Carlos Pena is in the midst of one of his famous Pena Power Pushes with five home runs in his last 12 games. He has a .368/.490/.789 line during the stretch with 9 R, 11 RBI and 10 BB. I’m sure many of his fantasy league owners didn’t get all of or any of this stretch as they were frustrated by the .157/.286/.171 line prior to the run.
Of course if you know anything about Pena then you know you have to sit through these kind of slumps so if you draft him then the onus is on you to practice extreme levels of patience. Since emerging as a prolific and consistent power hitter in 2007, he has been possibly the streakiest home run hitter in the game.
- He had 10 streaks of 10+ games without a home run from 2007-2010:
- 10 – 3 times
- 11 – 2 times
- 12 – 2 times
- 13 – 1 time
- 18 – 1 time
- 19 – 1 time
- He had 12 streaks of 5+ home runs where he hit at least one every other game:
- 5 in 6 games
- 5 in 10 games
- 5 in 11 games
- 6 in 5 games
- 6 in 8 games
- 6 in 10 games
- 6 in 10 games (followed by an 18-game cold streak, his longest of ’08)
- 6 in 11 games
- 7 in 6 games
- 7 in 13 games (followed by an 11-game cold streak, his longest of ’09)
- 7 in 13 games (preceded by a 13-game cold streak, his longest of ’07)
- 9 in 11 games
The 21-game homer-less streak he started this season with is his longest since his rise to prominence, but it was also injury-related as he was dealing with a thumb injury so that only compounded things for a guy who is naturally inconsistent. Morale of the story: if you are willing to take the risk of drafting him, set it and forget it. Secondary morale: NEVER draft him in a H2H week. He will kill you three weeks at a time before finally winning one by himself.
Carl Crawford is hitting .290 in 62 May at-bats notching a hit in 13 of his 15 games. There hasn’t really been much else yet (2 SB, 4 RBI, 7 R), but considering the fact that he hit .155 for entire month of April his owners will take any glimmer of hope that their first round (or second round at latest) pick is ready to perform like one.
Drew Stubbs has reached base in his last 10 games posting a very strong .349/.440/.535 with 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 SB, 7 BB and 9 R in 43 at-bats. He was a target sleeper for many, namely Matthew Berry of ESPN and Cory Schwartz of MLB.com, being tabbed as potentially this year’s Carlos Gonzalez. So far he has lived up to the billing pacing for a season of .279 batting average with 27 home runs, 77 RBIs, 123 runs scored and 54 stolen bases which would no doubt make him one of the best fantasy players in all of baseball. He is currently rated 5th on ESPN’s Player Rater and checks in 8th overall in Yahoo!’s ranking.
Before hitting the disabled list with an injury, Victor Martinez had a .250/.292/.417 line and hadn’t hit a home run in 12 games as the Tigers were an underwhelming 8-9. He has torched the place since coming back from injury hitting .415/.489/.683 with 7 XBH (including 2 HR), 14 RBI, 9 R and 6 BB in 41 at-bats. His surge places him 3rd among catchers on ESPN’s Player Rater behind teammate Alex Avila.
Martin Prado has reached base in 20 straight games dating back to April 26th including hits in 19 of them. He was hitting .240 before the run, but going .360/.394/.551 w/4 HR, 17 RBI, 13 R, 5 BB, 3 CS in 89 AB has brought him to .296/.338/.450 which is just a tick below his career marks while his 117 OPS+ is right in line with his career 116 given the down hitting environment of 2011.
Perhaps Alberto Callaspo is the oasis you are looking for in the third base wasteland. It was pretty weak before the season started and a rash of injuries might have taken it past shortstop as the worst fantasy position on the diamond. He is available in a lot of leagues, too: CBS: 60%, ESPN: 49%, Y!: 32%. In his last 12 games he is hitting .391/.404/.522 w/11 RBI. Only 2 R and 0 HR & 0 SB, but again, it’s awful at third base so beggars can’t be choosy. He is hitting .309 on the season and on pace for 75 RBI.
Adrian Gonzalez is positively destroying the competition in his last 10 games to the tune of a .386/.429/.932(!) line with 7 HR, 16 RBI and 12 R in 44 at-bats. He was hitting .250 exactly a month ago; he is hitting .327 now.
Rajai Davis has surged since returning from injury with 10 stolen bases and 10 runs scored in 15 games.
Mike Trout is living up to the prospect hype following his 2010 breakout, especially in his last 10 games: .357/.417/.643 with 2 HR, 5 RBI, 7 R, 2 SB, 5 BB in 42 AB. Of course, he has been raking all year long hitting .315/.400/.569 with 6 HR, 17 XBH, 17 RBI, 17 BB so he is almost making it difficult on himself to have a stretch that actually stands out.
The Kansas City Royals have already called up two of their best prospects in Eric Hosmer and Danny Duffy, who makes his major league debut on Wednesday night. Could Mike Moustakas be next? There isn’t quite the natural opening that there was for both Hosmer and Duffy as Mike Aviles is playing well and even if you were to suggest moving him to second base, they still have Wilson Betemit. That hasn’t stopped Mous from letting his bat make a bid for a call up as he has posted a .394/.474/.909 line in his last nine games with 9 XBH (4 HR), 12 RBI, 10 R, 1 SB, 5 BB and just 3 K (24 in his other 26 games) in 33 at-bats. Man, perhaps even Dayton Moore can’t mess this up. What a ridiculous crop of talent.
Dustin Ackley is also making a strong bid to get called up, but unlike with Moustakas in KC, the Mariners can definitely use his bat… and how. Ackley is white-hot in his last 10 going .463/.540/.707 with 2 HR, 8 RBI, 10 R, 8 BB, 5 K in 41 AB. During the streak he has one 0-fer and seven multi-hit games. His season line is now up to .280/.399(!)/.445. He has 33 walks against just 25 strikeouts. Given their anemic offense and his brilliant control of the strike zone, it might be time to speculate on Ackley in leagues where he is available and would be useful (this wouldn’t include 10 team mixed leagues) such as any AL-Only league and deeper mixed leagues with a bench. I would definitely speculate in any OBP league that fits these size criteria because at the very least he will draw walks as soon as he reaches the bigs.
Next time, I will look at some pitchers in the midst of a hot streaks.