Mike Trout and Bryce Harper have made this the year of the rookie.
Several other novice hitters have followed suit in making a name for themselves (i.e. Anthony Rizzo), and, well you can possibly add another name to the list in Manny Machado, as the featured player mentioned here is quickly turning heads with his hot hitting upon his call-up.
So let’s look at some hot, trendy and intriguing names to watch this week.
Manny Machado: Baltimore Orioles
The highly-hyped prospect Machado has taken to major league pitching like a fish to water.
Machado was not exactly lighting it up in Double-A, but he has set the league on fire by going 6-16 in his first four games with three home runs, one double, one triple, seven RBI’s and five runs.
Eventually pitchers should catch up to Machado, but for now he’s a must add off the waiver wire and a player you can trust at a shallow position.
This week Machado and the Orioles will take on the Red Sox (Josh Beckett, Aaron Cook and Clay Buchholz) at home before traveling to Detroit (Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello and Anibal Sanchez) to end the week.
Evan Longoria: Tampa Bay Rays
Finally making his return to the diamond for the Rays this week was Longoria.
If the Rays (who are currently riding a six-game winning streak) are to make a push for the playoffs, then they are going to need Longoria’s power presence in the middle of the lineup.
So far, so good for Longoria, as he is 6-23 with one double and four RBI’s since being activated.
Longoria and the Rays will take a west coast road trip to take on the Mariners (Blake Beavan, Kevin Millwood and Felix Hernandez) and the Angles (Dan Haren, Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Zack Greinke) this week.
Mike Fiers: Milwaukee Brewers
Has anyone really taken a good, hard look at how well Fiers is pitching lately?
Ever since June 16, Fiers is 5-2, while throwing nine straight quality outings and allowing only seven earned runs in 62 innings pitched.
With a run like that, Fiers has made himself a priority off the waiver wire of late and is closing in on must-start status.
Fiers has two starts (@ Colorado, vs. Philadelphia) this week and is pitcher worth trusting.
Anibal Sanchez: Detroit Tigers
Sanchez hasn’t been the pitcher the Tigers hoped they were getting (although he did have a quality start his last time out) when they traded for him prior to the deadline.
However, Sanchez has been getting acclimated to his new surroundings, and this looks like the week he can breakthrough for his new team.
With two winnable starts (@Minnesota and vs. Baltimore), Sanchez should be in most lineups this week.
Josh Hamilton: Texas Rangers
After a dreadful July, Hamilton is starting to pick it up in August.
Hamilton is currently riding a 10-game hitting streak, while going 15-42 in the process. Since August, Hamilton has also walloped three home runs, one double and one triple while driving in 15 runs.
Hamilton and the Rangers will look to keep it going when they face the Yankees (David Phelps?, Hiroki Kuroda, Freddy Garcia and Ivan Nova) and the Blue Jays (J.A. Happ, Carlos Villanueva and Henderson Alvarez) on the road this week.
Mike Minor: Atlanta Braves
This week could prove to be very critical for Minor.
With Kris Medlen also pitching really well, the Braves have to decide who will stick in the rotation once Tommy Hanson comes back from the DL this week. Asides from a few recent hiccups, Minor had been pitching well, posting six quality starts in his last ten outings.
The Braves said they might go with a six-man rotation, but for now Minor is a pitcher to monitor this week since he is slated for two starts (vs. San Diego and vs. Los Angeles).
Bryce Harper: Washington Nationals
Was Harper rushed to majors too quickly?
With the benefit of hindsight, it is beginning to look like that is the case, as Harper is mired in one ugly streak. Harper is 5-34 with 11 strikeouts in his last nine games. Harper now sports a non-flashy .249/.328/.407 slash line for the season.
Just how long will Davey Johnson stick with the young prospect?
For now, Johnson is sticking by him and this week Harper and the Nats will take on the Giants (Ryan Vogelsong, Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum) on the road before coming home to face the Mets (Johan Santana, Jonathon Niese and Chris Young).
Chad Billingsley: Los Angeles Dodgers
Although Billingsley has given up his fair share of runs (21 in his last six starts- which spans 26 innings), he does limit the damage when it comes to walks (only eight in that time) and home runs (only issuing one in that stretch). With that said, he should be in line for a rebound period.
With two starts (@Pittsburgh and @Atlanta) on tap this week, Billingsley is someone you should roll the dice with.
Elvis Andrus: Texas Rangers
Just like Hamilton, Andrus is tearing it up in August for the Rangers too , as the club has gone 8-3 thus far this month.
In his last ten games, Andrus is 18-46 with three doubles, one triple, nine RBI’s and eight runs scored. Andrus has also swiped two bags in the month of August as well.
With shortstop being such a weak position, Andrus should remain a must-start option.
Buster Posey: San Francisco Giants
Just as the Giants are putting an end to their late-July swoon, going 7-3 in their last ten games, Posey is heating up at the same time.
Posey is 17-37 in 11 August games, while also slugging six home runs and driving in a splendid 15 runs.
Posey and the Giants will look to keep it going this week when they take on the Nationals (Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg) at home before facing the Padres (Ross Ohlendorf, Eric Stults and Clayton Richard) on the road to end the week.
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