If anybody has been hot of late for the Cleveland Indians’ it would have to be 25 year old third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall. Entering Saturday the left handed third baseman has an average of .381 and an OPS “on-base-plus-slugging” is at a outstanding 1.006 and If you compare that to the Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera .903 you can clearly see how well Chisenhall has been performing for the Tribe in the young season so far. Recently Lonnie has been brought up to the 4 hole in the lineup and has kept producing from there going 1-3 with his 10th RBI of the season. The thing we are not quite sure of yet is if Tito keeps him in as an everyday starter at third base and try’s to find other ways to get the struggling switch hitter Santana into the lineup.
Chisenhall has proven himself thus far into the season that he is the player we have been waiting for him to blossom into! The former 1st round pick (29th overall) of the 2008 amateur draft has been a top prospect in the Indians organization since he was drafted, but unfortunately when he made his major league debut on June 27th 2011 at the age of 22 he didn’t seem like the prospect we were all waiting for to get called up. In 643 professional at-bats he posted a measly .244 average matching it with a .284 OBP and only had 60 extra base hits to brag about which is quite sad given the amount of at-bats. However Going into todays game against Baltimore he is only four doubles shy of his career best so clearly he is showing great contact and enough power to drive it into the outfield gaps. “I’m just kind of relaxing and taking what’s given to me,” Chisenhall said. “Instead of just swinging and hoping something good happens, I have a plan.”
Chisenhall started showing promise towards the end of last season when he batted .270 with a .920 OPS and hit three homeruns in just the month of September and went 3 for 4 in the playoff loss to Tampa Bay. So was that all just a small taste of what Chisenhall can do? “He’s got a great attitude, great work ethic and he’s really coming into his own,” Jason Giambi said on Friday. “He was a great Minor League player, and I think last year, he just got his feet wet.” So with that being said I think its safe to say that Lonnie Chisenhall is finally coming through!
-Cameron T. Lopez (Follow me on twitter @CST_Clopez)