Player Focus 6.24.08

Elijah Dukes Continues to Hit; Smacks Third Bomb
I don’t really know why the Washington Nationals have Elijah Dukes. Yes, he does have talent, quite a bit in fact and he is only 23 years old. But when you consider the tumult he had been through in 2007 season prior to winter trade that send him to DC, you have to wonder if he would (or will?) be worth the trouble for a team in need of stability as they try to rise from the ashes of the Montreal franchise. Nevertheless, it is hard to argue with Dukes’ production in his first full month since coming off of the disabled list. He has a .310/.403/.506 line 87 June at-bats including three home runs and 13 runs batted in. He is not afraid to take a walk either, which is very encouraging, especially for a 23-year old. It’s not hard to stand out in that lineup, but he’s been a very rare bright spot amongst a collection of hitters that makes the San Diego Padres look like Murderer’s Row.

Hawpe Unstoppable Since Returning from DL
Few players are outdoing Dukes in June, but Colorado’s Brad Hawpe is certainly one that is since he came back from injury on June 6th. A Baseball By Paul favorite, Hawpe is up to a June line of .328/.443/.707 after a 2-for-4 effort on Tuesday night. A monthly breakdown seems to suggest he might’ve needed that DL-stint a little sooner:

Either way, the time off seems to have served him well and he’s now back to being the immensely productive and equally underrated third banana of the 3H force in the Colorado lineup as Matt Holliday & Todd Helton steal the bulk of the headlines.

More updates tomorrow and I should finally have that long-promised piece on SPs up as well.

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