Fantasy Baseball: Three Up, Three Down

Nick AllenCorrespondent IMay 6, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 26:  Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals bats against the New York Mets on April 26, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Today, I am going to take a look at some of the hottest hitters in baseball. Along with that I will include some of the struggling hitters.


Ryan Zimmerman

Yesterday, Zimmerman extended his hit streak to 23 consecutive games. The streak is the longest in Nationals history and the third longest in franchise history.

During the streak—basically the whole season—Zimmerman is 35 for 99 with a .354 batting average, five home runs including a multiple home run game against the Phillies, and 19 RBI. Of the 25 games he has played in this season he has accumulated a hit in 24 of them. He also had a career best four hit performance on Monday.

Zimmerman faces Kershaw tonight in hopes of keeping the streak alive. Zimmerman is 2 for 5 (.400) against Kershaw in his career and 5 for 21 (.238) against left handed pitchers this season.

He is owned in around 98 percent of ESPN fantasy baseball leagues, he should be owned in all of them. He is only 24 years old and looking like an elite third basemen.

Zimmerman would need a hit in each of his next 22 games to tie the NL record of 45 consecutive games set by Willie Keeler. He would need a hit in each of his next 33 games to tie the MLB record of 56 set by Joe DiMaggio. He would have a long way to go if he were to break any of these records.

Anyway, he should definitely be owned in every fantasy league. If he is available in your league pick him up immediately.

Shane Victorino

Victorino went 4 for 5 with three runs, a home run, and three RBI in yesterday's game against the Cardinals. That makes him 32 for 104 with 23 runs, four home runs, 19 RBI, three stolen bases, and an average of .308 on the season.

Victorino also has a hitting streak going, some people may not have known about that because of Zimmerman's hitting streak. Anyway he has gotten a hit in each of his last 14 games. During his 14 game hitting streak, he is 23 for 63 with 15 RBI, 15 runs, and a .365 batting average.

He puts his streak on the line tonight against Johan Santana. I think the streak ends today.

Against Johan all time, Victorino is 1 for 12 with a .083 average. Against the Mets this season he is 3 for 10 with a .300 batting average. Also, he is 9 for 25 against left handed pitchers this season, not bad numbers but tonight he faces the best.

Victorino could have a 20-20 season this year. He has the speed, he only has three stolen bases but will eventually surpass 20.

Last year he had 36 stolen bases in only 146 games, and the year before he had 37 in only 131 games. Assuming he stays healthy he is a lock for 30+ steals. 

The only question is his power. Last season he had 14 home runs which was also a career high, but he hasn't played a full year yet. The promising thing is his home run numbers have improved each year and he already has four this year.

He probably isn't available in your league. He is owned in 99.2 percent so I doubt he's in waivers. If he is, pick him up.

Justin Upton

So far this season, Upton is 21 for 77 with 12 runs, four home runs, 12 RBI, a stolen base, and his batting average is .273.

Upton also has a hitting streak going, he has recorded a hit in each of his last 12 games. Another notable hit streak that hasn't been mentioned much. During his hitting streak he is 15 for 41 with nine runs, four home runs, 11 RBI, and an average of .366.

Tonight he faces Jake Peavy this will be the first time he faces Peavy in his career. Although, he is 17 for 58 with three home runs, and a batting average of .293. I'm interesting in seeing his at-bat against Peavy, knowing they have never faced off before.

Upton is only 21 years old. He has a lot of power (three days ago he hit a 450 foot home run) last year he had 15 home runs in 108 games. Just remember he is only 21 and still developing. He isn't much for speed, he has been caught stealing more times (5) then he has stole a base (4).

Upton is owned in 84.7 percent of ESPN fantasy baseball leagues. He should be owned in more, especially in keeper or dynasty leagues.


B.J. Upton

Upton is struggling this season going 13 for 83 with 13 runs, zero home runs, three RBI, six stolen bases, with a .157 average, and 28 strike outs. 

Looks like B.J. is getting a run for his money by his little brother. He is losing every major offensive category to his brother besides runs and stolen bases.

Although he was on the DL for the most of the April. He also had a streak of his own going, just not the kind of streak you want to be known for. Yesterday, he snapped out of a 20 at-bat hittless streak which is the longest of his career.

He faces the A.J. Burnett and the Yankees today, Upton is 4 for 18 (.222) against Burnett all-time, 2 for 11 (.182) against the Yankees this season, and 11 for 64 (.172) against right handed pitchers this season.

He could easily be a 20-20 guy. In 2007 he hit 24 home runs and stole 22 bases. Last year he only had nine home runs but 44 stolen bases. He has the potential, and already has a good start on the stolen bases with six, but hasn't hit a home run yet.

Do not drop Upton, he will break out soon, mark it down.

He is available in only 1.9 percent of ESPN leagues after being dropped by impatient owners, if your league is one of the few, pick him up and stash him on your bench.

Garrett Atkins

On the season, Atkins is 22 for 94 with 12 runs, three, home runs, 13 RBI, and a .234 batting average.

The Rockies are currently 10-15 and sitting at the bottom of their division. If that keeps up and they are out of contention, Atkins will likely be dealt. Depending on where he goes, this could be bad or good news for Atkins.

He faces Randy Johnson tonight, all time against Johnson he is 4 for 17 (.235) with a home run, against the Giants this season he is 2 for 10 (.200) and against left handed pitchers this season he is 7 for 27 (.259) with a home run.

Atkins will get you a good amount of home runs (in the 20's possibly low 30's). He has eclipsed the 20 home run mark in each of his last three seasons, with his highest being 29.

He isn't much for steals though, I would expect at most 3 stolen bases from him this season.

All of his stats besides runs have declined in the past three years, not a good sign. He is still fairly young at 29 years.

Geovany Soto

The struggling Cubs' catcher is batting .167 on the season. He is 10 for 60 with four runs, zero home runs, and four RBI.

I expect Soto to turn around soon, and he may have already started to, he is on a little four game hit streak where he has recorded one run and two RBI.

No home runs yet is a bit of a disappointment. I expect him to break out of his slump very soon.

Tonight he faces Mike Hampton, who he has never faced before. I can tell you he is 1 for 5 (.200) this season against Houston, and 8 for 3 (.375) against left handed pitchers.

Like Atkins, Soto will get you power and a decent average, despite not showing that this season. Last year he hit 23 home runs and had an average of .285. He is yet to steal a base in his career, he was thrown out on his first and only attempt.

I expect Soto to turn his season around and soon. He is available in about eight percent of ESPN fantasy baseball leagues, pick him up if he's available in your league.

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