Over the winter, the Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins made a very well-balanced trade.
Minnesota acquired right-hander Pablo Lopez and sent reigning American League batting champion Luis Arraez back to Miami.
So far, the deal appears to be working out pretty well for the Marlins, who find themselves in second place in the National League East, not too far behind the Atlanta Braves.
In fact, Arraez is hitting at a .399 clip through his first 61 games of the season.
In doing so, he has joined an elite list of players with the highest batting averages through their first 61 games since the expansion era began in 1961.
On Twitter, Sarah Langs of MLB.com posted the list of elite hitters.
highest BA in team’s 1st 61 games, qualified hitters in expansion era (1961):
2008 Chipper Jones: .418
1997 Larry Walker: .416
1994 Paul O’Neill: .411
1983 Rod Carew: .411
1997 Tony Gwynn: .405
1996 Roberto Alomar: .399 (ahead of Arraez by next decimal)
2023 Luis Arraez: .399 https://t.co/otsbgrp5q4
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) June 6, 2023
Chipper Jones has the highest average of anybody on the list.
Through the Braves’ first 61 games of the 2008 season, the Hall-of-Famer had a .418 average.
In 1997, Larry Walker had posted an average of .416 through 61 games.
Other players on the list include stars such as Paul O’Neill, Rod Carew, Tony Gwynn, and Roberto Alomar.
Like Arraez, Alomar had a .399 average through his first 61 games during the 1996 season.
Needless to say, the trade with the Twins has worked out quite well for the Marlins.
The 26-year-old has hit only one home run, but has an OPS of .945 in his first 208 at-bats this season and has driven in 29 runs.
Arraez had a .316 batting average last season with the Twins en route to his eventual batting title.
He owns a career mark of .325 through his first five seasons.NEXT: Luis Arraez Is Determined To Make History