Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Usually with the hot weather comes hot bats and home runs flying out of ballparks. While that may be true for some, there are a few big names who haven't gotten the message.
David Ortiz, Boston - We're witnessing the rebirth of the "fearsome" Ortiz who along with Manny Ramirez led a hugely productive Red Sox offense from 2003-2007. Since May 1st he's boosted his batting average by more than 60 points. He's also displayed his old power, slugging 12 homers and knocking in 21 runs in the five-week period. Ortiz may be benefiting the most from the Adrian Gonzalez signing. "Big Papi" is posting numbers well beyond expectations for a 12th-round draft choice (ADP 140).
Brian McCann, Atlanta - McCann has hit for a solid .300 average for most of the season, but early on it was without much power. His April OPS was just 0.739 with three extra base hits. He's added the power to his repertoire over the past few weeks, raising his OPS to a respectable 0.843. There should be no question that he will give you "fair market value" for your fifth-round pick (ADP 55).
Michael Morse, Washington - I listed Morse last week and he has continued to hit the ball. The only difference is that his ownership level has jumped from 36% to 59%. If you need an outfielder with power, you will need to pull the trigger quickly or lose out on your opportunity to get him. While his season- long OPS hovers around 0.869, over the past two weeks he's been hitting at a 1.154 pace.
Jose Bautista, Toronto - Despite leading the league in runs, home runs, walks, batting average, slugging percentage and OPS, Bautista has actually been struggling of late. He's hit just one home run since May 24th and is no longer on a 60-HR pace...but "only" around 53. Keep a wary eye to see if this downward trend continues or he returns to his torrid pace of earlier in the season. It could be that pitchers have finally stopped throwing him good pitches to hit and have made the decision to force someone else on the team to beat them. That would be bad for Bautista's fantasy value, but good for Adam Lind and J.P. Arencibia who hit behind him in the Blue Jays lineup.
B.J. Upton, Tampa Bay - Upton is the kind of player who wins championships when he explodes and gets general managers fired when he doesn't. So much talent and frustratingly little production. He can hit for power and steal bases - he just doesn't do either often enough. His .228 batting average is killing you in that category as is his 0.716 OPS. If you selected him, you got the wrong brother. Over the past two weeks, he's been particularly bad with an OPS of 0.439. If he every stops stealing bases, he'll be waiver material.
Casey McGehee, Milwaukee - McGehee was a pleasant surprise in 2010, batting .285 with 23 HRs and 104 RBIs. At a weak position like third base, that made him a valuable commodity at this year's draft and he went in the ninth round. He's struggling to give you your "money's worth" batting just .230 with four homers and 24 RBIs. Over the past two weeks, he's hit just .088 (3-for-34) with an equally minuscule OPS of 0.196. He should be sitting on your bench until he remembers how to hit the ball, but don't cut him loose.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173 Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes AP Photo FX102, FX103 Eds: With BC-US--Dow Record. Adds photos. By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ AP Business Writer NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...