Sometimes, the number says it all. You can look for places to shoehorn it in, or you can just let it speak for itself.

Here is where I choose to do the latter. This won't be the last time you see me cite some of these numbers, this column serving as sort of a repository of tidbits to implement as needed.

I'll admit some are more meaningful than others, but they're all interesting, if nothing else. You may even see new ones added if you check back in a few weeks, but this should be enough to get us started. 

  1. Despite three separate IL stints (two for a bum shoulder, one for a positive COVID-19 test), Fernando Tatis still managed to play 130 games. Project his numbers over a full 162, and they come out to 52 home runs and 31 stolen bases.
  2. Tatis, though, was only second in terms of home run frequency. First, at least among players with 300-plus plate appearances, was Rays catcher Mike Zunino, who homered once every 11.4 plate appearances.
  3. Third in the PA/HR rankings, by the way, was Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, who equaled his previous high in home runs (18) from just Aug. 6 on. In all, he hit 29 home runs in 97 games, which projects to 48 in 162. In 523 games at Oracle Park from 2011 through 2019, he hit .270 with an .811 OPS. In 72 games there since the start of 2020, he has hit .297 with a 1.024 OPS.
  4. The leaderboard for average exit velocity (minimum 150 batted ball events) reads like a who's who of early-round sluggers. First, second and third are Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Vladimir Guerrero. Sixth, seventh and eighth are Shohei Ohtani, Fernando Tatis and Ronald Acuna. Then right smack in the middle, fourth and fifth, are two forgotten veterans at a position where there's little good to be found: Evan Longoria and Josh Donaldson.
  5. Of Salvador Perez's 48 home runs, a new record for a catcher, 22 came in the final two months. His previous high for an entire season was 27.
  6. More on Perez: He became the first catcher to lead the majors in both home runs and RBI since Johnny Bench in 1972.
  7. Yasmani Grandal hit .188 before succumbing to knee surgery in early July. He returned on Aug. 27 and hit .337 with nine home runs, a .481 on-base percentage and a 1.154 OPS the rest of the way, walking well more (27) than he struck out (18). He ended up being the highest-scoring catcher on a per-game basis in points leagues, bettering even the aforementioned Perez.
  8. Brendan Rodgers -- who plays his home games at Coors Field, mind you -- slashed only  .261/.333/.433 at that hitter's haven, homering thrice. He slashed .289/.337/.536 on the road, homering 12 times.
  9. Cedric Mullins, who surprised as the majors' only 30/30 man in his first season batting exclusively left-handed, hit exactly zero of those home runs to the opposite field, which is notable amid reports of the Orioles moving back their left field fence this year.
  10. Daulton Varsho, a career .302 hitter with an .899 OPS in the minors, hit .168 (32 for 191) with a .570 in his first 75 games as a major-leaguer, beginning in 2020. He hit .294 (57 for 194) with an .886 OPS in his latest 57.
  11. A career .296 hitter in the minors, Royals shortstop Nicky Lopez's career has unfolded much the same as Varsho's. In his first 217 games as a major-leaguer, including his first 58 last year, he hit .227. In his latest 93, he hit .334, bringing his final 2021 mark to .300. Only two other players hit .300 or better with 20 or more steals last year: Trea Turner and Starling Marte.
  12. So you like contact skills? Well, rookie catcher Keibert Ruiz struck out in just 9.4 percent of his 96 plate appearances last year, which would have ranked second among qualifiers, catcher or otherwise. Small sample and all, but he also struck out just 9.7 percent of the time across six minor-league seasons.
  13. True, contact isn't everything, but it's what all-everything prospect Wander Franco did better than anything else as a 20-year-old rookie. He struck out nine times in his final 39 games, bringing his overall rate to 12 percent. Juan Soto was similarly lauded for his plate discipline as a rookie, but even he struck out at a 20 percent rate.
  14. Soto strikes out even less and walks even more these days. In fact, he just led the majors in on-base percentage for the second straight season, and his .465 mark was the highest for any player since Joey Votto's injury-shortened 2021. But it's Soto's second-half OBP (.525) that really stands out. Only three players since 1900 have achieved that mark over a full season: Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Barry Bonds.
  15. Speaking of Joey Votto, his resurgent season takes on new significance when you realize he missed a month with a fractured thumb. In fact, 31 of his home runs came after he returned on June 8 -- i.e., over less than two-thirds of the season.
  16. Jazz Chisholm's rookie season got off to such a good start, with him slashing .311/.388/.581 and stealing nine bases in April, that you may not have noticed he slashed .236/.286/.395 with only 14 stolen bases the rest of the way.
  17. Jonathan India's 2021 was good enough to win him NL Rookie of the Year, but you may have forgotten he was on the verge of getting sent down at the end of May, batting .230 with a .683 OPS. He had a combined 50 extra-base hits -- 18 homers, 32 doubles -- over the final two-thirds of the season while also stealing 10 bases and reaching at a .390 clip.
  18. If you detect renewed enthusiasm for Gavin Lux and his September ISO, it's primarily because he hit .360 (18 for 50) during his most recent big-league stint last September. But his ISO during that same stint was only .140 -- i.e., something on the level of David Peralta. It's a small sample no matter how you slice it.
  19. Rays prospect Vidal Brujan homered seven times in his first 16 games last year. He homered five times in his final 97, which included a major-league stint. 
  20. Likewise, Red Sox prospect Jarren Duran homered 15 times over his first 37 games but then just three times over his final 56, which included a couple of big-league stints.
  21. Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez hit .370 with eight homers and a 1.268 OPS in September, which might not have been so shocking if he hadn't just hit .179 in 177 games since the start of 2020.
  22. Willy Adames hit .285 with 20 homers and an .886 OPS in the three-quarters of the season he spent with the Brewers, which not might have been enough to erase our bad memories of him with the Rays except that, with the Rays, he hit .219 with a .624 OPS at home and .291 with an .858 OPS everywhere else.
  23. Pirates shortstop prospect Oneil Cruz set the franchise record for hardest-hit ball of the Statcast era. It took him all of two games.
  24. Seeing as he hit .265 with 32 homers and an .832 OPS, Nelson Cruz's 2021 may seem like a continuation of his age-defying performances, but the 41-year-old began the year much better than he finished it, slashing .226/.283/.442 upon joining the Rays in July.
  25. His final stat line may be uninspiring, but Jorge Soler's 2021 heroics didn't begin in the World Series -- he hit .277 with 18 homers and a .936 OPS over his final 59 games. That's a 49-homer pace from a guy with a 48-homer season already on his resume.
  26. Likewise, Eddie Rosario's heroics didn't begin with the NLCS, but if you include it along with his other postseason exploits, he hit .316 with 10 homers and a .975 OPS over his final 48 games. 
  27. As it is, Bryce Harper's 2021 numbers were good enough to capture him a second MVP award, but you may have forgotten things got a little hairy in May when he tried playing through the aftereffects of a hit by pitch. His OPS dipped to .884 before he finally conceded to some time on the IL. If he sits out that entire month, he ends up hitting .323 with 34 homers, 11 steals and a 1.097 OPS.
  28. Free agent Nick Castellanos could have a lot riding on his decision where to sign. He hit .359 with 23 homers and an 1.109 OPS at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park last year and .260 with 11 homers and a .772 OPS everywhere else.
  29. If it seemed like Jesse Winker could do no wrong for the 110 games he was healthy last year, you clearly weren't looking at his numbers vs. lefties, against whom he slashed .177/.288/.284.
  30. Hitters who have as many walks as strikeouts are like the gold standard for bat control these days, but what about one who has as many extra-base hits as strikeouts? Royals minor-leaguer Vinnie Pasquantino delivered the same number of all three (64) in 2021. He's 86th in my top 100 prospects for 2022.
  31. Speaking of Royals prospects, first baseman Nick Pratto, 38th on my preseason top 100, hit .265 with 36 homers and a .988 OPS while catcher MJ Melendez, 49th on my preseason top 100, hit  .288 with 41 homers and a 1.011 OPS. What's so interesting about that? In 2019, the last minor-league season on record, they hit .191 and .163, respectively.
  32. The list of players to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases while walking at a 10 percent clip is a short one. It includes Fernando Tatis, Jose Ramirez, Shohei Ohtani and ... Robbie Grossman.
  33. Another 20/20 guy last year, Randy Arozarena had a respectable stat line overall, batting .274 while slugging .459. But as for his expected stats, according to Statcast? A .220 batting average and .366 slugging percentage. Those discrepancies are among the biggest for any full-time player.
  34. Now for the pitcher version. An impressive 14-start stretch at the end of the year left the Guardians' Cal Quantrill with a 2.89 ERA, but that's compared to a 3.92 xERA, a 4.43 xFIP and a 4.52 SIERA.
  35. How about the opposite end of the spectrum? Aaron Nola's 4.63 ERA was the fifth-highest among qualifiers, but he also had a 3.37 xERA, a 3.37 xFIP and a 3.26 SIERA. His strikeout rate was the second-highest of his career and his walk rate the lowest.
  36. The only player to outperform Adam Duvall in both home runs (38) and RBI (113) last year was the major-league leader in each, Salvador Perez.
  37. Rangers outfielder Adolis Garcia was among just five players with at least 31 homers and 16 steals last year, the others being Fernando Tatis, Jose Ramirez, Shohei Ohtani and Javier Baez.
  38. Splitting his time between the rotation and bullpen last year, Phillies left-hander Ranger Suarez had a 1.36 ERA, which is maybe all that needs to be said here. But the last time a pitcher had an ERA that low while making 12 or more starts was ... well, OK, Jacob deGrom also did it last year. But before that? Bob Gibson in 1968.
  39. According to FanGraphs, Ian Happ put the ball on the ground 50.8 percent of the time over the first four months and hit .180 with 10 homers and a .619 OPS. He put the ball on the ground 39.4 percent of the time over the final two months and hit .288 with 15 homers and a .944 OPS.
  40. Byron Buxton was one of only three players to finish the year with OPS over 1.000, Vladimir Guerrero and Bryce Harper being the others. Buxton played only 61 games. Guerrero's 161 may be an unrealistic goal, so let's use Harper's 141. Pace Buxton's totals over that same number, and he winds up with 43 homers and 20 steals. Only two players this century have put together a season with 40 homers, 20 steals and an OPS over 1.000: Christian Yelich and Alex Rodriguez (twice).
  41. Braves right-hander Spencer Strider, who cruised through all four minor-league levels before a late-season cameo last year, altogether had a 21.0 percent swinging-strike rate in the minors. The major-league leader among qualifiers (Corbin Burnes) had a rate of only 16.6 percent. Even Jacob deGrom, in his limited sample of 15 starts, barely topped Strider at 21.6 percent.
  42. Frankie Montas went from having a 4.63 ERA in his first 17 starts to a 2.11 ERA over his final 15, a stretch that coincided with him throwing his splitter more. His swinging-strike rate jumped from 11.8 percent to a Max Scherzer-like 15.9 percent.
  43. Montas wasn't the only one to up his whiff game down the stretch. Sandy Alcantara's rate jumped to 16.2 percent over his final 10 starts, a mark that would have only been topped by Corbin Burnes among full-season qualifiers.
  44. Despite his reputation as a workhorse, Lance Lynn was anything but last year. Only half of his 28 starts lasted six inning or more.
  45. Excellent though Max Fried's 3.04 ERA was to finish the year, it was still a far cry from the 2.25 mark he put together during the pandemic-shortened 2020. Then again, if you eliminate his first three starts, when he was clearly pitching through injury, his ERA drops to 2.44.
  46. The leader among qualifiers in ground-ball rate was Luis Castillo at 56.6 percent, but two of the hottest pitchers down the stretch, Logan Webb and Ranger Suarez, both bettered him in that regard. Webb finished with a 60.9 percent rate and Suarez with a 59.2 percent rate.
  47. Of course, if we're opening the door to non-qualifiers like that, Framber Valdez stands head and shoulders above the rest at 70.3 percent.
  48. And let's not overlook Aaron Ashby, the left-hander who many are hoping will assume a spot in the Brewers rotation this year. Working mostly in long relief last year, he turned in a ground-ball rate of 61.3 percent.
  49. Blake Snell entered August with a 5.44 ERA, averaging just 4.4 innings per start. He'd go on to have a 1.83 ERA over his final eight starts, going seven-plus innings and recording double-digit strikeouts in four of them.
  50. Rangers first base prospect Dustin Harris had one of the biggest breakouts of any minor-leaguer, slashing .327/.401/.542 while hitting 20 homers and stealing 25 bases in 110 games. All the more impressive is that he had just one home run through the first 41 of those games. In fact, prior to his second home run of 2021, he had hit a grand total of two in 99 career games.
  51. Marlins left-hander Trevor Rogers went six-plus innings in nine of his first 14 starts, compiling a 1.87 ERA. He went six-plus innings in none of his final 11 starts, compiling a 3.86 ERA.
  52. During the pandemic-shortened 2020, only one of Walker Buehler's starts lasted six innings or more. Last year, all but four did. He ranked third in innings per start among those with at least 30, behind only Zack Wheeler and Adam Wainwright.
  53. Speaking of Wainwright, the 40-year-old had seven starts of eight innings or more. He ranked among the top 10 pitchers in both points and 5x5 scoring and has a 3.08 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 42 starts since the start of 2020.
  54. How good was Twins prospect Jose Miranda between Double- and Triple-A last year? In case his .344 batting average and 30 home runs don't speak for themselves, here's some additional context: Since 2011, only three players -- Miguel Cabrera (twice), Mookie Betts and Josh Hamilton -- have reached both thresholds in a major-league season. And none of them did so with a better strikeout rate than Miranda's 12.5 percent.
  55. Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen finished a down year on a high note with a 3.19 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 9.8 K/9 over his final eight starts. Of course, his swinging-strike rate during that stretch was still only 8.6 percent, which is a far cry from the 12.1 percent rate he had in 2020.
  56. While Luis Castillo had a 2.73 ERA over the final four months, rebounding from a 7.22 ERA over the first two, his other numbers didn't follow suit. During that same span, he had just a 1.20 WHIP and 9.6 K/9.