Three games into the 2015 campaign, I wrote about Evan Gattis and his horrible start as a new member of the Houston Astros.
They’ve now played 42 games, and I figure I should update you on how he’s playing. If you’re a fan of the former Brave, it’s all good news.
After not reaching base in his first 5 games, Gattis kicked it into gear and has been swinging a hot bat for more than a month. He raised his batting average to .197 by the end of April and is now batting .243 through Thursday night.
(Also read: SunTrust Park construction, May update)
But it’s not just about batting average for Gattis; as you know, it’s also about how he’s a threat to hit the ball over the fence. In May, he has 6 home runs and 16 RBI, and his 8 homers this season are good enough to tie him for 11th in the American League in that particular statistic.
Even better, 5 of those 6 Gattis home runs in May have given his team the lead, according to ESPN Stats and Information. So his reputation as a clutch hitter in Atlanta has certainly followed him to Houston.
He’s one of several reasons why the Astros currently have the second-best record in the A.L. At 27-15, Houston is already almost 40 percent of the way to their 2014 win total, when they went 70-92. They’re 5.5 games ahead in the A.L. West, and they’ve charged back from a 4-6 start to the season.
This is all pleasant news for Gattis’s fans in Atlanta, like myself, who were pained to see him struggle so much to start a new season in a new home. A fan favorite doesn’t just become a villain when he leaves town (unless he goes to Washington, Mr. Uggla), so this turnaround should please most Braves fans.
Here’s hoping he can keep it up and help the upstart Astros make a run in a strong American League that should provide plenty of entertainment as the summer pushes on.
Photo: AP/Pat Sullivan