Performances Of The Week: MLB Week Two

Bret HoffmanCorrespondent IApril 16, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 15:  Ian Kinsler #5 of the Texas Rangers celebrates a solo homerun while wearing jersey #42 to commemorate Jackie Robinson day during a game against the Baltimore Orioles on April 15, 2009 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

"P.O.W" is our weekly tribute to those players who have had a tremendous week. We are currently in our MLB schedule at, so these articles will showcase the best hitting and pitching performances of the previous week. These performances stand out in my eyes.

1) Ian Kinsler

Wearing Jackie Robinson's number 42, Ian went six for six against the Orioles on Wednesday night, becoming only the second Ranger to ever have six hits in a game. Alfonso Soriano was able to accomplish this same feat in 2004, but needed extra innings to do so. Kinsler only need eight innings, and could have possibly hit again in the 9th if the Rangers weren't the home team.

Plus, Kinsler hit for the cycle. The most amazing part of it to me was that he accomplished it by the sixth inning. He became only the fourth Ranger to ever hit for the cycle, and he also tied a Ranger record by scoring five runs.

Kinsler is now hitting .474, second in the AL, with three HR and a league leading 13 RBI.

2) Nelson Cruz

Another Ranger, but believe me he's deserving as well. Cruz has homered three times since last Friday, which gives him a share of the league lead in HR at five.

He is hitting .278 for the year with 12 RBI as well. He is currently owned in 86.7 percent of ESPN leagues, so if he's still there in yours you better move quickly.

3) Andruw Jones

Another Ranger, I know, I know. But keep an eye on Jones, who is hitting .545 with one HR and four RBI in just 11 AB. If he can stay hot, I don't see how he won't see more playing time.

He is only owned in 5.5 percent of ESPN leagues, so he might be worth a gamble if you need some OF help. Plus, he might earn some time at DH.

4) Christian Guzman

Guzman is leading the league in batting average at .515. He is 11 for 19 since last Friday, but missed a few games due to a strained hamstring. He is expected to return this weekend, so the injury does not appear to be serious.

He is only owned in 26.9 percent of ESPN leagues, so grab him if you need middle infield help. He was an All-star in 2008, but keep in mind that he does play for the Nationals.

5) Miguel Cabrera

Miggy is the AL leader in batting average at .486, and is off to a torrid start. Quite the opposite of last year, huh?

He kept his great season going this past week by slugging two HR and eight RBI. He has a hit in eight of his first nine games, and multiple hits in six of the nine. He is top five in batting average, HR and RBI. Can you say possible triple crown?

He's putting up MVP type numbers, and rewarding those fantasy owners who took him early. He's still only 25 years old, so we might even see more out of Cabrera as he reaches his peak. Keeper league owners, hold onto him.

6) Kevin Youkilis

Youkis keeping it going as well. He is hitting .472 with two HR and five RBI. Much like Cabrera, Youkilis has at least one hit in eight of his first nine games, and multiple hits in seven of the nine.

Youkilis is just a great hitter. He has great vision, and is a solid fantasy producers across the board. He's in the prime of his career, enjoy it while you can.

7) Chase Utley

Utley has turned it up a notch over the past week. He has raised his average to .400, he finally hit his first HR of the season, and he has five RBI.

He should have no problems with the Nationals these next couple of games either, so expect the hot streak to continue.

8) Carlos Pena

After a very dismal start, Pena had a good week this week, raising his average to a respectable .278.

He has three HR and nine RBI since Sunday, and the bulk of this production came in a three game series versus the Yankees, which is definitely a good sign.

Pena looks primed to finish the year with very solid numbers.

9) Alfonso Soriano

Soriano is leading the NL in HR with four. His average of .306 is good, and his seven RBI aren't bad either. He has been hot over the past week or so, with two HR and five RBI since Saturday.

10) Albert Pujols

The batting average has dropped a bit, to .342, but the power and production have been cranked up a few notches.

Sir Albert has three HR and 11 RBI since Saturday, which now makes him the NL leader in RBI at 13.

Albert is great, but you already knew that. At 29, he is in the prime of his career. He is a lock to hit .300 with very good power numbers too. Can't ask for much more out of one person. Albert is still the king.

11) Orlando Hudson

The O-Dog hit for the cycle this past week as well, on Monday against the Giants. His cycle was not quite as impressive as Kinsler's, but not many are, and a cycle is still a cycle.

Hudson is hitting .368 with two HR and five RBI. He is only owned in 72.3 percent of ESPN leagues, so grab him if you are weak up the middle.

12) Zack Grienke

Has yet to give up an earned run. He leads the AL in SO with 16, and is 2-0 to start the year. He's only 25, and looks to be legit.

Remember that he plays for the Royals, so limit your expectations a little. The Royals are playing better so far in 2009, but who knows if it will last.

13) Dan Uggla

Uggla had a lot of his fantasy owners worried with a terribly slow start, but has rebounded recently to respectable stats. He is hitting .300 now, with two HR and and 12 RBI.

Since last Friday, Uggla has one HR and 7 RBI. Let's just hope he can keep it up.

14) Mike Cameron

Cameron has a good batting average, who wouldathunk it? He is somehow hitting .370 with three HR and five RBI. He's a career .251, so one would expect to see his average come back down to earth at some point, but who knows.

He went three for three on Wednesday, with two HR and three RBI. He's hot right now, which is why he earned this spot.

He's owned in 93.5 percent of leagues as of now. If he's available, pick him up and hope it continues, but don't be surprised if it doesn't.

15) Armando Galarraga

Had another good outing on Wednesday against the White Sox, throwing 6.1 scoreless innings and striking out five. He has an ERA of .68 and a WHIP of .90 over his first two starts.

He is owned in 79.5 percent of ESPN, so pick him up to help your staff out.

16) Kyle Lohse

Threw a complete game shutout against the Astros last Sunday to improve to 2 and 0 on the year.

He has only given up eight hits over 16 innings of work so far, and his WHIP of .56 is incredible.
He has an ERA of 1.13 and eight SO.

He won 15 games for the Cardinals in 2008, so maybe he has finally found a home.

He is still only owned in 41.6 percent of ESPN leagues. I would definitely pick him up, you have little to lose and everything to gain.

Other Notables

Josh Johnson has been great so far for the Marlins.

Emilio Bonifacio is sting going strong. He is 17 for 43, or a .395 average. He is now owned in 91.1 percent of leagues, and looks to be the early pick-up of the year.

Jarrod Washburn has been good so far for the Mariners. He has an ERA of 1.29 and a WHIP of .71, which ranks him first in the AL. He is only owned in 7.3 percent of leagues, so those of you struggling at pitcher might give him a shot.


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