With one month in the books, staff writer Tim Hubbard looks at some of this season's biggest surprises:
C | New York Mets
Talk about a lack of respect, 495 players were chosen at my draft and Buck was not among them. That's what a .192 batting average in 2012 will do for you. Jump to this season and all the 32-year-old journeyman has done is lead all catchers in runs (16), home runs (10) and RBIs (29).
OF | Baltimore
McLouth's career was in a major free fall when he was released by Pittsburgh last June. He was coming off seasons in which he hit .190 and .228 with Atlanta, and was hitting .140 when the Pirates cut him loose. The move to Baltimore has paid off as McLouth was hitting .333 before Saturday and was tied for fourth in the majors with eight stolen bases.
SP | Boston
Plagued by various maladies the previous two seasons — stress fracture in his back in 2011; esophagitis in 2012 — the right-hander has been arguably baseball's best pitcher, jumping out to a 6-0 record, with a 1.01 ERA, 47 strikeouts and an 0.96 WHIP.
RP | Pittsburgh
Grilli, 36, was 1-6 last season and converted on only two of five save chances. This year he is perfect in 12 save opportunities, tops in the majors, and is doing so in impressive fashion (21 strikeouts, 0.69 ERA, 0.85 WHIP in 13 innings).