We Got The Whole 9 wrote:Since returning from the IL on 5/25 Nico has the lowest K rate in baseball at 4.9% and the next closest is JRam at 6.6%. Nico has struck out just 3 times in June. What's also encouraging and somewhat exciting is that he's maintained his LA during that time and that is just below 10 on the season, which is a number that several guys live at and still punch out 20 HR a year with. He could be in for a major breakout next year. During that time post-IL he's put up the 2nd best defense across baseball also.
Yeah I think he's a guy that a few years ago would have been liable to put up some random juiced ball 25 homer season.
Even if the power doesn't progress though, he's really taking a star turn. He's played at damn near a 6 win pace since the start of last year, and he's over 4 WAR for his career in less than a full season's playing time. I don't think the defense is actually *that* good, but he's going to continue to pace comfortably above 3 WAR/600 PAs. The durability is the big issue, but plenty of young guys have overcome that (while old guys who become brittle nearly always stay brittle).