Gerald Laird, Rangers
A strong first half (.341 BA, .367 OBP, .588 SLG through Sunday) puts him in
position to supplant Rod Barajas for the starting job.
A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox
Here's why his .321 BA is a mirage: He's hitting .353 on balls in play, far
above his mark of .301 entering this season.
Justin Morneau, Twins
He hit 10 of his 19 home runs during Minnesota's recent 20-11 run, making him a
safe bet to become the first Twin since 1987 to hit 30.
Chris Shelton, Tigers
His plate discipline is vanishing along with his power (four homers since May
13) and batting average (.171 in his last 23 games).
Marcus Giles, Braves
Despite a .239 BA, all his peripherals and batted-ball breakdowns are in line
with past years. Expect .290 with 25 doubles from here on.
Dan Uggla, Marlins
His high strikeout rate (45 in 265 at bats) and 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio
portend a falloff in batting average from his lofty .313.