All right we're about 6 weeks in so all of the "flukes" should have been worked out of the system. Or have they? I think any one that is watching the AL closely is counting the ABs until the likes or Brian Roberts and Shea Hillenbrand hit the wall. That being said, Orioles and Toronto fans (and maybe just a little bit of Team X) are holding their collective breath that they won't. Below is a list of a couple surprises (good and bad). I'd like to hear people's thoughts on which will last and which won't.
Not too many positive surprises here (players playing above their previous years), unless you count Inge who hasn't logged a single game as a catcher yet still qualifies for cathcer in yahoo. As for the slow starts, one might suggest Irod is off to a slower start than predicted, but I don't see him struggling. The real surpise is Victor Martinez who was the first catcher drafted (in the second round) and isn't even close to the top 10. It's worth a brief note (or should I say dig) that Posada is mediocre at best - but this isn't a suprise, right?
There are actually a couple of players to talk about here. First off there are two guys returning from injuries or injury affected seasons, Sexson and Sweeney. Should we dust of the crutches or will they last? Then there is the Toronto surprise, Hinske and Hillenbrand tearing it up north of the border. These guys actually should qualify for their own category (corner IF) because I think they are sharing time at both positions with Koskie. Hillenbrand still doesn't get any walks so is it just a matter of time before his stratospheric average starts to drop? Finally, there is the Tino-bambino, whom we've already discussed.
As for the slow starts, Huff and Hafner are the most notable. That being said, Huff is really a right-fielder and I guess Hafner is suffering from can-not-hit-lefty-itis.
Some one grab the hose because Brian Roberts is on fire! I'd just like to point out that X convinced me last year to take a risk on Jerry Hairston Jr. because he was going to be the next big second baseman. How ironic that his ankles exploded (or was it a foot) and Brian Roberts got a chance to show his stuff. His stuff was SO good that Hairston was shipped off to the Cubs in the Sosa deal. Is this kid for real? As for the other end, it looks like Boone might be starting to fade with age, but that's not a surprise.
Just a brief chance to get on my soap-box, don't you love how Arod has become the poster boy for "Stats first"? (He's damn good, but until he shows that he's better for the Yankees then someone's Fantasy team he should be called "Stat boy"). The biggest suprise besides the H-boyz from Toronto is Mora. I think it was widely thought that last year was a total blip and he wouldn't be able to match it (he is 33 after all). So far so good. He is hitting in the hottest offense in the league, so that helps (as predicted). Is it time to start looking at Mora more seriously? Can he be "finding his groove" after 30? On the other side of things, I think it's fair to say that predictably Blalock and Beltre are coming back to earth. Any thoughts on these two?
It doesn't look like there are any major surprise here. Tejada is the man and has been for a couple of years. Jeter is being consistent as always. Michael Young is coming back to earth a bit as is Guillen. The only under performer is Edgar, but he is switching leagues so that could change after the all-star break. (It is worth pointing out that "Orlando-who" isn't fairing much better with the Angels of Everywhere.
It doesn't look like there are any major surprises, besides Carl Everett! Although, I can hear the bones in his knees grinding. Or is that my teeth. Dellucci qualifies for LF (but has more ABs at DH). Will he last? He is currently hitting the ball very well.
I think the big surprise goes to Podsednik. A single for him is basically the same as a double (22 steals)! (And he's not doing a terrible job getting on base). As for guys who are struggling, I think the most notable is Wells. SI did a feature on the Blue Jays before the season and they were commenting that Wells was going to have a 30 HR 30 Steal year. Well, he's got a long way to go to hit those numbers and it's not like his team isn't hitting well. Finally, it is worth mentioning that Torii seems to be back.
No big surprises here. If you aren't familiar with the Sox, I could see someone bringing up Nixon, but I would wager that no one reading this honestly thought that Nixon was going to be at the bottom of the league for RFs.
So I guess the offensive suprises go to Brian Roberts and the H-boyz from North of the border. Pitching will have to wait for another day (although we've done a great job tracking the outstanding performances - thanks Earl).