Laurila: Nelson Cruz, a late bloomer exceeds expectations

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on August 14, 2015:

Nelson Cruz leads both leagues in home runs, and he ranks second behind Bryce Harper in SLG. Neither is a surprise. The Seattle slugger left the yard 40 times with Baltimore last season, and moving to Safeco Field wasn’t going to squelch his production. Per ESPN Home Run Tracker, 22 of the 34 bombs he’s hit this year have traveled more than 400 feet. Nine of them have gone at least 440 feet.

One thing has come as a surprise: Going into last night, the career .274 hitter had a .324 batting average, and he was tied with Prince Fielder for the most base hits (140) in either league. Once one-dimensional, the former Texas Ranger has morphed into more than just a basher.

It’s been a long process. In many respects, Cruz has been a late bloomer. 

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Originally published: August 14, 2015. Last Updated: August 14, 2015.