This article is part of our MLB Barometer series.
As strange as it seems, we're now past the halfway point of the season, at least for every team but the Cardinals and Marlins.The small-sample weirdness that some anticipated (or perhaps feared) doesn't seem likely to stain the record books, specifically in the realm of a player pushing to hit .400. Juan Soto and Trea Turner lead qualified hitters with a strong but rather unremarkable .360.
It was perhaps always wishful thinking to assume that someone could legitimately threaten that hallowed mark, as the league-wide batting average of .244 is the lowest since 1968. That fact becomes even more remarkable when considering that this is the first (and hopefully last, in this writer's opinion) season with a universal designated hitter. Considering just the batting average of non-pitchers, that's the lowest batting average of all time.
We do still have a shot to see some historic seasons, if you allow yourself to enjoy a fun end-of-season statline even when all the necessary asterisks are applied. Soto, who leads qualified hitters with a 209 wRC, has a chance to be the first hitter in the 21st century not named Barry Bonds to finish higher than 200 in that category. On the opposite side, if Adalberto Mondesi continues to receive enough playing time to finish as a qualified hitter but fails to improve on his 17 wRC+, he'll finish with the worst mark in the modern era in that category.
Both Soto and Mondesi have been featured in this column in recent weeks,