BOSTON, MA - APRIL 18: Mike Napoli #25 of the Texas Rangers celebrates his two-run home run with teammate David Murphy #7 in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park April 18, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
On Monday, we talked about Mike Napoli's tendency to rip his former team, the Los Angeles Angels, to shreds while being painfully below average against the rest of the league.
Since returning from the disabled list two weeks ago, though, Napoli has been red-hot at the plate, bringing back some memories of the way he finished the season last year and tore up the postseason, locking up World Series MVP honors (except for that whole "your team winning" thing).
On Monday night in Oakland, Napoli kept his tear at the plate going and it wasn't just with his big bat. Sure, Napoli did homer again — his seventh bomb in 14 games since returning — but he also worked the count and got on base in less memorable ways like the good ol' fashioned walk. After that, he scored on an Elvis Andrus base knock.
That's the thing, Napoli has been doing that for a lot of the season. Even though his batting average is way down from not only his freakish year last season, but also his career average, his on-base percentage is looking pretty good at .349. You'll take that from your No. 8 hitter.
It's too early to say definitively, but Napoli appears to be picking up his game at the right time, and if that's the case he will be a big help for the Rangers, yet again, in the coming weeks.