Tigers’ Chris Shelton Among Early Surprises of 2006 Baseball Season

The 2006 Major League Baseball season is upon us. There have been many surprises in this brand new season as well as many let downs. The question people are asking themself now is “Are these players/teams legit or are they just players/teams that are starting hot? You be the judge, and here are my players and teams that are hot.

First of all we have to start our with the hottest player in major league baseball as we speak. Chris Shelton, Who? yea thats right Chris Shelton. The man is single handedly going to bring the Detroit Tigers out of the cellar if he stays hot. Right now the kid is hitting a hot!! hot!! .479 along with 9 homeruns and 16 Runs Batted In. Shelton and his unbeleivable start have made the Tigers also one of the surprise teams of 2006 but we will focus on that later.

Next we have to move just down the east coast where we find Ramon Hernandez, the catcher for the Baltimore Orioles. Yea hes not hitting for power but just look at what he is doing and doing quietly i might add. in 38 at bats he has 20 hits with 5 doubles and only 5 strikeouts. He has an on base percentage of .568 and his slugging percentage is .737 granted this is only 11 games into the season but hes doing all this on a team that is just behind Boston in what i think will be a tough divison this season if not the toughest.

The final surprise of my top three surprises goes to Garrett Atkins of the Colorado Rockies. This kid has a chance to shine for a club that is in my consideration one of the weakest divisions in baseball. The Colorado Rockies currently are 7 and 4 and its with the help of Mr. Atkins. His start to the season was the kind of start that Colorado was hoping to get from him and are hoping will continue. Right now Garrett is staying hot with a .431 batting average with 7 doubles and 9 runs batted in. Considering that Atkins stays hot for the Rockies i could see him as being thier breakout player this year and have a great season.

Now that we have got the players out of the way lets move onto the teams that have surprised me early in this season.

First and foremost you have to look at the obvious Detroit Tigers. By the time that the Tigers had 7 wins last year they had already had 10 losses. They had nothing to bank on and no silver lineing in any clouds. This year they have thier break out sensation in Chris Shelton. It seems like that they are finally getting the Mike Maroth that they had hoped for, with 2 wins and a 0.73 ERA. For the Tigers to continue this hot streak that they are on they need to continue play well. They need other players to step up becuase lets face it, as much as we would love to see it continue Chris Shelton is going to cool off. They need solid productivity to come from thier bull pen and contoact hitters need to come through at the right time. Detroit in the past few years have had nothing to hang thier hat on. They have lost all confidence as a team. With a few losses here and there this team could easily slip down into the basement once again.

My second surprise team would have to be the New York Yankees. This is not a good surprise team. Im a really surprised that with the amount of talent this team has that they cant find a way to win. Now im not going to sit here and talk salaries because its already been done. Im talking talent. I mean A-Rod, Jeter, Damon, Giambi, Randy Johnson, i mean this might as well be an all-star team and what do they have to show for it? 6 and 6, are you kidding me 6 and 6. Now i dont think there really is anything to worry about right now because we all know if the boss gets tired of seeing what hes seeing things will have to change but its safe for us to expect better than 6 and 6. The one bright spot that the Yankees have to be happy with though is the transistion and Johnny Damon has made. Johnny Damon is off to one of his best starts with a .340 batting average 7 doubles and 8 runs batted in, they gotta be happy about that. Like I said I dont think there is any need for worry right now but i believe that they Yankees are playing in the toughest divison in baseball this year and if they slip to much then they could slip out of the picture.

My final team that has surprised me the most in 2006 is the Mets. Now i see every year all those other sports writers picking the Mets to be great and winning the championship and the Mets make them look like fools. But this year i believe that they are for real. Sporting the best record in baseball with a 9-2 record and a red hot Pedro on the hill with a 2 and 0 record and a 3.46 ERA in 13 innings, you have to be happy with that. Another thing that the Mets are probably trilled about is the productivity of Carlos Delgado. Delgado was great for the Marlins last season and was a great pick up for the Mets in the off season. Carlos has started this season hitting .356 with 2 doubles and 4 home runs. If he and his supporting cast continue the trend that they are on and team acrossed the way stays the way they are we could see a new team in New York.

Early season surprises are a funny thing. When we do this again at the end of the season there could be a chance that we say Chris Shelton who? Or even the Mets? Are you kidding me? Baseball is funny like that and thats why we love it.

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