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Roto Renaissance Men (Week 7)
Nate Springfield | Monday May 24th, 2010
Mr. Cruz and his Boom Stick get top honors (AP)
Mr. Cruz and his Boom Stick get top honors (AP)
Nelson Cruz
Nelson Cruz and his Boom Stick get top honors (AP)

Renaissance Man [ren' i-sans' man] n - a man who knows a lot about many different subjects and has many practical skills and abilities.

At the beginning of each week I am going to take a look at some Rotisserie Renaissance Men from the previous week. Stats in this edition cover the week of May 17th - 23rd. These are the hitters that are solid contributors to all 5 roto categories and pitchers who are doing things right in 4 - and possibly 5 categories some weeks. Whether these guys are sitting on your bench or your league's waiver wire, they probably need to be in a starting line-up while they are staying hot.

Hitters

Nelson Cruz - OF, Texas Rangers
(24 AB, .458 AVG, 5 R, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 2 SB)
Nelson made a lot of noise coming off the DL at the end of Week 6 and it continued on into Week 7 where warmer weather and friendly winds in Arlington slightly aided his success.  This week shows what Nelson is capable of and why at the end of the year he has the numbers he does.  He can go for a week or two hitting under .200 with only singles and a double, then he has weeks like this.  With 5 games, instead of 7 this week, and on the road for all those 5 you can expect one of the "other" weeks instead of what he did in Week 6, but he definitely can still contribute by being in your active line-up.

Ben Zobrist - 2B/OF, Tampa Bay Rays
(28 AB, .500 AVG, 7 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 3 SB)

Is the Zorilla back?  All fantasy owners and Tampa fans certainly hope so.  Before Week 7 started he was hitting a pretty empty .269 with no home runs, 16 RBI and 6 stolen bases.  He was almost looking like a fantasy flop.  If what he did during week 7 is any indication of what he will continue to do, owners that took him on draft day will be getting their full value come the end of the season.  Six games at home this week, 3 of which are coming against some struggling pitchers, you can look for Zobrist to continue his tear and put up some decent numbers again.

Shin-Soo Choo
- OF, Cleveland Indians

(26 AB, .346 AVG, 6 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 SB)
It really is too bad that the Indians number one and two batters are not better than what they are.  Choo had a monster week that could have been bigger with the help of people being on base when he did his damage at the plate.  Both of his home runs came in one game against the Reds and Choo has had these short bursts of streakiness all year.  He gets seven games again this week, squaring off at home against the White Sox before heading to the city that never sleeps for four against the Yankees.  If the weather is good he could very well hop on another hot streak and abuse that short right field porch at Yankee Stadium, which will make owners like me happy once again.

Jason Bay - OF, New York Mets
(22 AB, .500 AVG, 9 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB)
Another player that has fell victim to his numbers not fulfilling potential because of the players around him.  Bay only had 3 RBI last week, all coming on Sunday night against the Yankees when he also hit his two homeruns.  He had 9 other hits this week, all of which did not produce any RBI, for a guy in the middle of the line-up that is just wrong.  Owners won't complain though and will quietly sit and hope that this inter-league stretch of games has crack opened Bay's potential for the rest of the season considering before last week he was hitting .277 with a lone home run.

Honorable Mentions
Edwin Encarnacion - 3B, Toronto Blue Jays - 19 AB, .368 AVG, 7 R,6 HR, 11 RBI, 0 SB

Pitchers

Edwin Jackson - SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
(15.2 IP, 2 W, 21 K, 2.87 ERA, 0.77 WHIP)
Really, him??  Yes, who would have thought a week ago we would have something positive to say about Edwin Jackson?  Especially when he was going against a what was a hot offense going into the in the Marlins and a team that hit's home runs like it's their job - well I guess it is their job, but they hit a lot - in the Blue Jays.  He still was bit by the long ball against Toronto, but his key this week was the lack of base on balls issued - just 2.  Striking out 12 Marlins also helped his cause.  This could be the turning point of Jackson's year or just a flash of potential but he is pitching in San Francisco against one of the worst offenses of the past week so he is worth a stream start on Friday.

Clayton Richard - SP, San Diego Padres
(14 IP, 2 W, 11 K, 1.29 ERA, 0.93 WHIP)
It was talked about in our Podcast last week, and the Padres pitching just keeps on keeping on.  Richard seems to be thriving pitching in the NL and was a fairly high prospect before the trade over to San Diego from the White Sox, he just had a hard time putting it together.  It seems to be clicking so far this year without issue.  You should be able to expect the lower ERA and WHIP numbers to continue and his strike out to inning ratio to stay about the same as well.  He is still fairly young, so he will throw a stinker every once in a while, but you have to ride this guy whenever the match-ups are favorable.

Daniel Bard - RP, Boston Red Sox
(3.1 IP, 1 W, 1 SV, 2 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.900 WHIP)
Everyone knows this guy is a closer in waiting and he proved this week he has the stuff to do so.  With Jonathan Papelbon being over worked and struggling the previous two nights, Bard had the chance for the save last Wednesday against the Twins and converted.  He has had some struggles early in the season but he is now in the groove.  He also picked up a vulture win last week against the Yankees, also courtesy of Papelbon's struggles.  Bard will be a key part of Boston's bullpen throughout the year and any league that values middle relievers he should be rostered and active at all times.



Nate SpringfieldNate Springfield joined the Baseball Press crew for the 2010 season and hosts the site's podcast. His love for the game has grown thanks to fantasy baseball, with a specialty in NL-only auction leagues. You can contact him at nate@baseballpress.com or follow him on Twitter @NateSpringfield.