What We Learned In Week Three

The lessons from week three.

Jason Heyward isn’t the only rookie outfielder impressing people.

While Heyward has had the big play moments, Tyler Colvin has been tearing the cover off the ball up in Chicago. Since he had never played above Double-A and showed an aggressive approach in the minors last year, many assumed that major league pitchers would eat him alive. So far, though, he’s been crushing every fastball he sees, hitting .333/.405/.697 in 38 trips to the plate. Six of his 11 hits have gone for extra bases, and he’s already drawn four walks, 25 percent of his Double-A total from last year.

In fact, Colvin’s wFB/C (runs above average per 100 fastballs seen) is second highest in baseball, behind only Ryan Braun. He’s been below average against soft stuff, so don’t be surprised if pitchers start feeding him a steady diet of breaking balls in the near future. His minor league track record suggests that he’ll have trouble making the adjustment when they do, but there are few doubts left that Colvin can hit a big league fastball.

The entire Cubs outfield is on fire.

Colvin isn’t the only one who is swinging a hot bat in Chicago right now. In the last seven days, the Cubs got a .627 wOBA from Colvin, a .579 wOBA from Kosuke Fukudome, a .490 wOBA from Marlon Byrd, and a .457 wOBA from Alfonso Soriano. As a whole, their outfield hit .402/.455/.701 in the past week. If you’re wondering how they managed to win four of their last five games, look no further than those four.

Lyle Overbay is not dead.

In his first 55 trips to the plate in 2010, Overbay went 4 for 50, racking up a horrific .080/.145/.140 line. The calls for Brett Wallace began to get louder, as Overbay was the worst hitter in baseball for a couple of weeks. He’s revived himself in the last week, though, hitting .375/.524/.750, racking up four extra base hits and five walks in 22 trips to the plate.

It’s still unlikely that Overbay finishes the final year of his contract in Toronto, but the Blue Jays will have a much easier time trading him if he is actually hitting the baseball. After a rough start to the season, Blue Jays fans have been reminded that he can actually still do that.

The Astros realized the 2010 season has begun.

Houston lost their first eight game of the season, and were the butt of jokes all around the league. Since then, they’ve won eight of ten, and are actually within spitting distance of .500 again. Last week, they ranked 3rd in team wOBA at .363 and first in team xFIP at 3.31.

Michael Bourn led the charge, getting on base 52 percent of the time last week and giving the rest of their order a chance to drive him in. Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers gave the team’s rotation a boost behind Roy Oswalt, and the bullpen was lights out, running a 1/15 BB/K ratio in 16 innings of work, in which they only allowed two runs.

Their roster still has all kinds of problems, but after a beginning to the season that made them look like the worst team in baseball, the Astros have played really good baseball the last week.

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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It helps when you play the Pirates. Myers gave up 13 baserunners in 6 IP yesterday, but only allowed 2 runs. Care to guess how? Not a single one of those baserunners reached via extra base hit! What a limp dick offense.