Can Maicer Izturis Sustain His Hot Start?

Apr 22, 2011

Maicer Izturis is off to an impressive start. He’s 27 for 75 (.360) with eight runs, seven doubles, two home runs, nine RBI, and two stolen bases. He has a .407 on-base percentage and a .940 OPS. The switch-hitter is hitting .327 against right-handed pitching and .435 against southpaws.
He’s not going to hit .360 all year, but can we expect continued success? His chances are good if he can get to 300 at bats. In his first seven seasons he has reached 300 at bats three times. Here’s how he fared those years:

2006:  352 ABs, .293 batting average, 64 runs, five home runs, 44 RBI, 14 SBs, .777 OPS
2007:  336 ABs, .289 batting average, 47 runs, six home runs, 51 RBI, seven SBs, .754 OPS
2009:  387 ABs, .300 batting average, 74 runs, eight home runs, 65 RBI, 13 SBs, .793 OPS

If he did not get off to such a fast start he may have returned to a bench role, but he’s played his way into a regular role. Brandon Wood played his way out of the mix. Alberto Callaspo (.313-11-2-7-0)  is also off to a strong start, but it is likely to be Izturis to handle third base now that Erick Aybar is back. That’s because Izturis is hitting .391 in 69 at bats as the leadoff hitter. That’s too valuable to return him to a utility role. Izturis has even been used as the designated hitter three times this year to get his bat in the lineup.
Injuries are always a concern with Izturis, but if can avoid the injury bug he should continue to excel. While he’s not a sexy pick for fantasy players, he is a solid one. Ride the wave while he’s on top.

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