J.J. Hardy is thrilled that April is over. In 112 plate appearances in 27 games, Hardy hit .202/.243/.327 with three homers and 15 RBI. He walked six times and struck out 15. Yikes.
May has been a little more friendly to the Orioles shortstop. Though he began the month 0-for-8, Hardy is 7 for his last 19 with three homers in his last four games. Hardy is putting the bat on the ball more than he did in April and has recorded just one strikeout in his last 19 plate appearances.
The Twitterverse wasn’t kind to Hardy during his early season slump. Personally, I don’t expect the Gold Glover to hit .300 with 30 home runs because shortstops don’t put up that type of offensive production.
But there really wan’t any reason to be concerned with Hardy’s production. His 20 RBI is enough for the American League lead, four more than Jhonny Peralta‘s total. Troy Tulowitzki, arguably the best at the position, is the big league’s lone shortstop ahead of Hardy in the RBI column (28).
Guys go through slumps. Some start slow. Hardy’s April numbers are no surprise. He’s a career .218/.283/.356 hitter in March/April. Thankfully the first month is in the books.