"Three Up, Three Down" is our Tuesday topic at the sportspa.blogspot.com during the MLB season. In these articles, we attempt to showcase three of the hottest hitters in baseball, and also three players whose fantasy stock has taken a hit.
These players are Up/Down in my eyes...
1. Ryan Zimmerman—Washington Nationals
I know everyone already knows about him, and he is nearly 100 percent owned, but I had to give him props anyway.
Zimmerman extended his hitting streak to 29 games on Monday, with a 4-for-5 performance against the Giants. He also homered twice in the game and had four RBI.
His batting average has gone from .333 to .363 over the past week. He also had three home runs and 10 RBI over that span.
So, he's not only hitting the ball, he's killing it. Zimmerman hit .289 during the month of April, and is hitting an amazing .511 through 45 at-bats in May, so it appears as if he is picking up steam.
Do I think he will get to DiMaggio's record 56-game hitting streak? No I do not, but it sure looks like the Nationals knew what they were doing when they signed the 24-year-old third baseman to that big extension.
2. Todd Helton—Colorado Rockies
Helton has come on strong over the past few weeks. He is now hitting .343 with three home runs and 18 RBI on the season, which is a solid stat line considering his slow start.
He is now owned in 41.6 percent of ESPN leagues after a 21.6 percent increase this past week, which means his stock is rising pretty rapidly.
Helton is a career .328 hitter, so his recent success isn't a fluke, and he should be owned in most formats, if not all of them.
3. Jesus Flores—Washington Nationals
Flores has played well for the Nats so far. He is hitting .311 with four home runs and 15 RBI on the year. These are solid numbers, especially for a catcher, and even more so for a player who is only owned in five percent of ESPN leagues.
He is DTD right now, with a minor shoulder bruise, but should be back in the lineup in the next few days, as it doesn't appear to be serious.
With the injuries at the position, and an overall lack of production from catchers in general, Flores makes for a good pick-up as long as he can keep doing what he's doing.
There are certainly worse performers out there who are owned in more leagues, and I just don't understand it.
Johnny Damon has been carrying the Yankees lately. During his current seven-game hitting streak, he is hitting .419 with five home runs and 15 RBI. He is now hitting .319 with nine home runs and 25 RBI on the season.
Miguel Tejada appears to be catching fire in Houston. He had two home runs and 11 RBI this past week. He is now hitting .316 with the two home runs and 16 RBI on the season. He is still available in nine percent of ESPN leagues, and should be owned in all of them due to poor production at the shortstop position.
Alberto Callaspo just keeps on hitting for the Royals. He is hitting .340 through 103 at-bats, with two home runs and 12 RBI. He is owned in only 20.1 percent of ESPN leagues, and should be used to fill in for your struggling stud second baseman.
Justin Upton is finally hitting for the Diamondbacks, and is actually outperforming brother B.J. at this point. He now has an 18-game hitting streak, and is hitting .307 with seven home runs and 18 RBI on the season. He is only 21, so it will be interesting to see if he can keep it going.
Jay Bruce is on a tear of his own in Cincy. He is only hitting .250, but has hit five home runs over the past week-and-a-half. He now has 10 home runs and 21 RBI on the year. He had an 11-game hitting streak before going 0-for-5 yesterday.
1. Magglio Ordonez—Detroit Tigers
It has been a down year so far for Mags, who hasn't done much of anything yet. The key word here is "yet," as he is too good a hitter to stay down for long.
His average is still low at .241, and his power numbers are lacking, with only two home runs and 12 RBI. But he should finish somewhere around .290 with double-digit home runs and a 75-100 RBI, so don't give up on him just yet.
I would suggest buying him for cheap if you can, because his upside is worth the risk if he catches fire. Don't overpay for him at this point, though. Cheap means cheap, as some owners have probably already given up on him.
2. Carlos Quentin—Chicago White Sox
Quentin has some decent power numbers, with eight home runs and 18 RBI, but his .237 average is killing his owners. At least, it's killing me.
He's only a career .259 hitter, so we shouldn't expect him to hit .300, but .237 is getting a little low for my liking.
The good thing about him is that he has only struck out 14 times in 114 at-bats, so he is putting the ball in play. And when you are consistently putting the ball in play, sooner or later the hits are going to come.
The bad part is that he only has 10 walks, so his OBP is low too.
Again, don't expect .300, but he should be hitting higher than he is right now. I might consider selling him at this point, if the value was right.
3. Emilio Bonifacio—Florida Marlins
Once the hottest pick-up of the year, he is now only owned in 50 percent of ESPN leagues. It's sad how far he has fallen, but this happens every year.
This is a good example of when not to read too much into early season struggles, and to ride it out with your studs.
He could be an effective fantasy option if he could get on base, but Bonifacio has fallen off in every category. He is now hitting .250 with only one home run and six RBI on the year.
He is hitting .205 with zero home runs and one RBI in the month of May, and should not be starting for anyone at this point.
That's about all I have for this edition of "Three Up, Three Down." Tune in next Tuesday for more action.
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