Surprise contributions from players is essential to success for any fantasy baseball owner over the course of a long season, and Baltimore Orioles outfielder Steve Pearce has fit that bill with a .338 batting average, 10 home runs and 29 RBI in 157 at-bats so far this season. He was designated for assignment and then re-signed in April, but after going 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI on Thursday he is hitting .383 (31-for-81) with six home runs and 17 RBI over his last 22 games.
Pearce is 31 years old and has struggled to stick in the big leagues, dating back to his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and this season’s 157 at-bats stands as the third highest at-bat total of his major league career even at this relatively early stage. So his current level of success could easily reverse itself soon, but he is Baltimore’s current best option in left field and may be able to stick there over the rest of the season.
Pearce’s ownership percentage has risen quickly, as could be expected, but he is currently still available in over 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues. He is worth adding in very deep mixed leagues, and he should be eligible at first base in most leagues (16 games this season), but he is not yet a must-add in that format. Pearce’s recent hot streak qualifies as unsustainable, and his track record suggests a major regression may be coming (.384 BABIP this year; .299 BABIP for his career), but owners in AL-only leagues that need an offensive boost would do well to add him while he is on a hot streak.
Brad Berreman is a Senior Writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter.