The following are the top six homerun hitters in the National League:
Adam Dunn - 17
Richie Sexton - 15
Mike Lowell - 14
Austin Kearns - 13
Albert Pujols - 13
Aaron Boone - 13
For the first time in many years, there isn't a Bonds, McGwire or Sosa in the group. Of course, Bonds could change that as he has twelve homers at the moment. But the point is that the guard is changing. Dunn, Sexton, Pujols and Kearns are among the top young hitters in the game. Boone is a surprise as is Lowell and those two would be a surprise to stay there.
The possibilities of the Cincinnati Reds outfield are amazing. Dunn, Kearns and Griffey is an unbelievable outfield and could be for years to come. Kearns looks like the best hitter of the three with Dunn the Dudley DoRight of the three. It's great to see Griffey ranging freely out in centerfield again. I still hope he has a great year.
And now with Aaron Boone having a great year, the Reds are suddenly in the middle of the NL Central race. That race has become really exciting as the Cubs are still in front by a game and a half and Houston, Cincinnati and St. Louis are all tied for second place. Each team has pros and cons. The Cubs have great pitching but an up and down lineup (especially without Sammy). Houston is having injury problems in their starting pitching, but have a great bullpen and hit well. The Reds can mash and play good defense but have trouble with pitching. The Cardinals are hitting really well but are having trouble with their pitching. This is a fun race worth watching.
If you want something really different, let's look at the top five in the National League in hits:
Rafael Furcal - 65
Edgar Rentaria - 61
Jimmy Rollins - 58
Juan Pierre - 58
Luis Castillo - 58
The only non-surprise on that list is Luis Castillo, who has shown glimpses of hitting production in the past (long hitting streaks, etc.). The big surprise is Rentaria who is batting .357 with 32 RBI a quarter of the way through the season. Furcal is finally playing to the potential that everyone predicted for him. Rollins' stat is misleading as he leads off for the Phillies but is batting only .293. His OBP is only .346 which is barely adequate for a leadoff hitter. Juan Pierre is similar to Rollins in that they both have burning speed but can't get on base enough to really qualify for the leadoff position.
It will be interesting to see what the Yankees do to get through Bernie Williams' four to six week injury. It would be great if Juan Rivera could get the shot to play every day for the Yankees like Almonte did at short when Jeter was out. The Yankees found out that Almonte has shortcomings that will not make him a major leaguer but Rivera looked good last year in a brief September call up. Most likely, the Yankees will make a trade for someone like Shannon Stewart.