Kelly Johnson (2B—Diamondbacks) Huge night for Kelly Johnson as he hit for the cycle against the Giants. Unfortunately despite all of his best efforts, it wasn't enough to secure a win against San Francisco. The home run Johnson hit Friday was his 16th of the year. We saw Johnson's power potential a couple of year ago when he was with Atlanta, but somewhere along the way he took a step or two backwards. This season its all different as Johnson is in enjoying one of his best years hitting .283 and has already tied for his career high in home runs. I'm inclined to believe that Johnson is putting together his career year and could very well wind up with a 25 home run year, 100 runs scored, 80 walks and about 15 stolen bases. Not too bad for a guy who was a cast off from the Braves.
Brendan Ryan (SS—Cardinals) Brendan Ryan was getting an opportunity to play shortstop everyday with Tyler Greene sidelined with a bruised hand. Unfortunately, Ryan has not been able to seize the day as he has done absolutely nothing with the bat. For July, Ryan has only 2 hits in 35 AB's which is good for a .057 average. Overall, he has a .185 average on the season with a .255 OBP. Well, it appears that Ryan days at shortstop may be over as Greene was back in the lineup on Friday. Chances are if you were playing Ryan at all, you probably lost your patience with him a long time ago. Needless to say, Greene will get most of the time playing going forward so its a good time to toss Ryan back into your free agent pool. Bye bye now.
Corey Hart (OF—Brewers) Corey Hart owners will be on pins a needles hoping that Hart doesn't miss any substantial playing time. Hart left the game on Friday with a wrist injury after crashing into the wall chasing doesn't down a foul ball. This would throw a real wrench in the works for fantasy owners who were clever enough to grab Hart for their roster. Chances are, Hart was not high on anyone's fantasy radar at the start of the season, but the All-Star is batting .292 on the season with 22 dingers. His ISO is a robust .272 but assuming Hart is healthy, we may expect a little dip in batting average going forward. Hart's CT% of 74.8% is not too good and when you combine it with a LD rate of 17.1%, it's not exactly a recipe that's going to get Hart to Ichiro numbers. But all in all, Hart is putting together a nice bounce back year after hitting just .260 with 12 home runs in '09. Keep an eye on the wrist injury and cross your fingers that his will miss just a day or two.
Mike Morse (OF—Nationals) National outfielder Mike Morse popped two home runs for the Nats on Friday. It was Morse's first multi-home run game of his career and despite the limited playing time that Morse has seen, he has pretty fairly impressive. The home runs were his 5th and 6th of the season in just 77 AB's. That's a home run every 12 AB's. That's not too shabby. Plus with the two home runs on Friday, he is now batting .338. Right now, Morse doesn't have much value other than in daily format NL leagues as his playing time is sporadic. But if he continues to hit the baseball like he did Friday nght, things could change for Morse and his playing time could very well increase.
Troy Tulowitzki (SS—Rockies) Good news for Troy Tulowwitzki owner's. He's been doing some rehab games for Double-A Tulsa and could be back with the Rockies as early as Tuesday of next week. Prior to his injury, Tulo was batting .306 with 9 home runs in just 235 AB's. He's a top tier shortstop when he is healthy, but fantasy owners have been frustrated by his injuries in two of the last three seasons that has limited his playing time. Interestingly enough, prior to his DL stint, Tulo's average was on the high side considering he had a BHIP of .335 and a LD% of 16.3%. He was getting a little lucky there. But he is normally around a 19% rate, so he should pick up with solid offensive output upon his return. Watch his progress this weekend and if he is ready to go next week, get him in your active lineup.
Also you can follow Richard all season long on Twitter at @rsgross