The Heat Index: All-Star edition
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Welcome to the All-Star edition of The Heat Index! Unless you live under a very small rock, you probably know that next week is the All-Star game in sunny Arizona. So, this week’s column focuses on the Hot and Cold players who are participating in the coming week’s festivities. You might think that all the players who make the All-Star team should be in the hot column. But you would be wrong. This year, more than ever, it has become clear that the All-Star voting is more of a popularity contest than a vote based on actual stats. That is why it was easy to come up with five “All-Stars” who have been outperformed but still made the team. Let’s dive in.
1. In the last seven days, Jose Bautista is hitting .360 with four homers and six RBIs. He received the most votes for the All-Star game and is a participant in the Home Run Derby. Bautista is on pace to hit 52 home runs this year and leads the league in HR, BB, SLG, and OPS. If you follow him on Twitter you know why, #Beastmode.
2. Adrian Gonzalez hasn’t had as much production over the last seven days but his stats this year are still ridiculous. When the Red Sox said that his bat was perfect for Fenway Park, they were right. Gonzalez is hitting .370 at home this year and leads the league with 75 RBIs. He is on pace for 30 home runs and 143 RBIs. This year should be a career year for him as he is on pace to crush his career highs in almost every category.
3. Curtis Granderson has been on a tear over the last week. His 25 home runs rank second in the AL and four of those came in the last seven days. He ranks first in the AL in runs scored and second in SLG. Granderson is only five homers away from his career high of 30. He is a catalyst in the Yankees lineup and should be for years to come.
4. Even though Ryan Braun has been out with a strained calf muscle for the last four games, he hit .571 in the week before getting hurt. Braun has been consistently productive this year hitting .320 with 62 RBIs. His base stealing has taken a sharp uptick and he has 19 SB on the season (career high is 20). Hopefully this will be the year Braun gets his first hit in an All-Star game. He is 0-7 with three strikeouts in three All-Star appearances.
5. This year in my fantasy league I drafted Jair Jurrjens in the 10th round and promptly dropped him in May for some unknown reason. I really can’t remember why. I must have hit my head on something. Jurrjens has been absolutely lights out this season as he leads the NL in wins (11) and ERA (1.89). Most recently he threw a one-hit shutout against the Orioles. This guy is only 25 years old. The Braves have something special here and that is saying a lot looking back at their history of great pitchers.
Bonus: Futures game — The 2011 Futures Game is stocked full of top prospects including Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt, Julio Teheran, Jose Altuve and Manny Machado just to name a few. Watch the game and get ready for lots of call-ups in the coming months.
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