2011 has been a wonderful year for Mike Napoli. The artificial ceiling he was constrained under in Anaheim has been eliminated and he has been able to flourish in a way not seen before in his career. Whether or not he can put up these numbers in the future seasons remains to be seen but in this Rangers' lineup he has become an absolute animal.
107 hits, 24 doubles, 26 HR, 67 RBI, 54 BB, 79 SO, .317 avg.
Compared to 2010 he has essentially the same number of doubles (24) hits (107 vs 108), RBI (67 vs 68), HR (26) despite 113 fewer plate appearances. He also has struck out far fewer times (79 vs 137) and raking at an OPS of 1.031!
The last catcher to have an OPS of 1.031 was 2009 Joe Mauer. 2009 Mauer:
191 hits, 30 doubles, 28 HR, 96 RBI, 76 BB, .365 avg in 606 plate appearances.
If we extrapolate 2011 Napoli out to 606 plate appearances his numbers would be:
163 hits, 37 doubles, 40 HR, 102 RBI, 82 BB, 121 SO.
While there is no assurance Naps could have sustained the same hitting over 606 PA, the production to date would suggest that he has been (at least offensively) our own little Joe Mauer.