I'm not the only one calling Alfonso Soriano "The Freak," these days. Aaron Gleeman simply prefers "Freak of Nature," which is the same difference, really (Initially, I started calling Sori "Superfreak," but he's still too young for that title, which I think fits Vlad Guerrero better at this stage of the game). Gleeman, who has a real gift for statistical analysis, covers lil' Sori, and his freaky-ass self in his column today:
I will admit to being one of the people who thought that there was just no way Soriano could continue to hit like he did last season while never walking and striking out in bunches. And while I will gladly admit I am wrong, I do so while still in complete and utter disbelief of what he is doing.
...Since Soriano will basically swing at and hit anything that is thrown close to the strike zone (and by "close" I mean within 5 feet on either side and from the tops of his shoes to his helmet), many people have wondered "why pitchers ever throw him strikes." I have also wondered this, particularly after seeing this stat last season...
Alfonso Soriano putting the first pitch of an at bat in play in 2002:
97 at bats
.464 batting average
.825 slugging %
Those are just about the freakiest freak numbers that ever freaked the earth.