Leaderboard: Matt Joyce has breakout May
Updated: June 1, 2011, 4:39 PM ETBy Eric Karabell
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Matt Joyce hit .414 in May with seven home runs, 21 RBIs and 23 runs scored. Think about that for a second, and then think back to a month ago when he was probably sitting there on your free-agent list. Joyce, a player who couldn't keep a regular big league job the past few seasons with the Rays and Detroit Tigers was one of fantasy's top players in May. Of course, the big question now is, can he keep this up?
There are some pretty good signs in Joyce's splits that tell me this isn't a fluke. For one, Joyce has always had power against right-handed pitching, so we could actually see more months with seven home runs. In March/April, Joyce hit just two home runs but also had eight doubles, and he batted .321. He was legit before May, really. A .414 batting average can't be sustained, and the fact that his batting average on balls in play has been over .400 each month helps tell us that, but Joyce does draw walks and hits line drives (even though his rate should fall some), and he's not helpless against left-handed pitching. He's a legit breakout player who shouldn't simply stop hitting.
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