Jeff Keppinger flourishing as No. 3 hitter

Updated: July 18, 2011, 5:53 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
I admit I chuckled a bit over the weekend when I saw the Houston Astros were hitting second baseman Jeff Keppinger in the No. 3 spot in the lineup. Sure, this isn't a team scoring a ton of runs or winning much, but still, Jeff Keppinger, really? He entered this season a .281 hitter with little power, speed or, let's face it, job security. Now he's hitting third for a big league team … and he has officially earned a middle-infield spot for me in a head-to-head league.

Look, I have, shall we say, a few doubts that Keppinger can keep producing lofty numbers in the Astros' prime hitting slot at this level, but enjoy it while it lasts, right? Keppinger leads all big leaguers with a minimum 25 at-bats in the No. 3 spot with his .441 batting average -- Buster Posey, Michael Cuddyer and Corey Hart are next -- and this past weekend certainly helped. Keppinger homered Saturday and Sunday, doubled twice, knocked in four runs and scored four times.