Fantasy Baseball Hitting Planner for Week of June 27th, 2011

As the injuries start to pile up and new players make their way into the league, this is a time where managers have to do some real work.  Finding the right replacement for someone like the injured Albert Pujols isn’t easy by any stretch, but it still must be done.

The All-Star break is just two weeks away and when running a team, you want to see who is going into the break strong and who is just coasting in.  So without further ado, your hitting planner.

Catcher

Luckily for those of you who own one of the Detroit Tigers players Alex Avila or Victor Martinez, there are two things to look forward to this upcoming scoring period.  Hot bats and no more shuffled playing time between the two because the remainder of games against NL teams will be at home.

Mentioning teammates again, Mike Napoli is available to come back from the DL on Monday but reports have shown that he has not swung the bat.  His backup, Yorvit Torrealba isn’t full strength either as he has been battling fatigue but once he is in the lineup look for him to provide some scoring opportunities. 

Carlos Santana has been on fire lately after his terrible April, don’t be surprised if he winds up being ranked in the top three player for this month.

Stay away from Jorge Posada.

First Base

Paul Konerko isn’t the only hot first 1st basemen belting homeruns game after game.  The Cubs’ Carlos Pena has locked in his power and is lighting up the fantasy board with his homerun and RBI numbers.  Even though his average is lower than desirable, you can’t ignore what he is doing at the plate.

Even though it seems like Jason Giambi is hitting the ball out of the park every time he steps up to the plate, the time has expired for him to get you any consistent fantasy points.  The remainder of the Rockies Interleague games are at home where no DH is needed and the team isn’t going to start him over Todd Helton by any stretch, who by the way, may need some time on the bench this week.

Already struggling against AL teams, Joey Votto is going up against two of the league’s better pitching teams at Tampa Bay and Cleveland.  Sit him.

Second Base

As a pleasant surprise for you and the Oakland A’s, Jemile Weeks looks to become the full-time starter at second base and his numbers thus far have been impressive.  While his power is a work in progress, he has the foot speed to leg out extra base hits and rack up some steals.  Don’t shy away from this young talent.  His brother Rickie Weeks could use a rest.

Just because Jeff Keppinger is a journeyman, doesn’t mean he can’t play the game.  After seeing no playing time up until late May, he has maintained a .323 average and looks like he could be a decent option at the position.

Continuing the week’s trend of lesser-known 2nd basemen we bring you another over 30 player in Orlando Hudson.  Since coming off the DL, he has sparked the lowly Padre offense.  Take a long hard look at him because chances are he is going to keep this streak up.

Just for this month alone, Robinson Cano is back stuffing his stat-line with a batting average almost 100 points higher than last month.

Third Base

The word in Colorado is that Ty Wigginton will soon be replaced, but he is hitting as if that will never happen.  If you need a short term option at the corner he could very well be your guy. 

Chase Headley is only owned by 64% of managers out there but he is ranked as the 6th best fantasy option at his position.  Chances are he’s available and you should grab him. 

Chipper Jones is still feeling the effects of his groin strain, be careful with him in your lineup.

One streaky player to notice is Danny Valencia, he is going to catch some good matchups this period against lefties (hitting 100 points higher) so he might bring some value. 

Evan Longoria should break out of his most recent slump as he is going up against a pretty weak staff in St. Louis.

Shortstop

The only reason J.J. Hardy isn’t the number one rated SS over the past week is because he doesn’t have the stolen base numbers that will put him over the top.  Now that he has stepped into the leadoff role, look for him to make getting on base a huge priority.

Another player receiving a lot of recognition as of late is Alcides Escobar.  He hits much better on the road and has torn it up against the NL this year.  What’s on the schedule for him?  A road trip that includes games at Colorado and San Diego, so expect some big things from him this week.

Jimmy Rollins looks like he could return to elite company at the position if his batting average can improve from the mediocre .261 mark.  He has more homeruns this month than he did for April and June combined.   

Stephen Drew is the first person who comes to mind when considering players to bench this week.  He is hitting horrible against all AL teams AND lefties he has faced this year.  Talk about a recipe for disaster.

If your league isn’t that deep in terms of teams, say 7-11 and you have Hanley Ramirez on your squad; it may be time to consider some changes.  He hasn’t been producing to the extent that you would want from him but his move to cleanup in the batting order may help with more production.

Outfield

Jose Bautista may have cooled off a bit from his blazing hot start but there aren’t enough negatives that warrant him to take a seat anywhere, keep him in the lineup.

With teammate Rick Ankiel out, Roger Bernadina is looking to put his stamp on the starting CF position.  He has shown a balanced offensive attack hitting for power and average and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

There is no doubt that Chris Heisey has the potential to be a good player but his play is just too sporadic.  His 3 homerun game against the Yanks caught everyone’s attention in baseball but it would be wise not to jump the bandwagon just yet.

Here are a few players who have been receiving more playing time and we’ll tell you what they can bring to your team. 

  • Will Venable finds ways to get on base and when he does he’s going to swipe some bags.
  • Oriole OF Adam Jones has been a full-time starter but nobody seems to respect him as a fantasy player; yet.  The suggestion is to find a way to get him on your squad before he is gone.
  • If there are any KC fans out there, then they would know that Alex Gordon has been shuffled in the lineup.  Moving from leadoff to cleanup will mean two things, a jump in RBIs but decrease runs scored.
  • As much as we love Jason Heyward, it may be best to wait until he breaks out of his slump before you give him too much playing time.  Don’t worry, he’ll come out of it but this just isn’t the week.
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