As the Major League Baseball season passes the quarter mark and heads for the dog days of summer, the time has come to decide who is a contender, and who will fizzle away. Some of the hottest bats of April have seen their decline in May, while others needed a month to warm up. Some of the best have been doing it all season long, with no slump in sight. These are the best offensive fantasy baseball players in the American League as on May 23rd.
1) Jose Bautista – TOR (Last Week: 1)
As another week passes, more home runs stack up for the best player in baseball right now. Up to 19 home runs so far, Bautista is on pace to put up about 65 homers this season, and at this rate, he may just do it. Still batting an impressive .353 to go along with his stellar OBP of .503, Bautista is the best in the business right now.
2) Adrian Gonzalez – BOS (LW: 2)
Jose Bautista is the clear frontrunner in the American League, but Adrian Gonzalez is catching up. After an average start to the season, Gonzalez has caught fire, almost doubling his RBI totals from April to May. He has blasted 8 home runs this month, while he only had one in April. This guy must play in every fantasy baseball league.
3) Asdrubal Cabrera – CLE (LW: NR)
Rocketing near the top spot of this list is Asdrubal Cabrera. The red-hot Cleveland Indians can thank Cabrera for his performance this month. Hitting a mediocre .262 in April, Cabrera has come alive in May, batting an astounding .380, including a 5-for-5 games against Cincinnati in which he hit 2 home runs. Cabrera will start getting the league’s attention soon enough.
4) Miguel Cabrera – DET (LW: 5)
Cabrera has been the model of consistency for the Tigers, hitting above .300 all season. With the amount of hits he produces, the run production will follow. He has a respectable 31 RBIs on the season, although the power production this month has left something to be desired, as he has only gone yard once in May.
5) Paul Konerko – CHW (LW: 4)
Konerko is doing his best to keep the White Sox in the picture after a rough month of April. Konerko has been solid all season, and consistent with his production in both months of the year so far. The Sox are having better luck in May, and so is Konerko, hitting .324. His consistency makes him a must-start in all fantasy baseball leagues.
6) Matt Joyce – TB (LW: 7)
Matt Joyce is on a tear. Any time a player gets this deep into a month and is still hitting .400, he needs to be played. His season batting average is now at .357, which is good enough for best in the American League. While his production is not phenomenal, with 7 home runs and 24 RBIs, he gets enough hits to be a valuable option in any lineup.
7) Michael Young – TEX (LW: 3)
Michael Young is continuing to make the Rangers reconsider ever wanting to get rid of him. He is 3rd in the American League in batting average, a mark that has stayed consistent for most of the season. His big concern is still his lack of power, but he has driven in 31 runs, so he still needs to be playing in all fantasy baseball leagues.
8) Curtis Granderson – NYY (LW: 6)
Granderson continues to drive the Yankees offense. While the batting average is not exceptional at only .260, history tells us that Granderson will not improve that mark too much. But his production has been phenomenal, with 16 home runs and 34 RBIs so far. May has been kind to Granderson, as the bulk of those numbers have come recently.
9) Adrian Beltre – TEX (LW: 8)
The reason for the speculation of getting rid of Michael Young was the acquisition of Adrian Beltre. Beltre has been great for the Rangers, with an RBI total second only to Adrian Gonzalez. Now that Josh Hamilton has returned to the Rangers lineup, look for Beltre and Michael Young start to tack on to their already stalwart numbers.
10) Kevin Youkilis – BOS (LW: NR)
Youkilis, a fan favorite in Boston, has given the Red Sox Nation a reason to cheer this month. After hitting only .218 in April, Youkilis has been on a tear in May, hitting .338 with an OPS over 1. Although the RBI and home run totals have been static, the hit production is encouraging for the now-hot Boston Red Sox.
Tags: adrian gonzalez, AL Power Rankings, Asdrubal Cabrera, curtis granderson, Fantasy Baseball, fantasy baseball power rankings, Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Jose Bautista, Kevin Youkilis, michael young, Miguel Cabrera