Hanley Ramirez and 4 MLB Stars Who Are Heating Up

Steven Slivka@@StevenSlivkaCorrespondent IIIJune 6, 2012

Hanley Ramirez and 4 MLB Stars Who Are Heating Up

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    The MLB All Star Game may be a month away, but it has taken some of the game's biggest stars 50 games to finally hit their stride.

    Every season there seems to be that one unknown who takes the majors by storm. This season, Angels' 3B Mark Trumbo is that guy, batting .337 with 12 HR and 37 RBI.

    But for every young gun making his name in MLB, there are always a handful of big-name players struggling to find their swing.

    All-star-caliber athletes don't stay cold for long, and this season isn't any different.

Jimmy Rollins

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    .247, 2 HR, 13 RBI

    The batting average isn't ideal for any leadoff hitter, especially one with the talent Jimmy Rollins possesses.

    However, he is batting .370 over the last week and has a pair of triples, a home run and five RBI.

    The struggling Phillies are a game under .500 and are sitting in last place of the horse race that is the NL East. Philadelphia has struggled greatly this season, and the lack of production from Rollins is a main reason why.

    Rollins only had 20 hits in the first month of the season but finished May with 28 hits. With seven hits in the first five games of June, he seems to be finding the swing that helped make him a three-time All Star.

Bryce Harper

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    .288, 5 HR, 14 RBI

    Since the Nationals 19-year-old phenom Bryce Harper made his MLB debut at Dodger Stadium on April 28, he has been everything Washington has hoped for.

    Harper's walk-off 12th inning single in the Nationals' 7-6 win last night over the Mets was just another highlight for the fast start to his rookie season.

    With only 33 MLB games under his belt, Harper has already collected 36 hits and has at least one base knock in nine of his last 10 games.

    It was only three weeks ago when he threw his temper tantrum in the dugout in Cincinnati, giving himself ten stitches and a black eye. A very childish act. 

    Now, Harper is proving that he was worth being chosen No. 1 overall and has the Nationals one game ahead of the Miami Marlins for first place in the NL East.

Miguel Cabrera

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    .321, 11 HR, 45 RBI

    Miguel Cabrera is no stranger to success. The 29-year-old 3B already has a World Series ring and 288 career HR in just nine seasons in MLB.

    Cabrera finished April with seven homers and 22 RBI but had a power struggle in May, only collecting two dingers and 20 RBI. While his power numbers took a dip, his batting average went from .298 to .331 in that span.

    He went from two doubles in April to 11 doubles in May, proving that he can also be deadly when hitting for contact.

    Besides Justin Verlander, Cabrera has been the lone bright spot for a Tigers team that is five games under .500 and in third place in a very weak AL Central. If not for Cabrera putting up solid numbers, who knows have far down Detroit could be in the standings?

    Cabrera is batting .462 with six doubles and has a .923 slugging percentage in his last seven games. With that kind of consistency, it's only a matter of time until he starts racking up the homers.

Joey Votto

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    .350, 9 HR, 35 RBI

    After an April that was showered with mediocrity for Joey Votto, the Reds franchise first baseman has played like a man worthy of making $251.5 million over the next 12 years.

    Votto increased his batting average 66 points, going from .289 at the end of April to .355 at the end of May. He has 10 hits over his last 15 at bats and has put together an 11-game hitting streak as the first-place Reds look to continue their dominance in the NL Central.

    Six of Votto's last 10 games have been multi-hit games, including two four-hit games. His .350 BA ranks fifth-best in MLB and Cincinnati will go as far as Votto's hot bat leads them.

Hanley Ramirez

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    .272, 11 HR, 37 RBI

    After the off-season acquisitions of big names like Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell, Hanley Ramirez seemed to be lost in the glamor of the new-look Miami Marlins.

    It took 10 games for Ramirez to get his batting average over the .200 mark, and the rest of the Marlins' offense sputtered along with him.

    Ramirez finished an abysmal April with a .207 BA, 17 hits and only collected two base knocks in his last nine games. He began to find his stride as the calendar turned to May and collected nine hits during Miami's eight-game winning streak.

    Ramirez concluded the second month of the season with a .322 BA, 115 points higher than the previous month. His productivity has been vital to the Marlins' success, and he has helped catapult them from six games under .500 to seven games over and only one game behind Washington in the NL East.

    Ramirez struggled early on during the 2011 season but found his swing shortly before the All Star Game. After a shoulder injury ended his 2011 season earlier than expected, Ramirez is slowly but surely bouncing back to the All Star-form Marlins fans have seen before.