Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw counts down the top five Canadian hitters who could help your fantasy team.
5) Russell Martin, C, Yankees
Russell Martin only had two hits in the Subway Series against the Mets, but the Yankees backstop made them count with two home runs. After belting 18 home runs a season ago, Martin is again offering some pop with eight home runs this season. On the other hand, his batting average continues to sink, as it is down to .208 after Martin hit just .237 last season. Regardless, the combination of power and plate discipline with fine defense makes Martin a key component of the Yankees success.
4) Justin Morneau, 1B, Twins
Twins fans have to be thrilled with what we’ve seen from Justin Morneau so far this season. After missing time and struggling due to a concussion and wrist issues, Morneau has blasted 11 home runs for a Twins offense desperate for power. He is still far from his peak form, as his average is down to .247, but we’ve seen enough progress to think that the 31-year-old veteran still has some nice production left in the tank.
3) Brett Lawrie, 3B, Blue Jays
The biggest Canadian prospect in quite some time, Brett Lawrie has struggled to meet expectations so far this season. Though his .275 average, 30 runs, and eight steals aren’t anything to complain about, his power has been lacking. Lawrie’s on-base percentage has suffered as well. The Blue Jays are trying to jumpstart Lawrie by placing him at the top of the lineup. It seemed to work on Sunday, as he blasted a home run and scored two runs.
2) Michael Saunders, OF, Mariners
The Mariners improvement this season comes from a few surprising sources including rising hitter Michael Saunders. The Mariners centerfielder has provided some pop with six home runs, and also some speed, as he already has a career-high nine stolen bases. Most importantly, Saunders is reaching base more often with a .272 batting clip that is significantly higher than his .216 career average. Though he still strikes out a bit too often, his .341 on-base percentage makes it much more tolerable.
1) Joey Votto, 1B, Reds
Joey Votto is making his case for a second NL MVP Award. On Tuesday he blasted his 11th home run of the season while driving in three RBI and increasing his batting average to .357. Despite the Reds impressive collection of sluggers including Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips batting behind him, the opposition is again opting to issue walks to Votto. His on-base percentage is near 50%, which in itself reflects the dominance of Votto this season. Forget calling Votto the best player in Canada, so far this year he is making a case to be the best in the world.
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