Whatever you can do, I can do better.
That’s the motto that Carlos Quentin may be taking these days with the San Diego Padres with the team having experienced the re-emergence for former top prospect Kyle Blanks, who happens to be red-hot, hitting .310/.362/540 over 94 PA in June with five homers and is already a 1.6 fWAR player through 54 games.
In fact, there are even some rumblings that despite his contract that’ll take him through 2015, Quentin’s long-term role on the team may not be on very steady ground, especially when incumbent first baseman Yonder Alonso returns from the DL.
That won’t happen anytime soon, though — not as long as he’s hitting like this.
While the veteran carried a paltry .211/.326/.421 triple-slash headed into the month of June, the fact that he now owns a more Quentin-like .275/.377/.485 line going into play on Wednesday should tell you that the Friars’ slugger has been busy at the plate this month.
If a seven-game hitting streak to start the month wasn’t impressive enough, Quentin has actually failed to hit in just three of the 16 games that he’s appeared in for the month — and he didn’t start in one of them. Having recently returned to action from an ailing shoulder, he went right back to his hot-hitting ways, putting a string of three multi-hit performances together, including a 2-for-3 night on Tuesday in a losing effort for San Diego.
In all, the hot streak means he’s hitting .404/.485/.614 through his last 66 PA, which would not only make him the best hitter for the Padres this month, but also a give him a June OPS of 1.099 that’s second only to rookie sensation Yasiel Puig … if Quentin qualified, anyway.
That’s all to say that he’s entrenched rather comfortably as the team’s no. 3 hitter, and as long as he can stay healthy — which is easier said than done with him, I suppose — it’s starting to look like his three-year, $27 million contract extension is one that the Padres might actually keep.
Blanks’ bat is going to have to find another spot to play in the outfield, because left field won’t be the place for it.