Charlie Blackmon went 0-for-4 on Wednesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, going hitless for the first time in 15 games. The way Blackmon is currently swinging the bat, we shouldn't expect him to go 0-for too often this year. One-third of the way through the season, the Rockies outfielder has a legitimate shot to hit .400. That's something that hasn't been accomplished since a few months before the United States entered World War II.
Before his hitless afternoon against Arizona, Blackmon was on a 15-game hitting streak and boasted a .500 batting average. In his six previous games he had gone 17-for-23 with two home runs, eight RBI, four walks, no strikeouts and had scored 10 runs. He was hitting an insane .739 during that stretch.
On the season, Blackmon is now 34-for-72, which is good enough for a .472 average. This has come when the leaguewide batting average is at .235, the worst in MLB history. He's going against the grain of the league, and isn't only hitting singles.
The 34-year-old outfielder is locked in at the plate. While he not blasting home runs (he has three), he's still leading all of baseball in on-base percentage (.506), OPS (1.187), wRC+ (226), and batting average on balls in play (.534), while he's third in fWAR (1.3). He's also only striking out 10.8 percent of the time, which ranks in the top 10 leaguewide.
While hitting .400 in a 60-game season won't be appreciated like it would if it came in a full season, it would still be wildly impressive. Given the way Blackmon is going, it's time to take him seriously.
Jon Heyman dropped this on Tuesday night:
The math on that has now changed slightly, but we're talking about a guy who plays at Coors Field, will be facing a lot of familiar pitchers in the next two months (due to regional scheduling) and has had full-season averages of .331 and .324 before. Now, hitting .360 or above for a few months is wildly different than hitting .331, but it's not completely out of the realm of possibility.
Blackmon's current average exit velocity is 90 mph, which puts him in the 75th percentile among his peers. If it continues it would be the highest exit velocity of his career, so it might be an anomaly. But he's been trending up the last few years and was up to 88.7 mph in 2019. His expected batting average is currently .397 which ranks third in baseball. So based on how and where he's putting the ball in play, he should be hitting around .397. For those unaware of how these advanced stats work: that's really good.
The bottom line is that Blackmon is on fire at the plate right now. He can even afford to regress a bit from what he's currently doing in the batter's box and wind up topping the .400 mark. Is it likely? Of course not. There's a reason no one has done it since Ted Williams in 1941. But in a crazy, short season, it sure would be a blast to watch him make a run at it.