Daily Archives: June 1, 2011

Some Love For Matt

No, I’m not talking about MCeezy. There’s another Matt out there that is tearing up Major League pitching this year, and it seems like nobody is talking about him. Maybe one of the only reasons I’ve noticed his existence is because he’s on two of my fantasy teams, but there’s good reason to take notice of what he’s been doing this year. While others try to figure out if Jose Bautista is “for real” or not, nobody is really talking about ML leader in batting. Matt Joyce is hitting a ridiculous .370 this year. I’m not so sure he’ll keep that up, but it definitely should warrant some more attention than it has received. Maybe it’s because he’s in his fourth year as a pro making him slide under the radar in a time when people are more excited about a rookie sensation like Eric Hosmer. His career normals are in the .250/10/40 range, but then again, Joyce was always in a platoon situation or just a substitute when someone got injured. Fortunately for the Rays, Manny Ramirez decided to call it quits, errr, fail a drug test, and open a spot in the lineup for Joyce. He’s probably already done as much as Manny would’ve done at the plate this year, and plays some really good defense to boot.

With 3 more homers, 10 more RBI’s, and 6 more runs this season, he will have career highs in all categories (already has career highs in doubles and SB’s). At his current pace he’ll have those well before the All-Star break. Can you label this a fluke? I wound’t, because looking at his games played each season as he’s never played over 92 games in a season. He’s always hit for power, but the average has never been there like it has this year. If you had to pick an MVP for the Rays this year, it would be Joyce hands down. Longoria, Damon, and Zobrist have been good on and off, but the rock in the lineup that’s been hot all year long is Matt Joyce. What I can’t figure out for the life of me is why Maddon puts Joyce so far down in the lineup. Sometimes he has his .370 hitter in the six or seven slot. A guy that hits with power and average should be in the top three hitters or protecting Longoria. I know we have one Rays reader, so maybe he can explain Maddon’s theory of putting him so far down in the lineup half the time.

If you didn’t know it’s all-star voting time, and there’s sure to be some bad picks as there are every year. Here’s how I feel like the AL outfield should look. Joyce, Bautista, and Granderson. Too bad it will probably be something like Crawford, Ichiro, and Hamilton or something like that…