Remember when taking balls was Chris Herrmann’s sole method of reaching base? Recall the Arizona Diamondbacks’ catcher owning a batting average of .050 through 20 at-bats to begin 2016?
Apparently, he doesn’t either.
Herrmann turned his season around with a 4-RBI performance on April 24 and it appears that breakout game wasn’t an anomaly.
Less than a month later after an 11-7 Diamondbacks win against the St. Louis Cardinals, his average has increased to .290 after the nightmare start to his Arizona career.
Hitting in the 6-hole on Friday, Herrmann got the D-backs going with a two-RBI single with two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the first inning before smashing a solo shot in the ninth inning to put Arizona comfortably ahead, 10-2.
Herrmann added a run himself and his three RBI led the team. It was his third three-RBI game in the last two weeks, and the catcher has recorded a hit in 10 of the 11 games he’s played in the month of May.
The backup behind catcher Welington Castillo has already done more than was expected from him when the D-backs traded minor-leaguer Daniel Palka to the Minnesota Twins in an offseason trade.
With 142 games played in his MLB career, Herrmann had a .181 career average with six home runs and 33 RBI when Arizona acquired him. So far he’s proved general manager Dave Stewart saw something others didn’t.
Already this season, Herrmann has recorded five home runs and 19 RBI.
Not long ago, Herrmann became the first player in D-backs history to play catcher and center field in the same season. While his appearances in the outfield are more about Arizona’s injury-depleted roster, he continues to thrive at the plate.
Herrmann is forcing manager Chip Hale to find a place in the lineup for his bat.
What a difference a month makes.