Baseball Insider

Stock Watch: Puig is an All-Star, but Cuddyer beats him here

Yasiel Puig had 44 hits in June, the most hits for anyone in a debut month since Joe DiMaggio's 48 in May, 1936.

Puig has to be an All-Star at this point, as he hit .426 with seven homers in June and single-handedly changed the story for the Dodgers. The argument that he shouldn't make it because he's only been up for a month doesn't work, as Puig has done more in a month than most do in a year.

The claim that he shouldn't make it because he'd take someone else's spot doesn't work either. Who would that someone be? Who deserves to be an All-Star in the NL outfield more than him?

But while Puig should be an All-Star, he doesn't make Stock Watch this week for three reasons:

  • He can't make Stock Watch every week
  • Stock Watch is an even more exclusive club
  • It was quite a week/month for several other sluggers/hitters, as well

So now that we have that out of the way, it's time to assemble the full Bull and Bear Markets.

Bull Market

1. Michael Cuddyer, Rockies OF: Puig was a bit closer to DiMaggio's great deed, but Cuddyer's 27-game hitting streak, which is one game shy of halfway to the great DiMaggio's most hallowed record in baseball is darned impressive in its own right. Cuddyer is now 42 for 113 (.372) with five doubles, six homers, 19 RBI and 16 runs scored in his streak. He also has reached base safely in a club record 45 straight.

What's more, Cuddyer's hitting streak would be 33 games if not for entering a game as a pinch hitter and going 0-for-1 on May 27. Yes, before that one at-bat, he had hit in six straight.

2. Jason Kipnis, Indians 2B: As one Indians writer put it about Kipnis' day off Sunday, "On the seventh day, Kipnis rested."

It was quite a week indeed for Kipnis. Over his last seven games he is 14 for 27 with nine walks, giving him an on-base percentage of .632 for that span. And they aren't cheap hits, either. He has three homers and 11 RBI in that span.

It was quite a month, too, as Kipnis had the best on-base percentage in the majors in June (.517) and the best OPS (1.216). He has reached base safely in 32 straight games, dating back to May 26.

3. AL MVP race (Miguel Cabrera, Tigers 3B, and Chris Davis, Orioles 1B): Cabrera was a neat 24 for 48 over a 12-game stretch before he went 1 for 4 Sunday, but what a one it was. He hit a homer into the Tropicana Field tank, becoming only the second player ever to do that, following Luis Gonzalez in 2007.

Meanwhile, Davis hit three homers over the weekend against the Yankees, giving him 31 for the year and putting him on pace to tie Roger Maris for the legitimate single-season home run record of 61 (his exact ace is 60.5). The last time a player had a year of this ilk was Alex Rodriguez, who turned his 54-homer, 156-RBI season into a $275-million contract. Davis is only second-year arbitration eligible, so he may have to wait for the really big bucks.

In the meantime, he and Cabrera are hitting up such a storm they've locked everyone else out of what promises to be a second straight great MVP race. They are 1-2 in these six major categories, with Cabrera leading in batting average (.373 to .332). on-base percentage (.461 to .406), RBI (82 to 80) and OPS (1.141 to 1.135), and Davis ahead in home runs (31 to 25) and slugging percentage (.728 to .680).

Bear Market

1. Ryan Howard, Phillies 1B: Howard has been even streakier than usual this year, and this is not a good streak he's on, with zero hits and 11 strikeouts in his last 20 at-bats.

2. Joba Chamberlain, Yankees RP: Chamberlain was hammered pretty much all month long, as opposing hitters batted .350 against him, with four home runs. The ERA was 9.35.

3. Chase Headley, Padres 3B: Headley hit .189 with one home run and 26 strikeouts. Looks like the Padres may be able to afford him, after all.

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