Staff writer Tim Hubbard looks at two first basemen who have been surprising through the season's first quarter, and another who is off to a dreadful start.
ON THE UPSWING
Mark Reynolds, Cleveland
Despite averaging more than 27 home runs per season, Reynolds is known for his ability to not hit the ball. After all, he did strike out more than 200 times three times. But in the last three years, it has been Reynolds' batting average that has kept fantasy owners at arm's length. Now hitting .268 with 12 home runs and 37 runs batted in, Reynolds is reaping the rewards of better contact, as he has 40 strikeouts.
Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
Rizzo, one of the key pieces sent to San Diego when the Padres traded Adrian Gonzalez to Boston, was overmatched in 49 games in 2011, hitting .141 with one home run and nine RBIs. Since being shipped to Chicago, Rizzo has become a fan favorite. In 129 games as a Cub, Rizzo has hit .284 with 25 home runs and 78 RBIs, a performance that recently netted him a $41-million, seven-year contract extension.
DOWN IN THE COUNT
Ike Davis, New York Mets
Though Davis' average fell to .227 last year, he hit 32 home runs and drove in 90 runs. But in 39 games this year, Davis is hitting .156 and has knocked in only nine runs. In an effort to jump-start him, Davis was recently moved back into the cleanup spot where he responded by going 0 for 5 with four strikeouts Thursday.