May has not been kind to the players that have frequented the top of these charts over the past few weeks. No one in the top 6 on this list has hit above .300 this month, which is not good news for fantasy baseball owners. However, some have fallen harder than others. Good players can hit a hot streak and put up impressive numbers. It takes the best players to drive through their slump and continue to produce for their team. This is a list of the best bats in the National League as of May 22.
1) Joey Votto – CIN (Last Week: 6)
The MVP is playing well for the Cincinnati Reds. While his numbers are not as good as they were in the first month of the season, he has endured and still played a solid month of May, unlike many of the National League’s hottest hitters. A concern for Votto, however, is that his power has taken a huge hit. He finally left the park for the first time this month against the Indians on May 22.
2) Matt Holliday – STL (LW: 1)
The Matt Holliday the Cardinals originally traded for has shown up in a big way this season. Hitting a stellar .349, Holliday has been a stud in one of the most powerful lineups in the National League. Much like the rest of the best bats in the NL, however, Holliday has come back down to earth, hitting a still-respectable .288 this month.
3) Prince Fielder – MIL (LW: NR)
Coming off of a walk-off blast against the Rockies that had the league buzzing, Fielder has had an up and down May, hitting only .227, but with 5 multi-hit games. Fielder has still shown he is a power threat, hitting 4 homers so far this month. The overall numbers are not great, but he is not slumping by any means, and his numbers should improve.
4) Matt Kemp – LAD (LW: 4)
Matt Kemp has been floating around the top spot all season long, putting up solid numbers for Los Angeles. Things are beginning to change, however. The Dodgers are slumping in a big way, going 7-13 so far in May, and Matt Kemp is sliding right along with them, hitting only .239 this month. He has had some decent production with 4 home runs and 13 RBIs.
5) Lance Berkman – STL (LW: 3)
Berkman may finally be showing his age. The month of May has not been very kind to Berkman, who has had to battle nagging injuries to stay in the lineup. His average has dropped significantly, as he is only batting .220 this month. Time will tell if this is the same slump that the rest of the league’s best are falling into, or if Berman’s April was a fluke.
6) Ryan Braun – MIL (LW: 2)
Ryan Braun had a terrible beginning of May, but is starting to come around. He is currently on a 12-game hitting streak, but it is mostly one hit games that keep his May average at an abysmal .213. To put it into perspective, he has a 12-game hit streak and only 16 hits this month. But the streak is a sign that Braun and the Brewers may be returning to winning form.
7) Gaby Sanchez – FLA (LW: 5)
The Marlins’ new offensive leader has taken the job in stride this month, and has shown himself to be one of the most productive bats in the National League. He is hitting .342 in May, and has produced 17 RBIs while crushing 4 homers. Look for Sanchez to climb this list as the rest of the National League’s best continue to struggle.
8) Brandon Philips – CIN (LW: NR)
Philips has been a solid compliment to Joey Votto in the power-packed Reds lineup for some time now. While he has fallen this month, he is still hitting a respectable .270 in May, keeping his overall average floating above .300. Philips needs to find some consistency, like the Reds who won 5 games only before losing 5 in their last 10.
9) Jose Reyes – NYM (LW: NR)
Reyes has shown signs of the past this season, hitting consistently this season, and keeping his average above .300 in both April and May. Maybe the trade rumors have fired up Reyes to perform like he knows he can. Reyes is leading the league in stolen bases as well, with 17 swipes in 20 attempts. Look for the fantasy baseball value on this shortstop to rise dramatically.
10) Ryan Howard – PHI (LW: 8)
Ryan Howard is playing like his old self again, not hitting for much of an average, but still finding a way to produce monster numbers for the Phillies. He is hitting only .243 this season, which is well below his career average, but has still managed to club 10 home runs and drive in 36, good for second in the National League. His average may not be great, but his production value is immense.