Daily Archives: June 12, 2011
Sunday June 12, 2011
MLB reports: Another week goes by and we find that there are more changes on the MLB Home Run Leaderboard. Jose Bautista finally has some competition and the proven long ball hitters of seasons past have finally made the list. Let’s take a look at the home run leaders in Major League Baseball as of today:
Tie 1st: Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays: 20
Jose Bautista hit #20 on May 28th. Since then, he has remained stuck on 20 while the rest of baseball starts to catch up. For a man in a home run draught, he still has 58/35 BB/K on the season, with a .338 AVG, .490 OBP and .692 SLG. As Bautista works to recapture his early season form, Adam Lind has come back to the Jays as a man on a mission. Lind is hitting .327 on the season with 11 home runs of his own, a beneficiary of the protection that Bautista can afford him in the lineup. Realistically speaking, Bautista was never going to hit 80 home runs this season. But he remains on pace for 50+ and Bautista may still match or exceed his 54 long balls from last year.
Tie 1st: Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees: 20
There is a 2nd sherif in town and his name is Curtis Granderson. One of three Yankees on our list, Granderson has enjoyed a rejuvenation at age 30. Granderson is close to matching his 24 home runs from last year and well on his way to exceeding his career high of 30 home runs from 2009. Granderson’s 27/65 BB/K ratio tell me that he has not necessarily changed his free swinging ways at the plate and a “market correction” may be in order here. But despite his .267 AVG, Granderson has not shown any slow downs in the power department. 2011 has been Curtis Granderson’s coming out party and if Bautista isn’t careful, we may have another home run king on the season very soon.
Tie 3rd: Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers: 19
Matt Kemp (“The Bison”) at the age of 26, has finally started to cement his place in the book of baseball superstardom. With 19 home runs on the year, to go along with his incredible .331 AVG, .408 OBP and .632 SLG, Kemp has gone from prospect to star seemingly overnight. After hitting 26 and 28 home runs over the last two seasons respectively, Kemp is on pace to hit 40-50 home runs this year. Hitting in the heart of the Dodgers lineup with Andre Ethier, Kemp has been the heart and soul of the team this year. As he matures as a person and leader, so has his game developed on the field. The sky is the limit for this young superstar, who has future MVP written all over him.
Tie 3rd: Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees: 19
The last two spots on our top-five list should come as no surprise, starting with Yankee slugger Mark Teixeira. With 39 home runs in 2009 and 43 in 2005, Teixeira has showcased his home run strengths in previous years. A consistent 30+ home run threat, Teixeira is on his way to setting a career high in the category, showing his enjoyment playing in Yankee Stadium with its short porch. Teixeira, with his smooth swing, home run park and protection in the lineup, has all the factors in his favor. By season’s end, I expect him to remain near the top of this list and could very well finish at the #1 position.
5th: Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers: 18
The final spot goes to Prince Fielder, the impending free agent slugging first baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers. Prince has literally done it all this season. He has shown a great eye, with 36/31 BB/K in 2011, to go along with his .300 AVG, .410 OBP and .614 SLG. The man hit 50 home runs in 2007 and 46 in 2009. With a BIG payday ahead (rumored to be in the $200 million range), Fielder is showcasing his skills this year. At 27-years of age, Prince will be able to write his own ticket when picking his next home. He has certainly ensured to give himself the best chance to make the big bucks in the future by his strong play in the present. Fielder’s agent? None other than Scott Boras. Expect Fielder to continue to explode on the field all season with teammate Ryan Braun as the Brewers make one more giant push with its hulking first baseman steering the ship.
After looking at such an impressive top-five list, the rest of the sluggers represent the who’s-who of baseball. Bruce, Braun, Quentin, Pujols, Cabrera, A-Rod…yes, they are all here. Mike Stanton with 16 home runs has come together quickly in his 2nd season to become one of the top home run hitters in the game. As we discussed several times to start the season, the cream always rises to the top as the months go by. As we sit at almost the halfway mark of the season, the proven home run sluggers have proven just that.
The Best of the Rest:
Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds: 17
Carlos Quentin, Chicago White Sox: 17
Lance Berkman, St. Louis Cardinals: 16
Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox: 16
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox: 16
Mike Stanton, Florida Marlins: 16
Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers: 15
Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers: 14
Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals: 14
Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers: 13
Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies: 13
Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees: 13
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