Fowler making impact as Astros' No. 3 hitter
KANSAS CITY -- With George Springer again stealing headlines on Monday night, it would have been easy to miss a special night from Dexter Fowler.
Like Springer, Fowler reached base in all five plate appearances in the Astros' 9-2 win over the Royals. Fowler singled twice and walked three times.
Since manager Bo Porter installed Fowler into the three-spot of the lineup, a potent 1-2-3 punch from the top of the order has formulated. Second baseman Jose Altuve leads off (and leads the Majors in hits), Springer slots into the two-hole, with Fowler acting as the unconventional No. 3 hitter.
Fowler has occupied the three-hole for 11 of the last 13 games, and the only reason he batted second in those other two games was because of Springer's absence. Fowler has seen time in all three of the top spots, but has been most successful in the three-hole, where he had posted a .333/.483/.444 line in 13 games entering Tuesday's action.
Fowler does not mash home runs at the rate of a traditional No. 3 hitter (in fact, his .373 slugging percentage is a career low), but for what Fowler lacks in power he makes up for with the on-base skills he inherited during his six years with the Rockies when he primarily batted first and second.
"It is what you make it, obviously the situations are a little different, but I treat it like I'm a leadoff hitter," Fowler said.
Fowler's perfect Monday night at the plate upped his OBP to .381. He leads the American league in both walks (22) and OBP (.455) in May.