out there who wanted to punt on Raleigh, who were already giving up on him and saying he was a bust. Sometimes, it just takes guys a while to figure it out. Raleigh looks like he is on a much better path, he’s playing strong defense, and he’s holding his own at the plate, with power. We wanted Raleigh to turn it around, and it looks like he is starting to do just that.