Just when it looked as though Bautista may be knocked out of the top spot as the best bat in the AL, he belted 3 homers in one game against the Twins. The season is a quarter of the way through, and the most prolific home run hitter in baseball right now is on pace for over 60 home runs. However, some of the best bats in the American League are creeping up in his rear view, vying for that top spot as the best bat in fantasy baseball. This is a list of the best hitters in the American League as of May 16th.
1) Jose Bautista – TOR (Last Week: 1)
Hot off of a game in which Bautista blasted 3 home runs, the most menacing right handed bat in the American League has opposing pitchers scratching their heads. Bautista has shown that he is the best all-around batter in the AL, hitting .370 in addition to his major league-leading 16 home runs. Bautista missed 5 games due to injury, and has still managed to tack on 7 home runs in May to his total.
2) Adrian Gonzalez – BOS (LW: 8)
Gonzalez is on a home run tear. After hitting only one in all of April, the slugging first baseman has whacked 8 in May, including a four game stint in which he hit 5. He has hit for a healthy average all season long, and his homers are helping maintain that impressive .319 average. The Red Sox are turning around after a bad start, and Gonzalez is a big reason why.
3) Michael Young – CHI (LW: 3)
Young continues to outshine the rest of the Rangers lineup in the absence of Josh Hamilton. Young is hitting a phenomenal .344, and has been consistent throughout the season. The major concern is still his lack of power, still sitting at just 2 home runs. Fantasy baseball owners have to wonder whether or not the power will surface, or if he will continue hitting solely for average.
4) Paul Konerko – CHW (LW: 4)
Konerko continues to play well as the centerpiece of the White Sox lineup. Konerko is red hot in the month of May, hitting a stellar .396 while launching 4 home runs and 11 RBIs. Konerko’s improvement may be due to the improvement of production from Adam Dunn, who is finally getting into the swing of things in Chicago.
5) Miguel Cabrera – DET (LW: 2)
While Cabrera continues to produce, he is not nearly as effective as he was to start the season. He is hitting only .250 in May, down from .330 in April, and his production is showing, with only 9 RBIs this month, compared to 19 prior to this month. It’s hard to believe that a player of his caliber will stay cold for too long though.
6) Curtis Granderson – NYY (LW: 7)
The power in the Yankees lineup is coming from an unlikely source: the 6’1” 185 pound center fielder Curtis Granderson. Granderson has left the park 14 times, a mark second only to Jose Bautista, and driven in 31 runs. While there have been other distractions around the Yankees, Granderson has been a consistent hitter at the plate.
7) Matt Joyce – TB (LW: NR)
Same team, different week. The Rays keep producing some of the best bats many fantasy baseball owners may never have heard of. Matt Joyce, the left handed right fielder has been impressive this season, hitting a remarkable .367. While his production is not all that impressive, with only 19 RBIs, he has shown some power, and certainly deserves playing time in any fantasy league.
8) Adrian Beltre – TEX (LW: NR)
While struggling at the beginning of this month, Beltre has recently caught fire, hitting safely in his last five games. In those 5 games, he has hit 3 homers and driven in 8 runs. While his average still leaves a little to be desired, the production out of Beltre is top-notch, hitting 10 home runs on the season, while 2nd in the league with 34 RBIs.
9) Ben Zobrist – TB (LW: 6)
Zobrist continues to swing a hot bat for the Rays, failing to record a hit in only 2 games this month. He has hit .348 in May, boosting his average up to a respectable .289 for the season. Zobrist is producing runs as well, knocking in 27 this season, to go along with his 8 home runs. Time will tell if his bat will stay hot.
10) Howard Kendrick – LAA (LW: 5)
The five-year vet has been the model of consistency for the Angels. Howie Kendrick is hitting .310 this season, setting the table for the Angels offense. While his overall production is low, with only 17 RBIs and 6 home runs, he is a consistent bat that is crucial for any fantasy baseball lineup. Look for his average to hover over the .300 mark all season.
Tags: adrian gonzalez, AL Power Rankings, Fantasy Baseball, fantasy baseball power rankings, fantasy baseball start em sit em, fantasy baseball who's hot, Jose Bautista, michael young, Miguel Cabrera, paul konerko