Who can you expect to get off to the best starts to begin the season? Here are the players at each position with the highest OPS in the months of March and April the past five seasons. Some are entirely expected. After all, Albert Pujols crushes the ball no matter what month it is. Some — such as Evan Longoria and Chase Utley — are good hitters all the time, but do seem especially hot early in the season. But one — Kosuke Fukudome of the Cubs — stood out. He owns the highest early-season OPS among outfielders by a fairly wide margin, and he is fourth overall. His .335 batting average, .446 on-base percentage and .558 slugging percentage during March and April are Pujols-type numbers. And then . . . he has to play the rest of the season. His batting average drops by 76 points, his on-base percentage by 78 points and his slugging percentage a staggering 148 points.

Pos., PlayerOPSBA/OBP/SLG
C: Ryan Doumit, Pirates.925March/April: .317/.371/.554
Overall: .269/.333/.444
1B: Albert Pujols, Cardinals1.115March/April: .328/.456/.658
Overall: .330/.435/.628
2B: Chase Utley, Phillies1.023March/April: .311/.409/.613
Overall: .299/.390/.520
SS: Hanley Ramirez, Marlins.916March/April: .313/.397/.519
Overall: .313/.385/.521
3B: Evan Longoria, Rays1.029March/April: .335/.404/.626
Overall: .283/.361/.521
OF: Kosuke Fukudome, Cubs1.004March/April: .335/.446/.558
Overall: .259/.368/.410
OF: Carlos Beltran, Mets.959March/April: .312/.415/.545
Overall: .283/.375/.521
OF: Manny Ramirez, Rays.944March/April: .310/.419/.524
Overall: .310/.418/.551
DH: Jim Thome, Twins1.001March/April: .265/.418/.583
Overall: .267/.393/.551