Brad Hawpe is batting .363 with 18 runs scored, six HRs and 30 RBIs.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Brad Hawpe is becoming the main cog in the Colorado Rockies offense and the question is how high can his numbers go?
In the past, Hawpe has always been a solid fantasy contributor. You know what you got with the Rockies lefthanded hitting outfielder. For the past three years, Hawpe is averaging 72 runs scored, 25 home runs, 95 runs batted in and a batting average which doesn't vary much going from a high of .293 to a low of .283.
But after 30 games in 2009, it appears as if his offensive game has gone to another level. With Matt Holliday leaving for Oakland and Todd Helton on the downside of a great career, the Rockies have been looking for a centerpiece to their offense and it looks like Hawpe might be the guy.
He's been batting primarily fifth in the lineup because the team doesn't want to have him back-to-back with the lefthanded Helton, who bats third. But again last night, Hawpe proved he is ready to lead.
The Pirates held a 1-0 advantage heading into the top of the ninth when Hawpe walked to the plate with a man on. He promptly deposited a 1-1 fastball over the centerfield fence to give Colorado the lead and eventually the victory.
"That's why you play the game, for fun moments and opportunities like that," Hawpe said about his homer. "You're not going to come through every time, but whenever you do then you realize why you love the game."
Through 34 Rockies games (he's missed two games because of a hamstring pull and two more when he was struck in the neck by a pickoff throw) Hawpe's numbers are at a new and higher level. He's batting .363 with 18 runs scored, six HRs and 30 RBIs. That's one RBI per game.
And it's not like he's taking advantage of Coors Field. He's hitting .321 on the road with four homers versus two homers in Colorado. Over his entire career, Hawpe has been as good on the road as at home (Home - BA.289, OBP .379, OPS .891, Away - BA .284, OBP, .378, OPS .869). He is also very consistent throughout his career from month-to-month. You only have to be careful in September when his numbers have dropped off in the past.
I am a believer in Hawpe and his new found ability. Currently he's a Top-50 overall and Top-15 outfielder. He's certainly played well above his Average Draft Position (ADP) of 127 or around an 11th-round draft choice in a 12-team league. I think the trend will continue throughout the summer.
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