10 Fantasy Hitters Who Improved in May

One of the hardest things to do is know when it is time to cut loose a player who is struggling in the month of April. Here are 10 batters who rewarded the faith of the owners who kept them, or the foresight of the owners who traded for them, with big comebacks in the month of May.

Jose Bautista
A – .213-4-16-12-2
M – .287-12-25-25-1

Sure, he only has a .238 BABIP this season. But a .350 ISO covers up a lot of other ills. (R) ZiPS sees him hitting .232 with 14 HR.

Troy Glaus
A – .194-2-9-8-0
M – .330-6-28-17-0

He looked like a candidate to be released the first month of the season. Fortunately for him, top prospect Freddie Freeman did not get off to a hot start. Glaus proceeded to hit like it was the year 2000 in May. (R) ZiPS projects him hitting .261 with 11 HR.

Jonny Gomes
A – .217-2-12-9-0
M – .364-5-22-16-1

He is seeing time against both lefties and righties. Gomes still mashes LHP (.466wOBA) and is holding his own (.322 wOBA) against RHP. (R) ZiPS predicts a .257 AVG with 14 HR.

Vladimir Guerrero
A – .333-2-13-11-3
M – .330-10-31-18-1

At the end of April everyone was worried about Guerrero’s power. Then in May he delivered the power while keeping the high AVG. (R) ZiPS sees a .310 AVG with 17 HR.

Corey Hart
A – .270-3-11-5-2
M – .253-10-22-16-1

While his AVG declined in May, Hart had an explosion in HR-RBI-R to merit inclusion on this list. Hart had a .217 BABIP in May but was saved by his HR output. In the just completed three-game set against the Mets, Hart went 3-12 and all three hits were HR. (R) ZiPS forecasts a .263 AVG and 15 HR.

Mike Napoli
A – .167-0-2-2-1
M – .322-8-17-15-2

He slugged like a first baseman during May and now with the injury to Kendry Morales, Napoli might get some playing time at that position. (R) ZiPS projects .262 AVG and 13 HR.

David Ortiz
A – .143-1-4-5-0
M – .363-10-27-16-0

After combining for 1 HR in April and May last year, Ortiz went on to hit 27 HR the rest of the year. Another slow start in April had many writing Ortiz off, but he responded with his best month since September/October of 2007. (R) ZiPS predicts a .263 AVG and 20 HR.

Alex Rios
A – .277-3-9-10-9
M – .344-8-18-22-7

Could become the first player released in one season to go 30-30 the following year. (R) ZiPS sess a .281 AVG and 15 HR which would leave him 4 HR shy of 30.

Nick Swisher
A – .250-2-11-10-0
M – .374-7-17-24-0

Coming into this season, Swisher’s career-high in BABIP was the .301 mark he posted in 2007 with the Athletics. After two months of the season he has a .376 mark, the 10th-best in the majors. (R) ZiPS forecasts a .258 AVG and 17 HR.

Mark Teixeira
A – .136-2-9-11-0
M – .280-6-25-22-0

One of the most consistent slow starters in baseball did nothing to change that perception this April. Teixeira has a lifetime .753 OPS in April compared to a .914 OPS overall. But (R) ZiPS does not project a massive comeback as it has him down for a .269 AVG with 19 HR going forward.

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6 Responses to “10 Fantasy Hitters Who Improved in May”

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  1. Detroit Michael says:

    Alex Rios was claimed off of waivers, not released, during 2009. I know it sounds picky, but it’s not IMO. A released player means his MLB team thought he wasn’t worth employing at all but the only debate about Rios was whether he was worth employing at his current contract price.

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    • Marc says:

      Well, technically, you can’t be released without going through waivers first. And your “his MLB team thought he wasn’t worth employing at all” argument carries no merit at all, since the Jays had the option to work out a trade, and instead they opted to let him go for literally nothing.

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      • Bill says:

        You’ve got it all wrong, Marc. He was put through revocable waivers, which means the White Sox had to pick up his salary. That is totally different from a release, such as what the Mariners did with Eric Byrnes earlier this year. The M’s ate his remaining salary, so anyone could have picked him up for the league minimum. While the Jays did let Rios go in exchange for nothing from the White Sox, remember he had just under $60 million go with him.

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  2. danny woytek says:

    I know he’s still hacking but Pence
    April .232/.250/.329
    May .302/.333/.519
    could be an 11th on the list

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  3. Pepe Silvia says:

    Why is the ZiPS projection so soft on Teixeira? His walk and K rates are actually a little better than his career norms, and his BABIP has been terrible. His HR/FB is 11.4% this season compared to 18.5% for his career. I’m not really seeing anything to suggest he won’t bounce back in a major way.

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    • JayCee says:

      I’m cursed to actually see them play, as opposed to following the numbers, and, frankly, he looks like crap to me.

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