Fantasy Baseball 2013: Slumping Stars Ready to Break out
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April is the baseball season in which players have the opportunity to carryover a hot spring or start fresh after a potentially rough spring.
Whatever the case, there are inevitably players who stumble out of the gates. That's baseball.
The next leg (or month, if you will) of the marathon that is the MLB season is in May. May is the month in which players can prove their lousy April's were a fluke...or not.
Let's take a look at a few players that slumped in April but are primed for a big May and beyond.
Victor Martinez, Designated Hitter, Detroit Tigers
A career .300 hitter, Victor Martinez is hitting just .220 on the year with one home run and 14 runs batted in.
The Tigers' designated hitter could not string together any good hitting performances in April.
This may be changing, however, as Martinez currently has a four-game hitting streak. It isn't anything special, but it may be a sign of improvement. Another positive sign for Martinez is the way he is making contact. He has only struck out 13 times in the young season.
As Lynn Henning of the Detroit News points out, Martinez is hitting the ball hard rather frequently. Unfortunately, those hard hit balls are ending up in defender's gloves.
If those hits start to find holes, look for Martinez's average to steadily increase, followed in tandem by RBI.
Adrian Beltre, Third Bade/Designated Hitter, Texas Rangers
A good start to May was just what the doctor ordered for the struggling Adrian Beltre, and that good start has been made a reality.
After an April which saw Beltre bat .232 with five home runs and only 11 RBI, the Rangers' third baseman may have found his groove. In five games so far in May, Beltre has at least one hit in four of those games and is batting .381 with five RBI already.
Beltre looks to have forgotten about April and is taking his frustration out on pitchers in May.
While Adrian Beltre is getting up there in age, his drive and focus are still reminiscent of a budding young star.
He is a proud player who will make sure his average and run-production reach his standards come the end of the year, if not by the end of the month.
Josh Hamilton, Right Fielder, Los Angeles Angels
So far this season, through 31 games, Hamilton is hitting an abysmal .208 with a mere two home runs and nine runs batted in.
And the worst stat of all: 38 strikeouts, tying Hamilton for seventh most in the majors this season.
It is impossible to give up on a player like Hamilton after just one month. Granted, it wasn't just a bad April, it was an ugly April. He has proven, however, that when he is seeing the ball well, he is usually also seeing the ball soar over fences when he makes solid contact.
A power hitter like Hamilton doesn't lose that strength overnight, so now it is just a matter of time before he starts to mash the way he did with the Texas Rangers.
It will all start with plate discipline and consistent contact for Josh Hamilton.
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