Coming Into the Season
Espinosa was a bit of a sleeper during the preseason, as he had hit 6 home runs in just 28 games last season, but with an anemic .214 batting average. The potential had shown itself in the minors though, as he had hit 25 home runs, stolen 25 bases, and hit .268 across two levels in the minors in 2010. ESPN had ranked him as their 27th second baseman, and there appeared to be concerns that he would not hit for enough of an average to keep him in the lineup.
His Performance To Date
Through Saturday's games, Espinosa is hitting .243/.329/.466 with 15 home runs, 48 runs batted in, 40 runs scored, and 9 stolen bases. He is currently ranked 8th overall among second baseman on Yahoo.
Can He Continue This Performance?
All signs point to Espinosa's performance as being legitimate. His strikeout and walk rates are similar to his minor league numbers, albeit very high strikeouts and low walks. His BABIP (currently at .270), is actually below some of the numbers he posted in the minors as well. His power numbers appear real, as he slugged at least .460 in each of his last 3 stops in the minors. The speed also seems to be translating well, as he had 25+ stolen bases in each of his two full seasons. I think we could be looking at a perennial top-10 second baseman in the making here, as he could finish with 25 home runs and 20 stolen bases before the season is over.