Surprises of the Summer

Halfway through the season some unexpected names sit atop the leader boards. But will they stay there?
July 10, 2005

NL HITTING

Derrek Lee, Cubs, .383. Career high: .282 2004 leader at break: Barry Bonds, Giants, .365; final stat: .362, 1st in league

In Lee's Triple Crown quest, winning a batting title will be the toughest task for the career .275 hitter, especially with Albert Pujols (.342) and Miguel Cabrera (.340) looming behind him.

AL HITTING

Brian Roberts, Orioles, .360. Career high: .273 2004 leader at break: Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers, .369; final stat: .334, 4th

Not since Frank Robinson hit .316 in 1966 has an Oriole won a batting title, but Baltimore's diminutive second baseman has the stroke and speed to keep his average up.

AL HOME RUNS

Mark Teixeira, Rangers, 22. Career high: 38 2004 leader at break: Manny Ramirez, Red Sox, 26; final stat: 43, 1st

A home run title this year could be the first of many for the Rangers' 25-year-old first baseman, who's thriving in Arlington's homer-happy Ameriquest Field after cutting down on his strikeouts.

NL RBIS

Carlos Lee, Brewers, 72. Career high: 113. 2004 leader at break: Scott Rolen, Cardinals, 80; final stat: 124, 2nd

Traded from the White Sox to the Brewers after six productive but unheralded seasons in Chicago, the slugging leftfielder (22 homers through Sunday) has bloomed in Milwaukee, making his first All-Star team.

AL WINS

Jon Garland, White Sox, 13. Career high: 12 2004 leaders at break: Kenny Rogers and Mark Mulder, 11; final stats: Rogers, 18, 3rd; Mulder, 17, 5th

Scouts have long drooled over Garland's stuff, and now the 25-year-old White Sox righthander has finally put it all together, thanks primarily to his improved changeup.

NL WINS

Dontrelle Willis, Marlins, 13. Career high: 14 2004 leaders at break: Eric Milton and Jason Schmidt, 11 wins; final stats: Milton, 14, 17th; Schmidt, 18, 2nd

The flamboyant lefty has a history of fading down the stretch--he's 8--11 with a 4.30 ERA after the All-Star break--but he's focusing on conditioning in hopes of staying strong all season.

NL SAVES

Chad Cordero, Nationals, 29. Career high: 14 2004 leader at break: Danny Graves, 33; final stat: 41, 6th

The 23-year-old Cordero has been the key to the Nationals' hot start, but his heavy workload--he's second in the majors in appearances--means he might be gassed come September.

AL ERA

Roy Halladay, Blue Jays (2.33) Career low: 2.93 2004 leader at break: Tim Hudson, 2.98 final stat: 3.53, 5th

Coming off a disappointing season in which he made two trips to the DL with shoulder tendinitis, Halladay has cut his ERA nearly in half and is on pace to put up better numbers than in his '03 Cy Young year.

COLOR PHOTOROBERT BECK COLOR PHOTOHEINZ KLUETMEIER TWO COLOR PHOTOSJOHN BIEVER (2) COLOR PHOTORON VESELY/GETY IMAGES COLOR PHOTOBOB ROSATO COLOR PHOTOCHUCK SOLOMON COLOR PHOTO DAVID DUROCHIK/SPORTPICS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)