Boston Red Sox legend Ted Williams is the last MLB player to bat .400 over a full season, having done so in 1941, and the mark has eluded even baseball's brightest stars for decades. However, with the upcoming season shortened due to the coronavirus pandemic and a nasty labor dispute, a few stars could have an opportunity to post a .400 batting average in 2020, albeit in a shortened season.
These five high-average bats are chasing that asterisk!
5. J.D. Martinez
Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez has batted over .300 in five of the last six seasons, a level of consistency which cannot be ignored. Just two years removed from a career-best .330 average, Martinez has all of the tools to post a .400 average in the shortened 2020 season. While Mookie Betts is now in Los Angeles, Martinez's consistency speaks for itself, and another stellar season like 2020 could leave him flirting with a .400 average at year's end, considering he'll still be protected by Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers.
4. Anthony Rendon
Former Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon has been one of the league's best hitters in recent years, and should continue to produce with the Los Angeles Angels. Riding a three-year streak of .300+ batting averages, the 30-year-old slugger has the momentum to reach the .400 plateau. Joining Mike Trout in Los Angeles certainly won't hurt either, as having an elite running mate could relieve each player's burden and result in increased production.
3. Cody Bellinger
Cody Bellinger, the reigning NL MVP, established himself as one of baseball's best all-around players in 2019. Just 24 years old, the Dodgers slugger appears to have even more room for improvement, a terrifying thought for the rest of the majors. After batting a career-best .305 in 2019 after hitting in the .370s for the first several months, Bellinger could make an additional leap in 2020, especially in such a short regular season.
2. Christian Yelich
Christian Yelich has proven that he is among the MLB's best and most consistent hitters since joining the Milwaukee Brewers, and likely has a claim to the top spot on this list. Yelich has posted a batting average over .325 in each of his two seasons in Milwaukee, and has shown no signs of slowing down. The outfielder won NL MVP in 2018, and nearly won the award again in 2019, finishing second to Cody Bellinger.
1. Mike Trout
Mike Trout is the second Angels player on this list, and in all likelihood the most likely candidate to end the regular season with a .400 batting average. Trout boasts a .305 career batting average and is widely considered the best player in baseball. While the Angels have struggled to reach the playoffs in recent years, Trout could return his squad to the postseason with a strong year in the batter's box. Fans are familiar with his greatness, and nobody should be surprised if the future Hall-of-Famer posts an historic stat line in 2020.