MLB Power Rankings: Votto Surviving May as Best Bats in NL Falter

Ethan BatsonContributor IMay 24, 2011

MLB Power Rankings: Votto Surviving May as Best Bats in NL Falter

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    CHICAGO, IL - MAY 08: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds follows the flight of the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 8, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Reds defeated the Cubs 2-0.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    May has not been kind to the players that have frequented the top of these charts over the past few weeks. No one in the top 6 on this list has hit above .300 this month.

    However, some have fallen harder than others. Good players can hit a hot streak and put up impressive numbers. It takes the best players to drive through their slump and continue to produce for their team.

    This is a list of the best bats in the National League as of May 22.

10) Ryan Howard: PHI

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    ATLANTA, GA - MAY 15:  Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on May 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Ryan Howard is playing like his old self again. He's not hitting for much of an average, but is still finding a way to produce monster numbers for the Phillies. He is hitting only .243 this season, well below his career average, but has still managed to club 10 home runs and drive in 36, good for second in the National League.

    His average may not be great, but his production value is immense.

9) Jose Reyes: NYM

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 08:  Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets bats against the Washington Nationals during the Mets' Home Opener at Citi Field on April 8, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens in New York City. The Nationals won 6-2. (Photo by Al Bel
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Reyes has shown signs of the past this season, hitting consistently and keeping his average above .300 in both April and May.

    Maybe the trade rumors have fired up Reyes to perform like he knows he can. Reyes is leading the league in stolen bases as well, with 17 swipes in 20 attempts.

    Look for the price tag on this shortstop to rise dramatically.

8) Brandon Phillips: CIN

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    CHICAGO, IL - MAY 08: Brandon Phillips #4 of the Cincinnati Reds hits the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 8, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Reds defeated the Cubs 2-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Phillips has been a solid compliment to Joey Votto in the power-packed Reds lineup for some time now.

    While he has fallen this month, he is still hitting a respectable .270 in May, keeping his overall average floating above .300.

    Phillips needs to find some consistency, like the Reds who won 5 games only before losing 5 in their last 10. 

7) Gaby Sanchez: FLA

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    MIAMI GARDENS, FL - MAY 20:  Gaby Sanchez #15 of the Florida Marlins hits a sac fly during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Sun Life Stadium on May 20, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    The Marlins’ new offensive leader has taken the job in stride this month, and has shown himself to be one of the most productive bats in the National League. He is hitting .342 in May, and has produced 17 RBIs while crushing 4 homers.

    Look for Sanchez to climb this list as the rest of the National League’s best continue to struggle. 

6) Ryan Braun: MIL

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    PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 10:  Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers swings the bat against the Colorado Rockies during the spring training baseball game at Maryvale Baseball Park on March 10, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Ryan Braun had a terrible beginning of May, but is starting to come around. He is currently on a 12-game hit streak, but it is mostly one hit games that keep his May average at an abysmal .213. To put it into perspective, he has a 12-game hit streak and only 16 hits this month.

    However, the streak is a sign that Braun and the Brewers may be returning to winning form.

5) Lance Berkman: STL

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 17: Lance Berkman #12 of the of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a walk-off single against the Philadelphia Phillies Busch Stadium on May 17, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Berkman may finally be showing his age.

    The month of May has not been very kind to Berkman, who has had to battle nagging injuries to stay in the lineup. His average has dropped significantly, as he is only batting .220 this month.

    Time will tell if this is the same slump that the rest of the league’s best are falling into, or if Berkman’s April was a fluke.

4) Matt Kemp: LAD

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    CHICAGO, IL - MAY 22:  Matthew Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits the ball against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on May 22, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Dodgers 8-3.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Matt Kemp has been floating around the top spot all season long, putting up solid numbers for Los Angeles.

    However, things are beginning to change. The Dodgers are slumping in a big way, going 7-13 so far in May, and Matt Kemp is sliding right along with them, hitting only .239 this month, but he has had some decent production with 4 home runs and 13 RBIs.

3) Prince Fielder: MIL

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    WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 17: Prince Fielder #28 of the Milwaukee Brewers strikes out against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on April 17, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Coming off of a walk-off blast against the Rockies that had the league buzzing, Fielder has had an up and down May, hitting only .227, but with 5 multi-hit games.

    Fielder has still shown he is a power threat, hitting 4 homers so far this month. The overall numbers are not great, but he is not slumping by any means, and his numbers should improve.

2) Matt Holliday: STL

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    CHICAGO, IL - MAY 12: Matt Holliday #7 of the St. Louis Cardinals hita a solo home run in the 2nd inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 12, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Matt Holliday the Cardinals originally traded for has shown up in a big way this season.

    Hitting a stellar .349, Holliday has been a stud in one of the most powerful lineups in the National League. Much like the rest of the best bats in the NL, however, Holliday has come back down to earth, hitting a still-respectable .288 this month.

1) Joey Votto: CIN

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    CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 19: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds is at bat during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Great American Ball Park on May 19, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The MVP is playing well for the Cincinnati Reds. While his numbers are not as good as they were in the first month of the season, he has endured and still played a solid month of May, unlike many of the National League’s hottest hitters.

    A concern for Votto, however, is that his power has taken a huge hit. He finally left the park for the first time this month against the Indians on May 22.

    This article was originally featured at Fantasy Baseball Sportal. Play Fantasy Baseball at Fantazzle