Is Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants finally stepping into the stardom that was predicted for him back when he was a tot with the Yankees? It certainly looks like it.
For one, the 27-year-old — yes, he's still that young — has 77 hits, the most of anyone in baseball. Fifty of those hits have come in May, breaking the Giants record for hits in the month of May that was previously owned by — who else? — Willie Mays. If he notches two more in San Francisco's final May game, he'll break Randy Winn's team record for most hits in any month.
For another, Cabrera has already inspired a group of Giants fans to don "Melkman" costumes at AT&T Park. Though he's only been in San Francisco since the start of the season, The Melkmen are showing up at games and have started a PR campaign to land him in his first All-Star game. (Check out @TheMelkmen Twitter account and Facebook page.)
Cabrera, of course, is benefiting from an out-of-this-world BABIP (.415!). But he notched over 200 hits for the first time in his career with the Royals last season and is now making them regret trading him to the Giants for the currently injured Jonathan Sanchez in the offseason. Heading into Wednesday's game, he's hitting .376/.420/.556 with four homers and 25 RBIs.
No, Cabrera may not come close to collecting 50 hits in a month for the rest of the season. But in this time and place, he's hitting like a star and is receiving the type of support that a star would receive from his dedicated fans. Apart from a few more Dodgers losses — Los Angeles still leads the NL West by 5 1/2 games — San Francisco really can't ask for more right now.