Three Up, Three Down
Each week, BA will take a look at the trends in major league baseball.
Anthony Rizzo | 1b | Cubs
With Kyle Schwarber—and the Cubs' offense in general—struggling, never-shy Joe Maddon moved slugger Rizzo into the leadoff spot. In the six games since the move, the Cubs are 4-2 and Rizzo has done his part. The lefthanded hitter is 11-for-25 with three homers, two doubles and nine RBIs. Rizzo is in the midst of a 12-game hit streak during which he's 20-for-47 with 16 RBIs. It was intended to be a temporary move to the first spot, but can Maddon move Rizzo out with Rizzo performing so well?
Nolan Arenado | 3b | Rockies
It'd be fair to call Arenado a Giant killer, except for the fact that he kills everybody. On Sunday, Arenado accomplished something just two handfuls of big leaguers had done before: a walk-off, cycle-completing home run with his team trailing, against, of course the Giants. In the Rockies' four-game sweep of San Francisco, Arenado was 10-for-20 with five doubles and nine RBIs and this season he's 18-for-47 with 14 RBIs in 11 games against San Fran.
Matt Adams | 1b | Braves
Just call him Patch Adams. Adams was acquired from the Cardinals to fill the humongous hole left by Freddie Freeman and has come close to replicating the all-star's production. In the past week, Adams was 13-for-26 with three doubles, four homers and 12 RBIs. In 28 games since the trade, Adams has a .306 average with 10 homers, 27 RBIs and a 1.018 OPS. Adams has hit so well the Braves have to consider trying him in left field, as the Cardinals did with little success.
Brandon Belt | 1b | Giants
Belt's poor season is mirroring that of the Giants and it's getting progressively worse. Belt was just 2-for-24 in the past seven games, all Giants losses, with six strikeouts, plunging his average to .222, 45 points below his career mark. Part of it is bad luck, as Belt is still walking and striking out at normative rates, but his average on balls in play is about 80 points lower this season. His ground-ball rate is up sharply and his fly ball rate is down accordingly as well.
Allen Cordoba | ss | Padres
Not much was expected in terms of offense from a Rule 5 player who had not played above Rookie ball before this season. But two solid months, including hitting .308, raised expectations a bit. So perhaps June is just the regression to the mean. But Cordoba crashed-landed in the past six games, going just 2-for-20 with no walks and no extra-base hits. He's still hitting a respectable .255 given his circumstances and age (21).
Todd Frazier | 3b | White Sox
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Frazier was trying to rebuild his trade value with a hot start to June, but that cratered in the past week. The slugging third baseman was just 2-for-25 with a homer and four strikeouts. Despite that, he's still hitting .263/.348/.526 this month, which shows just how hot he was until this week. On the positive side, he's walking more and striking out less.