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AL Studs and Duds
Written by Shawn Lindsey

Studs

Zack Greinke. P Kansas City. 6-0 record through his first six starts, 0.40 ERA, 54 K’s and a WHIP of 0.84. No, its not Halladay, Beckett or C.C. Sabathia; it’s Zack Greinke. Greinke has been the best pitcher in baseball so far and has helped solidify the Kansas City Royals as a division contender. When Greinke can pitch the lights out, the Royals are as good as anyone. And just one more parting nugget about Greinke, he has yet to give up a homerun.

 


 

Nick Swisher. OF NYY. Swisher came to the Bronx from Chicago’s South Side and has made quite a name for himself by apparently swapping production with Yankee’s 180 million dollar man, Mark Teixeira. In the first month of the season Swisher quickly became a fan favorite by making a relief pitching appearance against the Tampa Bay Rays, batting over .300, knocking 7 homers to lead the team and registering 19 RBI. With the way balls have been flying out of Yankee stadium Swisher could very well surpass his 35 career homer mark set in 2006 with Oakland.


 

Torii Hunter. CF LAA. Hunter has been quietly putting together a strong start to the 2009 season while carrying the Anaheim offense at the same time. In 30 games so far Hunter has 32 hits, 15 extra-base hits including 8 dingers. He has drawn 11 walks to go along with a batting average that until recently hadn’t dipped below .300. Fantasy owners haven’t seen Hunter steal bases like he is capable of but there shouldn’t be any worries with Mike Scioscia at the helm.

Even Longoria. 3B Tampa. There is certainly no sophomore slump here. Longoria has made his presence felt as one of the premier hitters in major league baseball. Longoria leads all of Major League Baseball with 44 RBI and holds the first place spot by double digits ahead of Jason Bay and Albert Pujols. He has already hit 15 doubles and 11 homers and is in the heart of the Rays lineup with Carlos Pena.
 
 
 
 
 


Duds

David Ortiz. DH Boston. What is wrong with Big Papi’s swing? It is mid-May and Ortiz has yet to go yard. His power struggles at the plate could be the remnants of a wrist injury that Papi claims he has recovered from but his timing at the dish is way off. Ortiz seems to be consistently late on fastballs causing a gapping hole in the Boston order. Ortiz still has a legitimate MVP candidate protecting him in Jason Bay, so if Manny’s departure has any effects on Big Papi it must be mental which could be a bigger problem than lingering wrist issues. Fantasy owners should be confident that Ortiz will get it going soon, Francona is giving him all the opportunity in the world to succeed and he is surrounded by quality bats. But hey, at least he is hitting for average.  
 

Jhonny Peralta. SS Cleveland. Jhonny Peralta’s hitting woes have continued week after week on a struggling and underachieving Cleveland Indians team. Manager Eric Wedge has resorted to sitting Peralta recently to allow him to clear his head and get back to basics. For instance putting the bat on the ball, Peralta has already racked up 34 strikeouts to accompany a dismal .229 average.

Chien-Ming Wang. P NYY. In 3 starts this season Wang combined for 6 innings and gave up 23 runs for a lofty 34.50 ERA. He is now in the DL with hip muscle abductor weakness and total pitching failure.