1. Shin Soo Choo (OF - Indians) - Choo went yard for the 3rd time in the last 5 games (he had a 2 HR game last week) and raised his OPS to .774. His power continues to trend in the wrong direction. His AB/HR is 39.7 this year, but dating back to 2008 and then rolling forward, Choo posted AB/HR rates of 22.6, 29.2, 25.0, and 39.1. During that time, his K/BB has also increased with rates of 1.77, 1.94, 1.42, 2.17, and 2.19. Choo has definitely looked better over the last two months after beginning the season with no HR until May 4th, but I would like to see the K-rate improve if we want to see Choo even sniff the results from a couple of years back.
2. Matt Harrison (SP - Rangers) - It was a favorable match-up for Harrison and he came through for his owners. He hurled 6.0 IP against the Padres and allowed 1 ER (his fist in 3 starts), 6 H, 2 BB, and recorded 4 K's. He earned the W to bring his record to 9-3 on the season. That makes 6 straight QS and 7 in his last 8. He's the hot hand right now and has a 2nd start against the Rockies on Sunday followed by a favorable start against the A's the following week. Both starts are at home.
3. Edwin Encarnacion (1B/3B/DH - Blue Jays) - Encarnacion was in a bit of a HR drought, but broke out of it last night with a monstrous 460+ ft shot. It was his 18th HR of the year, but just his first of the month of June. While the power is normalizing a bit after a red hot start, Encarnacion is still hitting for average and getting on base, posting a June line of .289/.385/.422 with a lot of singles, but just 4 XBH. Hitting for power isn't going to be a problem with Encarnacion, so just chalk it up to a normal regression. In fact, I am encouraged by this month's results as he has maintained a steady batting EYE despite a drop in power. He has recorded 11 K's and 6 BBs which is similar to his previous two months of 17:7 and 19:11.
4. Brett Lawrie (3B - Blue Jays) - Lawrie hasn't quite performed up to the level everyone expected, but has been showing signs lately that a huge breakout is near. He has an 8-game hitting streak during which he has 4 multi-hit games and a HR (last night). That brings his June line to .303/.370/.470 and his overall season to .288/.335/.412. Last season, Lawrie posted an AB/HR of 16.7, OPS of .953, ISO of .287, and a BB/K of 0.52 for an overall FPI of 0.83. This year, everything is down through the first 2.5 months with an AB/HR of just 41.7 (and it was much higher before last night), OPS of .747, ISO of .124, and a BB/K of 0.34 for an FPI of 0.58. Now is the time to buy him as he is flashing signs of the 2011 Lawrie.
5. Carlos Santana (C - Indians) - The HR have disappeared for Santana through the first 2.5 months. With just 5 on the season, Santana has an AB/HR of 39.6 compared to the last two seasons of 25.0 in 2010 (through 150 AB) and 20.4 last year. I don't see anything to suggest that his power will remain low as his BB% is actually up from last year (14.7% to 16.4%), K% is down (20.2% to 19.3%), and his GB/FB is relatively flat from 0.82 to 0.76. I wouldn't be surprised to see the power emerge soon.
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