Overachievers, Underachievers in Early MLB Action

underachieved thus far in Major League Baseball. I’ll give my analysis on each guy, along with if they are going to keep under/overachieving or turn into their old selves.

Overachievers

  • Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX : I absolutely loved this guy going into the season and he has rewarded my loyalty. The kid has 6 dingers already and I really think he is the next Michael Young. Prediction: Keep Overachieving
  • Orlando Hudson, 2B, ARI : The O-Dog, a man who has never spoken a legitimate word of english, is off to his hottest start ever in the desert. Don’t expect it to last much longer. He’s never been a great hitting prospect and I think he’ll be lucky to stay above .300 for the course of the season. Sell high. Prediction: Turn into his old self
  • Russell Martin, C, LAD: A great young Canadian ballplayer, Martin has set a torrid pace early for the Dodgers. He’s hitting .366, with an OBP of .449. While I don’t think he can quite keep up this pace, Martin should be good for about a .310 average, with an OBP hovering around .400. Next to McCann and Mauer, he’s the best young catcher in the game. Prediction: Keep Overachieving
  • Aaron Hill, 2B, TOR: Hill is an excellent offensive talent, who will struggle to stay in the lineup at a middle infield position. He should be good for a .320 average year after year, but I don’t know how much longer he’ll last in the middle infield. Maybe this is the year his power finally catches up to the rest of his offensive repertoire. Prediction: Keep Overachieving
  • Chris Duncan, OF, STL: I’m not a Chris Duncan fan at all. But I will admit he is off to a great start. That being said, he won’t continue hitting like this all season. I don’t even think he’ll stay above .300 this year, let alone the .412 he is at now. Prediction: Turn into his old self
  • Ty Wigginton, Utility Man, TB: Wigginton has always been a very streaky hitter in his career and I think he’s in one of his hottest streaks ever right now. No way he keeps up his average for the course of the year, but its not out of the realm for him to knock 25 dingers out of the park in Tampa. Prediction: Turn into his old self
  • Ryan Church, OF, WAS: Ryan must have gone to church this offseason because his torrid pace is well ahead of anything he’s ever done. He’s always been a good hitting prospect but I don’t think he’ll ever be this good. I can see him hitting .300 maybe though but I wouldn’t bet on it. Prediction: Turn into his old self
  • Geoff Jenkins, OF, MIL: Here’s a guy I’ve always loved and not just because he has a great name. You give this man one healthy season, and he’ll be in the discussion for NL MVP. He’s got all the tools except health. If he’s healthy, he’ll keep hitting. Prediction: Keep overachieving
  • Rich Hill, P, CHC: Hill is probably the only thing that has gone right for the Cubs so far. He’s led us to two dominating victories and I see many more on the horizon. This kid is the real deal. Prediction: Keep overachieving
  • Ramon Ortiz, P, MIN: There is absolutely no reason that one of the worst pitchers in baseball, year in and year out, is dominating early on. 2-0 with only 3 ER in 15 innings? Simply unimaginable. Prediction: Turn into his old self
  • Matt Belisle, P, CIN: The water must be funny out in Cincinnati. How else can you explain how random, useless pitchers constantly turn in good outings? Belisle surely can’t keep up his early pace of allowing a run a start. Can he? Prediction: Turn into his old self
  • Al Reyes, P, TB: Who would have guessed that Al Reyes would be near the league leaders in saves? He’s been fantastic in limited duty early on for the D-Rays and I think he will keep it up, probably earning himself a nice contract in the process. Prediction: Keep Overachieving
  • Nate Robertson, P, DET: Robertson has had 3 starts against the AL East and delivered every time out. He’ll have as tough a schedule as anyone in the league, but I think this kid has the moxie to give the Tigers the quality 3rd starter they need in the absence of The Gambler. Prediction: Keep overachieving
  • Zach Greinke, P, KC: Greinke battled bad depression problems last year but he has nothing to be depressed about lately. He’s finally fulfilling the potential that everyone thought he had. He’ll keep it up and if the Royals can score a few runs every time out, I’m predicting Greinke will win 15-18 games in KC, which is equivalent to a 27 game winner everywhere else. Prediction: Keep overachieving

Underachievers

  • Albert Pujols, 1B, STL: If you think Albert Pujols is going to keep slumping, you simply aren’t a baseball fan. Prediction: Turn into his old self
  • Alfonso Soriano, OF, CHC: Soriano hasn’t taken kindly to the friendly confines of Wrigley just yet but he will. Sweet Lou just has to light a fire under his belly and the Cubs newest franchise player will come around. Prediction: Turn into his old self
  • Ryan Howard, 1B, PHI: Howard is an absolute power phenomenon, there is no mistaking that. However I wouldn’t be surprised if he struggles a bit this year, especially with average. I still expect him to get about 40 dingers but not more than that. Prediction: Keep underachieving
  • Lance Berkman, 1B, HOU: Lance will struggle this year in that Houston lineup. He’s always held together by pins and needles but I think he’s due for a big downer of a year. Prediction: Keep underachieving
  • Mark Teixiera, 1B, TEX: Tex has had such a strange, powerless start to the season and I think something is seriously wrong with his swing. I just don’t see him bouncing back. I think he’ll be lucky to hit 30 HRs this year and might only hit 20. He’s never been a great average guy and he K’s a lot, so I wouldn’t expect much. Prediction: Keep underachieving
  • Paul Konerko, 1B, CHW: Aside from 2003, Konerko has been remarkably consistent for his entire career and I think he’ll bounce back from his early slide. The Chi-Sox lineup is too good for him not to. Prediction: Turn into his old self
  • Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, WAS: The rookie phenom is experiencing a little bit of a sophomore slump. I think this kid is smart enough and talented enough that he’ll pull through it though and post numbers comparable to last years. Prediction: Turn into his old self
  • Gary Sheffield, 1B, DET: Has age finally caught up to Gary Sheffield? Or is it not being in the stacked Yankee lineup and seeing as many fastballs? I think its a combination of both. And I also don’t think Sheff is going to have a very good year. He’s had the worst start of anyone in baseball, hitting just .122 with only one extra base hit. Things won’t get a heck of a lot better this year either. Prediction: Keep underachieving
  • Carlos Zambrano, P, CHC: Has anyone bombed more this season than Mr. Reliable? No, but it can’t possibly last much longer. Carlos is too good to be this bad. He’ll bounce back in his next start. Prediction: Turn into his old self
  • Brandon Webb, P, ARI: Ah wait! Brandon Webb has been nearly as bad. The 2nd most reliable starter in the NL has been awful in his first three starts. But he’s another guy who will get it right. Prediction: Turn into his old self
  • Ben Sheets, P, MIL: Sticking with our theme of NL pitcher on Jeff Little’s fantasy teams, we present our next contestant: Mr. Ben Sheets. He’s been outstanding in one start and horrific in his two others. There are no problems here though. He’ll join the above guys in bouncing back. Prediction: Turn into his old self
  • Brett Myers, P, PHI: Here is another guy who fits into the above category. While I’m sure the first three will bounce back, I’m not so sure about Mr. Myers. I just have a funny feeling that not all is right with Brett and we may find out about an injury before too long. Don’t expect him to bounce back. Prediction: Keep underachieving