Denard Span is now a .300 hitter


(Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

Batting average is a narrow appraisal of a hitter’s value, but the appeal of big, round numbers has never been lost on baseball. And so Denard Span’s four hits Thursday afternoon meant more than his on-base streak stretching to 33 games or the continuation of his renaissance. Span’s batting average settled at precisely .300 – up 35 points since July 1 and 10th in the National League.

During that stretch, Span has also raised his on-base percentage from .312 to .356 as he’s gone 48 for 124 with 17 walks and 14 strikeouts. He’s also stolen 10 bases, been caught only once and hit into zero double plays.

[Related: The Fancy Stats blog analyzes why Span is having a career year.]

“My mom, she always tells me try to get as many hits as you can when you feel good,” Span said. “Because when you’re cold, it makes up for it. I guess you could say I’m trying to continue to strike while the iron is hot.”

Span, really, has been on a tear since the middle of last year, even considering a lull in May. His work with hitting coach Rick Schu is one reason. Schu helped Span simplify his approach and improve his timing. On July 22 last season, Schu replaced Rick Eckstein. Since that day, Span has hit .301/.349/.406.

The stretch includes Span’s 29-game hitting streak from last season, which gave him the experience to help sustain the one he has going right now.

“I don’t know,” Span said. “It depends what type of mood I’m in, I guess. The game was so early I had no time to even think about a hitting streak or on-base streak. Sometimes, I think you guys make it a big deal more than I’d like to. Other than that, it doesn’t bother me.”

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.

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James Wagner · August 8, 2014