By any measure or any stat, David Ortiz is having one of the best years of his career At age 40, he has decided to take one last victory lap in baseball and is certainly making the most of his final hurrah. Earlier this season, I explored Ortiz’s projected career numbers in relation to a potential Hall of Fame invite, but didn’t dig into his season numbers and where they stand in relation to his overall career. Since it is the unofficial halfway point of the season, the all-star break, let’s look at Ortiz’s epic 2016 season thus far.
Ortiz has appeared in 81 games (out of a potential 87) thus far in 2016 and has a .332 average with 22 HRs, 72 RBIs, 34 doubles, and 2 stolen bases (I had to throw that one in for fun). For some context, Ortiz is a career .286 hitter and based on 150 games, averages 40 doubles, 33 HRs, and 110 RBIs per season. Ortiz is on pace to shatter his career averages at age 40 and set some new career highs. If he plays in 150 games and maintains his pace, he will finish the regular season with career highs in batting average (.332 – tied with 2007), slugging percentage (.682), doubles (63), HRs (59), and hits (180 – tied with 2005).
Considering some of the incredible offensive seasons Ortiz has had in a Red Sox uniform, to break his own career records would be just astounding. Looking at his success in context with the rest of the league is also impressive, removing age from the equation. In all of the MLB in 2016, Ortiz is 4th in batting average (.332), 1st in slugging percentage (.682) and doubles (34) by wide margins, 2nd in RBIs, and 9th in HRs (to name a few). He is not just having a career year, but also a stand alone amazing run as well.
I do anticipate a slight drop-off from Ortiz in the 2nd half of the season, mostly because how can his numbers not decline? He is 40 and has been dealing with achilles issues for a number of years now, which will likely limit his playing time a bit more in the 2nd half of the season, especially if the Red Sox are contenders because they need Ortiz healthy for the postseason. Even with a mediocre 2nd half by his own standards, Ortiz will be in rarefied air and certainly should leave a great impression on the Hall of Fame selection committee.