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Where oh where have my home runs gone?

David Wright is no longer a top-five pick without the long ball.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - So you drafted David Ortiz and were expecting him to hit 30 home runs this season, but he's only got you one measly long ball. Or you selected David Wright expecting he'd be at least a 25-25 guy and so far he has just three home runs.

Meanwhile, Adrian Gonzalez hit a home run for the third straight game last night and for the 21st time this season.

You're asking yourself, "What happened to all my team's home run power? Is it time to panic?

Yes and no.

Yesterday we spoke about those hitters who were surprising us with their long ball prowess - today we speak about the other end of the spectrum.

Let's look at those supposed home run hitters who are failing to live up to expectation after more than a quarter of the 2009 season.

It's not like David Wright isn't playing well, he's just become a high average singles hitter. He's hitting .328 with 31 runs scored, 30 RBIs and 12 stolen bases, so he's helping your team - just not in the home run category. I'm afraid that he won't hit 30+ home runs anymore now that the team has moved into the cavernous digs of Citi Field. He's no longer a top-five pick without the long ball. Expect statistics more like Carl Crawford than David Wright circa 2008.

Pat "The Bat" Burrell has always been streaky, but one home run in 30 games can't be what the Rays or fantasy owners expected when he left the Philadelphia Phillies for Tampa Bay. Changing leagues is always tougher for a hitter than a pitcher, but this isn't going to change anytime soon. You've got to sit Burrell down until you see some life.

At least Vladimir Guerrero can blame his low home run total on the fact that he's played just 14 games and has only 57 at-bats. Vlad's best months are usually in August and September, but at age 34 and after 7,480 plate appearances you always have to worry about it being more than just a slump.

Speaking of more than just a slump, David Ortiz owners have to be petrified. No Manny Ramirez, no bat speed, sore knees and a bad wrist have added up to disappointment and one home run in 178 at-bats. He even had to be dropped in the batting order. I'd suggest you try and trade him, but you won't get anything for him. If you need the roster spot, don't hesitate to do the formerly unthinkable.

Jhonny Peralta has hit 20+ homers in three of the last four years, so his complete lack of power is unexpected. Last season he produced 69 extra base hits, but through 45 games he has 10 this year - nine doubles and a lone home run. His slugging percentage is down 138 points and his OPS is down 117 points. He should be on your bench until he finds his swing - hopefully sometime this season.

Geovany Soto was the 2008 NL Rookie of the Year and very high draft choice in 2009 (Average Draft Position 50 - No.4 catcher), but he hasn't live up to the hype . His average is down 70 points from a year ago and his slugging percentage is down a whopping 232 points. Just five extra base hits in 125 at- bats. I wouldn't cut him, but he should certainly be watching from the sidelines until you see some life out of his bat.

Rick Ankiel wasn't hitting for much power when he ran into the centerfield wall back in early May and with the improved play of rookie Colby Rasmus, Ankiel might not get enough at-bats to be a viable fantasy starter the rest of the way.

PlayerTeamGms Played2009 HR2008 HR
David WrightNYM49333
Rick AnkielSTL29225
Pat BurrellTB30133
Vladimir GuerreroLAA14127
Jhonny PeraltaCLE45123
Geovany SotoCHC40123
David OrtizBOS46123


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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