Many fantasy players have expected Nelson Cruz, who turned 36 in July, to lose power. Keep waiting: He topped 40 home runs for the third straight season. Considering his infield flyball rate was his lowest since 2012, he's getting plenty out of his hits in the air. Proving age ain't nothing but a number, he ranked third with a 26.2 percent HR/FB (none below 20.4 since 2012) and second in average exit velocity (96.2 mph, per MLB Statcast). His hard contact and high walk rates say his recent batting averages look real, but his age and batted-ball splits say to be more realistic with something closer to his .275 career clip. Safeco Field hasn't hurt him; he's hit 17 homers at home in each of the last two years, and 15 in 2014. Fantasy players drafting him solely for power won't be disappointed with expectations of 30 homers. The vet still has tools for a top-50 fantasy season, but lower his floor a bit with another year gone.
Cruz went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and a run in Wednesday's 10-5 win over the Marlins. As is the case with several of his teammates, Cruz's bat seems to be perking up over the last few games, as he's now hit safely in eight of his last nine contests. Wednesday's effort marked his third multi-hit game over that stretch, a span that also includes his first two home runs of the season. Naturally, Cruz's track record should have prevented any owners from jettisoning him during his early struggles, and he now appears to be on the way to reaching his typical levels of production.
Cruz went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in Monday's 6-1 win over the Marlins. Cruz followed a mammoth 440-foot two-run shot by Robinson Cano in the first inning with a blast of his own, his second over the last four games. The homer also extended the slugger's hitting streak to seven games, while giving him four RBI over his last three contests. Cruz is still nowhere near his typical level of production, but he's rather methodically climbing out of the early-season hole that had his average sitting at .080 after the first seven games.
Cruz went 2-for-5 with two RBI singles in Sunday's 8-7 win over the Rangers. Cruz opened the scoring with a run-scoring knock in the first inning, then brought home the winning run in the ninth with an infield hit that plated Mike Freeman. The slugging outfielder has begun finding his way at the plate in 2017, as he now has a six-game hitting streak that has raised his average from .080 to .229. He still has just one home run on the season, however, so odds are some round trippers should soon follow now that he's begun to hit consistently.
Cruz went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a walk during Friday's 2-1 win over the Rangers. Cruz lined his first homer of the season to center field in the fourth inning and just missed a double down the line with two men on in the seventh, only to ground into a double-play on the next pitch. The slugger got off to a slow start to the season, but he has collected six hits through the team's first four home games and will look to pick up his power production after finally seeing a ball fly over the fence.
Cruz went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run during Monday's 6-0 win over Houston. Cruz had gone 2-for-25 to start the campaign, so his multi-hit outing was a welcome showing for fantasy owners. With three consecutive 40-bomb seasons heading into this year, expect the veteran slugger to amp up his offensive output in short order.