1. Hiroki Kuroda (SP - Yankees) - Kuroda had one of his best starts, if not THE best, of the season. He hurled an 8.0 IP, 4-hit shutout against the A's on Sunday to earn his 4th win of the season and bring his record to 4-6. It was just his 5th quality start of the season of his 10 trips to the mound. Kuroda has been very inconsistent for the Yankees, but two 8-inning shutouts help keep his ERA under 4.00 at 3.96. He has a little upside as he is currently posting a career-high WHIP of 1.37 compared to his career rate of 1.20 with no season yielding a WHIP higher than 1.22. Kuroda's next start will be at Detroit followed by a home start against the Rays.
2. JP Arencibia (C - Blue Jays) - You won't get average help from Arncibia, but who cares? With 2 more HRs yesterday, Arencibia has 8 for May and 9 on the year to bring his AB/HR to 16.3. The Blue Jays' catcher is no stranger to the long ball having posted AB/HR rates of 17.5 and 19.3 in 2010 and 2011 478 total ABs. His line of .245/.273/.476 tells you that he's a "HR or Bust" kind of guy with just 4 BB drawn on the year, but 70 TB from a catcher may be worth the average and OBP risk.
3. Mark Teixeira (1B - Yankees) - Its almost like clock-work for Tex. As we approach the summer months, Teixeira is starting to heat up. Tex had his 3rd straight multi-hit game on Sunday with a 2-for-4 to raise his average to .254. In just this A's series along, he raised his average almost 30 points. Big up arrow for Teixeira has he is a notoriously better 2nd half player. For his career, his first half is .269/.362/.506 versus his 2nd half of .294/.381/.557.
4. Yoenis Cespedes (OF - A's) - Cespedes is heading to a Triple-A rehab assignment today and if all goes as planned, could be back with the big league club as early as Friday for the Royals series. He's been dealing with a hand issue that has kept him out of action since May 6th, but he had already hit 5 HR and driven in 21 RBI before being placed on the disabled list. Cespedes looks like he'll be the classic low average, high power, high K guy this year. While posting an AB/HR of 21.2, he also has a K% of 24.2% with a BB% of just 7.6 (that's a K/BB of 3.22). With a K-rate that high, we could see extended slumps from the rookie, but the power should be there if he can come back in full health.
5. AJ Pierzynski (C - White Sox) - Pierzynski just isn't showing signs of regressing. He has stayed hot through May. After hitting .309/.351/.544 in April, everybody chalked it up to a hot start and that he would likely take a step back in May. But AJ has stayed hot with a .314/.352/.535 in May and has shown no signs of letting up. Even if this is his career year, you have to assume it will slow down at some point simply because of the wear-and-tear on a catcher over a long season. Pierzynski's career line is .285/.324/.425 over 15 seasons so the smart money has him regressing toward his career numbers for the remainder of the season. Sell high.
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