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10 remarkable stats from a wet and wild April

Didi, D-backs, Ohtani highlight standouts from opening month
MLB.com @castrovince

We've had a record number of pre-May postponements (28) in Major League Baseball, so here's hoping all those April showers lead to May flowers. (Hey, the Braves already activated catcher Tyler Flowers over the weekend after he missed most of April, so things are already looking up!)

But there are other non-weather-related numbers of note from the season's opening month. With one April day left to play, here are 10 early stats that stand out.

We've had a record number of pre-May postponements (28) in Major League Baseball, so here's hoping all those April showers lead to May flowers. (Hey, the Braves already activated catcher Tyler Flowers over the weekend after he missed most of April, so things are already looking up!)

But there are other non-weather-related numbers of note from the season's opening month. With one April day left to play, here are 10 early stats that stand out.

23.9
Percent of Didi Gregorius plate appearances to end in a home run or a walk. Gregorius has hit 10 homers and drawn 18 walks against just 13 strikeouts. His 24.4-percent homer/fly-ball rate, 15.4-percent walk rate and 11.1-percent strikeout rate are all markedly better than his career norms (9.5, 6.0 and 14.4, respectively). The only Yankees players to hit more home runs prior to May 1 are Alex Rodriguez (14 in 2007) and Graig Nettles (11 in 1974). We spent all winter salivating over the statistical possibilities presented by the pairing of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, and this spring CC Sabathia stated what a lot of people in the industry were whispering -- that Gary Sanchez could be the best hitter in the Yanks' lineup. But in the season's first month, Gregorius has probably been the best player in baseball. He's even got that rare road curtain call in Anaheim to show for it.

9
Consecutive series wins by the D-backs to open the season. They became just the second National League team to win their first nine series, joining the 1907 Cubs. And the last club to do it in either league was the 2001 Mariners, who went on to tie a Major League record with 116 wins. The D-backs are also 5-1 against the Dodgers team widely predicted to win its sixth straight NL West title. Arizona's awesome start is all the more impressive when you consider it's done it without key offseason acquisition Steven Souza Jr., with Jake Lamb limited to just four games and with Taijuan Walker robbed from the rotation by Tommy John surgery. (And they lost Robbie Ray to an oblique injury on Sunday.)

Video: D-backs open season with nine straight series wins

22
Extra-base hits for Ozzie Albies, who leads the Majors in that category (nine homers, 12 doubles, one triple). Albies fell one extra-base hit shy of the all-time pre-May record held by Jermaine Dye (2000), but according to Elias Sports Bureau, Albies' total is the highest before the end of April for a player aged 21 or younger (the previous high was 17 for Albert Pujols in 2001). Oh, and the Braves also have someone named Ronald Acuna Jr., who has been in the big leagues for like a minute and a half and already has five extra-base hits. How quickly the look of that Atlanta lineup has changed.

Video: ATL@PHI: Albies plates two with a double to right

1.05
Ratio of strikeouts to hits in March/April. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there has never been a month in the game's long history in which the strikeout total exceeded the hit total, but here (inevitably) we are, with the strikeout total (7,163) exceeding the hits total (6,808) by a -- ahem -- striking margin. A new strikeout-rate record has been set each season since 2008, so we've been bound for new territory for a while. Last year was the first season in which more than a third (33.5 percent) of plate appearances ended in a strikeout, home run or walk (the so-called "three true outcomes"). This year, that percentage is up to 34.6 so far.

36
Walks for Bryce Harper. Barry Bonds is the only player to walk more before the start of May, having drawn 39 walks at the start of 2004. With the Nationals' lineup decimated by injury, there's been little reason for opposing pitchers to give Harper much to hit. To his credit, he's putting up disciplined at-bats and then pouncing when he can, with eight homers so far. Harper is already closing in on his 2014 walk total of 38, and he's more than halfway to his 2017 total of 68. His 28.5-percent walk rate is miles beyond his career norm (14.5).

Video: WSH@NYM: Harper breaks bat, launches 406-ft. smash

5.3
Mike Trout's swing-and-miss percentage, per FanGraphs. This puts Trout ninth among qualified hitters. More notably, it continues a reduction of swinging K's for Trout, whose percentage was 7.5 in 2015, 7.1 in '16 and 6.1 last year. Right now, Trout is at a swing-and-miss percentage comparable to Joey Votto's 5.7 mark last year. Baseball's best player is -- gulp -- getting better. Pitchers can no longer exploit Trout up and in like they did when that area was exposed as his lone weakness in his 184-strikeout season of '14, because he's made an adjustment and closed the hole. Trout has never led the league in homers, but having already reached double digits, this could be the year he does just that. His .631 slugging percentage is 63 points higher than his career norm.

Video: Trout becomes fastest to 10 homers in Angels history

14
Number of no-hit or perfect-game bids of at least six innings already this season, with the Pirates' Nick Kingham becoming the latest on Sunday before his was broken up in the seventh. Per Elias, there were just 24 such performances in all of 2017. In that same vein, there have already been 15 games that have ended with a 1-0 score. Per MLB Network's research, there were just 29 such games all of last year.

Video: Kingham flirts with perfect game in MLB debut

0.84
Johnny Cueto's ERA. Per STATS LLC, there have only been 10 lower ERA marks for a pitcher with at least five starts in the opening month. In an injury-marred 2017, Cueto had a 4.52 ERA in 25 starts. He has bounced back in a big way, and his opponents' BABIP is extraordinarily -- and, yes, unsustainably -- low, at .185.

Video: SF@LAA: Cueto hurls six scoreless, lowers ERA to 0.35

97
That's how many years it had been since a player had earned a win on the mound and hit a home run in a start as a non-pitcher in consecutive games before Shohei Ohtani did it on April 1 and April 3. The last guy to do it, of course, was Babe Ruth in 1921. Ohtani went on to become just the fourth player in the modern era with 25 or more pitching strikeouts and four or more batting homers in a month, joining Wes Ferrell, Don Drysdale and Fergie Jenkins. Ohtani's rare role means he's probably going to inspire research of a lot of these statistical oddities this season. Oh, baby.

Video: NYY@LAA: Statcast™ measures Ohtani's 112-mph HR

58.5
Strikeout percentage for the Brewers' Josh Hader. In Major League history, only two times has a pitcher who has faced at least 150 batters struck out at least half of them -- Aroldis Chapman (52.5) in 2014 and Craig Kimbrel (50.2) in '12. Right now, both Hader and the Rockies' Adam Ottavino (54.9) are on that pace. Hader is the perfect poster boy not just for the growing K rates but for the growing trend of multi-inning relief appearances, as seven of the young left-hander's 10 appearances this year have been for more than three outs.

Video: MIL@NYM: Hader retires Bruce to earn a six-out save

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.