Luis Arraez is Back to Chasing Ted Williams in San Diego

Luis Arraez
David Frerker-USA TODAY SportsCredit: David Frerker-USA TODAY Sports

When the Minnesota Twins traded Luis Arraez to the Miami Marlins, they were in need of a high-end starting pitcher, which they got back in Pablo Lopez. It seemed like the perfect trade for both teams last season, when Arraez won a batting title as a Marlin and Lopez proved to be the playoff ace Minnesota needed.

But then in early May, Miami traded Arraez to the San Diego Padres, surprising everyone. Since the trade, Luis has continued to do what he does best. Rake. Entering Saturday, the 2-time batting champ is again at the top of the National League, carrying a .342 batting average to go with his .380 on base percentage.

Luis Arraez may be the greatest one-trick pony currently running across Major League Baseball. He is not a good defender, and he doesn’t hit for power, but he makes contact and picks up base hits. Like, a lot of hits. If there’s something to be good at when playing at the highest level, that’s a pretty solid thing to choose.

Another Four-Hit Game for Luis Arraez

It has been less than a month since the Miami Marlins shipped Luis Arraez to the San Diego Padres. Of course Miami is among the most poorly run franchises in sports, but the deal was entirely about their ineptitude this season, while having no desire to pay Arraez after he becomes eligible for free agency.

The San Diego Padres gladly grabbed his services, and since joining them on the West Coast, all he has done is hit…more. On Friday night Arraez posted a four-hit game. Many very good players don’t see a single one of those during an entire season, let alone multiple.

For Arraez though, this was his fourth such occurrence since joining his new team. In just 24 games with the Swinging Friars, Arraez has collected 41 hits in 107 plate appearances… which is truly insane.

Call Luis Arraez the Modern Ted Williams

It might be too easy to make the comparisons between Tony Gwynn and Luis Arraez. With the latter now playing for the same franchise, the parallels are obvious. When with the Twins, it was correct and easy to draw similarities between Arraez and Hall of Famer Rod Carew. Really though, if you’re scoring at home, Arraez is trying to do the whole Ted Williams thing.

The military won’t be asking Arraez for his services any time soon (Ted missed 5 seasons for WWII + Korean War), but like Williams, Arraez is locked in on batting .400 over a full season. Williams last accomplished the feat in 1941, and while Ty Cobb did it three times (1911, 1912, 1922), it’s often the former Boston Red Sox outfielder seen as synonymous with the accomplishment.

Related: Twins Sign Pablo Lopez to 4-Year Contract Extension

It will be nearly impossible for Arraez to hit .400 this season, given his “slow” start in Miami, where he batted “just” .299 in 33 games, before being traded to San Diego, where he is hitting .401 in 24 games.

But Luis just turned 27-years-old. If he plays another ten years in the league, it’s certainly plausible he will challenge .400 at some point. Last year, he finished with a .354 batting average.

No matter how many years go by since Arraez was with the Minnesota Twins, it’s hard to imagine the fan base ever failing to root for him. He remains incredibly likable, constantly wears a smile, and was part of a deal that brought a similar personality to the franchise in the form of Pablo Lopez.

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