P.O.W. is our weekly tribute to those players who have had a tremendous week. We are currently in our MLB schedule at thesportspa.blogspot.com, so these articles will showcase the best hitting and pitching performances of the previous week.
I chose to focus solely on offense this week since so many players had great weeks. These, in no particular order, were the best offensive performances of the past week in my eyes.
1. Jorge Cantu-Marlins
Cantu missed a few games last week with a wrist injury. Since his return to the starting line-up on April 25, Jorge has been on an absolute tear.
In that span, he has a whopping five HR and 14 RBI. Easily my vote for NL player of the week.
He is now hitting .365 with seven HR and 22 RBI on the season. The Marlins were losing while he was out, but have been winning since his return, so I'm sure they are happy the wrist injury wasn't serious.
He is owned in 97 percent of ESPN leagues, so he's probably not there in your league, but then again you could be one of the three percent. Just check.
2. Adrian Gonzalez-Padres
Gonzalez has really come to life over the past week, especially in the power department. Since last Friday, he has four HR and nine RBI.
The only downside to Gonzalez is that he whiffs quite a bit. He has struck out 22 times in 81 AB and only has 14 BB. You can't really tell right now, as he is hitting .333 on the season, but if he continues to strike out, and walk, at that rate I think he will struggle to stay above .300.
Plus, I think that teams will start to pitch around him more as the season goes on due to San Diego's lack of offensive threats, which could lead to lower power production, but more walks.
Not that you can complain much though because you drafted him for his power numbers, and he is tied for the league lead with nine HR. I'm just saying that the K's, and lack of BB, have been his only flaws so far in 2009.
3. Albert Pujols-Cardinals
Kind of stating the obvious here, but Pujols stayed hot over the past week. He has had two HR, seven RBI and five BB since April 25.
He is now hitting .337 with eight HR and a league leading 28 RBI on the year. If the season ended today, Pujols would be the NL MVP.
4. Chase Utley-Phillies
After a slow start, Utley has really turned things around over the past few weeks. Since April 24, he has three HR, eight RBI, four BB and has seen his average climb from .321 to .342.
Utley gets it done across the board, and is proving that second base is one of the deepest positions in 2009.
5. Carlos Pena-Devil Rays
Pena is keeping the power flowing for the Rays, as he has had three HR and seven RBI since April 24.
He is only hitting .256, but he leads the in HR and RBI. Again, you didn't draft him for his batting average, so you have to be happy with his production thus far.
6. Evan Longoria-Devil Rays
Longoria is heating up again, and it appears that the Rays are too. Before yesterday's HR against Boston, Longo hadn't homered since April 12.
He had five HR in his first six games, but you can't expect him to continue at that rate, and the RBI production from him has still been good. Still, that was a pretty long time without a HR, especially for his fantasy owners.
Over the past week he had one HR, eight RBI and four BB. He now has six HR on the season, and his 24 RBI place him atop the AL, tied with teammate Carlos Pena. Not to mention he is hitting .369.
At 23 years old, we can get used to seeing this for awhile. This kid is good.
7. Mike Lowell-Red Sox
Lowell pretty much makes the list because of one big game, against the Yankees on April 25. In that game he had one HR and six RBI. His total for the week was one HR and 7 RBI, so his power numbers pretty much fell off the rest of the week.
He is still hitting .310, has four HR, and his 23 RBI are second in the AL to only Pena and Longoria. He is owned in 85.1 percent of ESPN leagues after an increase of 35.8 percent over the past week.
He might still be there in your league, but I bet he won't be for long if he is.
8. Ian Kinsler-Rangers
Ian kept it going over the past week with two HR and four RBI. He now has seven HR and 20 RBI on the season.
His average is declining a bit from the gaudy number it was in the early going, but he is still hitting .322. He also has seven SB on the year, so he's another second baseman who produces for you across the board.
He's been fun to watch so far, and at 26 years old, we should be watching him produce for awhile.
9. Jason Bay-Red Sox
Bay had two big late innings HR's this past week, and the most impressive was the shot he hit off of Mariano Rivera to the deepest part of Fenway.
He had two HR, eight RBI and six BB, which makes for a excellent week at the plate. Bay is hitting .324 with five HR and 19 RBI on the year, and has walked 23 times, which leads the AL.
He is a big reason why Boston has been able to climb out of their early season struggles, and is now one of the hottest teams in all of baseball.
10. Nick Swisher-Yankees
Swisher heated back up this week with three HR, seven RBI and five BB.
He is now hitting .312 with seven HR and 19 RBI so far, which isn't bad for a guy who was signed to be a bench/role player.
He should continue to see good pitches to hit in that line-up, especially once A-Rod gets back. He is owned in 93.3 percent of ESPN leagues, so check and make sure he's not still sitting there in your league.
11. Justin Morneau-Twins
Morneau had two HR and seven RBI this past week. He is hitting .318 with five HR and 18 RBI on the year.
The Twins are expected to get Joe Mauer back soon, which should only help Morneau have more opportunities to produce, as Mauer is an excellent on-base guy.
12. Raul Ibanez-Phillies
The Phillies' players and fans are loving the addition of Ibanez to their team.
He kept it going this past week with two HR, six RBI and five BB. He is now hitting .359 with seven HR and 17 RBI on the season.
He may be 36, but he can still rake.
13. Dan Uggla-Marlins
Uggla had two HR, five RBI and four BB this past week.
The power numbers are still there, but the average has not been at all, as he is hitting only .218 on the year.
Maybe he will build on this week's performance and get that batting average heading North. He won't hit .300 for you, but he has got to do better than .218.
14. Torii Hunter-Angels
Hunter has been carrying the Angels all season, and will have to continue to do so now that Vladimir Guerrero is on the DL.
Hunter has another great week with two HR and five RBI. He is now hitting .325 with eight HR and 16 RBI.
Hunter has had an All-star caliber season so far, and barring injury, I don't see him fading off much.
15. Howie Kendrick-Angels
Kendrick is still alive? Finally, some production from the guy!
Howie had a big week with two HR, eight RBI and two SB. He has also managed to raise his batting average to a more respectable .260.
He is owned in 90.6 percent of ESPN leagues, so you might check to see if he's available.
Honestly, I don't see him being able to keep it up. If I owned him, I would sell high.
16. Kurt Suzuki-A's
Suzuki had a good week this past week, or so, with one HR and eight RBI. These stats date back to April 21, but I went ahead and gave him the nod.
In a year where production at the catcher position has been pretty thin, Suzuki has great numbers.
He is owned in only 17.2 percent of ESPN leagues, so pick him up if he's still around in your league.
17. Robinson Cano-Yankees
Cano stayed hot this past week with two HR and six RBI. He hit both of the HR in one game against the Red Sox, but is still heads over heels above where he was at this time last season.
He is hitting .366 with five HR and 16 RBI on the year. Those owners who gambled on him should be happy with the results so far.
18. Shane Victorino-Phillies
Victorino had a big week for the defending champs with two HR and 10 RBI. He is now hitting .286 with three HR and 15 RBI on the year.
It looks like he is heating up after a slow start, and it will be interesting to see if he can keep it going.
19. Kendry Morales-Angels
After a slow start, Morales has really picked it up over the past week and a half or so. Since April 22 he has three HR and 10 RBI.
He is now hitting .273 with three HR and 14 RBI on the year, and as you can see much of that production was done in the time-span mentioned above.
He is owned in only 8.7 percent of ESPN leagues, so if you are thin at OF he could help you out if he can stay hot.
20. Curtis Granderson-Tigers
Granderson had two HR and five RBI this past week.
The average is still low at .241, but the power numbers are coming along, as he now has seven HR and 15 RBI.
He has struck out twice as much as he has walked, which is probably a big reason for the low average and OBP, but his owners have to be happy with the power production.
21. Alfonso Soriano-Cubs
Soriano is off to a good start in 2009. He had two HR and five RBI this past week to give him seven HR and 14 RBI on the year.
He is hitting .272, which is acceptable with that kind of power production, but has stuck out 23 times to only 11 BB. You love the power stats, but you would like to see him improve on the K:BB ratio.
22. Michael Young-Rangers
Michael Young has picked up his production over the past week with Josh Hamilton DTD with a rib cage injury.
Batting third now with Hamilton's injury, Young had two HR and four RBI this past week. He is hitting .294, and is a career .300 hitter, but it's especially nice to see the power numbers. He now has six HR and 13 RBI in 2009.
He won the Gold Glove at SS in 2008, and is now playing 3B to make room for young prospect Elvis Andrus. He is still eligible at SS, which boosts his value quite a bit since SS production has been pretty brutal so far this season.
Quite an extensive list, but I think that all of these players deserved some props. Tune in next Friday for the upcoming week's best performances.