After the first dozen games of the fantasy season, two of the highest fantasy drafted sluggers, Los Angeles first basemen, Albert Pujols and Miami outfielder, Giancarlo Stanton , are both still homer-less. They have been playing regularly and both have been hitting the ball, but no home runs. Fantasy owners have been sitting idly by waiting for the new Mr. LA and Mr. Miami to hit their first home run, but the question arises of how long should fantasy owners wait for them to hit their first longball. Should you wait one game, two games, or possibly a dozen games?
It is hard to justify leaving someone who is this COLD in your lineup for an extended period of time when a guy like Josh Willingham who has already hit five homers is still available in a majority of leagues. Taking out your All-Star starts to become a little tempting when free agents are putting up better numbers then the guy you drafted first overall.
Pujols signed an unheard-of $254 million dollar contract this off-season as a free agent, and after thirteen games without any homers many fantasy owners are on the verge of the proverbial cliff. Pujols was supposed to be a guaranteed 40 homers this year, but as of right now the three-time NL MVP is projected to hit a whopping zero homers. It would be impossible for Pujols to go the entire season without hitting a homer, but the absence of them is still something to warrant concern.
Pujols’ recent struggles has not been due to a lack of effort or power, as his 3 hits last night were all doubles that bounced off the outfield wall. It may be a glass half full approach, but the fact that he is hitting the ball with such authority out of the infield, is promising. Out of his 7 doubles so far this season, half of them would have been a home run in any other ballpark.
The former St. Louis Cardinal will eventually go yard on some poor guy’s fantasy pitcher. It could be today, it could be next week, but know that it will happen soon. Pujols is too powerful and smart to be in a drought for much longer, so an awaking of the beast is eminent.
Like Pujols, Stanton has also been homer-less through his first eleven games of the year. Stanton was projected to be the best power-hitting prospect since the aforementioned Pujols, but the Marlins’ slugger has gotten off to an extremely slow start to begin his full-time major league career. He was already moved from the fifth spot in the batting order down to the sixth spot, as manager Ozzie Guillen appears to have run out of patience with the “South Beach Smasher”.
One reason for Stanton’s homer run draught could be the nagging sore knee that he has had since spring training. However, it is only an excuse for his subpar fantasy performance to date, and no way will help remedy the situation. He has to continue to be patient and not swing at everything around the plate, which he has loved to do throughout his career.
It is always disheartening to see potential MVP candidates struggle in the early months of the season, but baseball has a funny way of leveling things out. For instance, White Sox catcher A. J. Pierzynski will not finish the year batting .400 and Luke Scott will not finish the year leading the American League in RBI. These things will correct themselves and so will the home run totals of Pujols and Stanton over the course of the year.
They should both continue to be every fantasy owner’s lineup moving forward. Pujols and Stanton will eventually get red hot at some point in the next couple months and it would be a shame to have either one of them on the bench when they hit a pair of 471 foot bombs. Both players still have the ability to hit 35-40 homers this season, numbers that any fantasy owner would gladly take.