Paul Konerko opened with one of the finest months of the season by popping 11 home runs in his first 74 at-bats and hitting .297/.413/.784. Although that line suggests otherwise, Konerko’s BABIP in April sat a bare .193. The change to May brought a few extra hits of non-homer variety, but Konerko’s BABIP still sat around .250 for the season. Star slugger suffering from BABIP issues is one of the most basic of plots filmed on diamond sets, but that story is not the one played out here. Instead, opposing defenses have gone from Shamwow levels of absorption to that of a Casper. Just check out Konerko’s BABIP by month since:
Unsurprisingly, Konerko’s wOBA remains high, at .423 through 579 plate appearances. Anytime a 34-year-old offensive-minded first baseman posts a career best season its worth taking note, but it feels like maybe Konerko has been looked over. For instance, did you know that Konerko’s wOBA – albeit unadjusted for park – is the third highest amongst first basemen this season? Of course not. Aubrey Huff is the positional winner of the “Huh, he’s having a good year?” award, yet Konerko is doing a fine job himself.
Not only that, but Konerko is doing it with mostly the same underlying statistics with the exception of a career best BABIP. The twist in Konerko’s story is that he is a free agent at season’s end. I’ll leave the Crowdsourcing on Konerko’s next deal to Senior Cameron, but I would expect some level of disagreement on just how many years Konerko will received based on what looks like an aberration of a season. Maybe Konerko will leave the Sox, but much like this season, I don’t think most foresee that occurring.
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