I was on the 7 train the other day, passing by Citi Field in fact, when I started to think about Scott Hairston. Believe me, I wish I knew why I was, but nonetheless I had Hairston on the brain. It has been great to see Scott basically eclipse his totals from last year in virtually every offense statistic there is, all in just a third of a season. This got me wondering why there isn't an award for the best bench player in baseball, the equivalent to the NBA's Sixth man of the year. It is certainly a viable category, since bench players are often pressed into more prominent roles when called upon and help the team out in any way that they are asked. If there were such a thing as the best bench player of the year award, then in my opinion Scott Hairston would win in a landslide. I'm not sure that any player in the majors thus far has done what Scott has accomplished. Take the jump for my case to give Hairston this completely fictional award.
Let's look at the numbers first shall we? Through 125 at bats, Hairston has 9 homers, 26 RBI's, a .280 average and 35 hits. In addition, 19 of those 35 hits have gone for extra bases, giving him a slugging percentage of .584, the best of his career with at least 100 at bats. In comparison, Lucas Duda has had 100 more at bats than Hairston, yet only has one more home run and 14 more RBI's. His slugging percentage is also at .439, much lower than Hairston's. Now, I know that these numbers don't exactly seem like a valid argument since Hairston only really plays when there is a lefty on the mound, as opposed to Duda who is practically plugged in everyday. However, Hairston is batting a scorching .342 against lefties with 7 home runs, which is exactly what you want out of your right handed hitter off the bench. Hairston is paid to crush left handed pitching and this year he is doing that and then some, coming through time and time again with power bombs that don't need the friendly confines of a Yankee Stadium to find the seats. Hairston also can play the corner outfield positions relatively well (except for that mishap the other night), and even play some center field or second base if you really needed him to do so. Let's also not forget that the man hit for the cycle this year in Colorado. He does it all!
I think that it is safe to say that Hairston has been the best bench player thus far for the Mets, even with Mike Baxterswinging a hot bat before he went down making that legendary catch. If it were up to me, I would have each team nominate a bench player that they felt was their best all season, and then have a fan vote to determine who from those men was the best. So, let me know guys. Is this a great idea, terrible one, and should Hairston be considered the winner at this point in the season. If you guys liked this post, be sure to check out www.thebaseketballtimes.com for more articles like this!