The following countdown details seven hitters some stars, some unsung who are solid candidates for sizable fantasy numbers during Week 8 (May 20-26):
3B Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
1. Ramirez was slowed by injuries early on, but it hasn't adversely affected his seasonal marks for batting average (.352), OBP (.407), slugging (.611) and OPS (1.018).
2. On Friday night (May 17), Ramirez crushed the Cardinals for two homers and six RBI.
3. Since May 5, Ramirez boasts a .310 batting average, three homers and 10 RBI.
4. The Brewers have six home games against the Dodgers and Pirates this week. At Miller Park this year, Ramirez has a sterling batting average of .407.
5. Of the last 12 full seasons, A-Ram has cracked 26 or more homers nine times and 100-plus RBI seven times.
6. Last year, Ramirez established a new career high in doubles (50).
7. For the final three months, Ramirez cumulatively tallied 18 homers, 60 RBI, 48 runs, seven steals and a .338 batting average.
OF Alex Gordon, Royals
1. From May 7-19, Gordon hit at a .407 clip, with three homers, 11 RBI and 10 runs.
2. In that span, Gordon has notched seven multiple hit outings.
3. Gordon (.343 batting, .367 OBP, .535 slugging) is on pace for 20-plus homers by season's end.
4. For the week, Gordon has seven attractive matchups against the Astros (three) and Angels (four) with none against Jered Weaver (rehabbing in the minors) or C.J. Wilson.
2B Jason Kipnis, Indians
1. After a dreadful first month, Kipnis has forged a substantial turnaround, batting .314 with six homers and 20 RBI in May. In the last week alone, Kipnis is hitting at a .417 clip (with three dingers).
2. Cleveland has a full week of seven games, starting with the Mariners (home), Tigers (home) and Red Sox (away four).
3. For what it's worth, Kipnis has a lifetime batting average of .394 at Fenway Park ... with an otherworldly OPS of 1.232.
4. Heading into Monday, Kipnis notched four straight games of multiple hits and at least one run.
1B Justin Morneau, Twins
1. Since May 5, Morneau has racked up seven runs, 15 RBI and scintillating batting average (.379) ... which essentially obscures the zero homers and zero walks in that span.
2. By all accounts, Morneau appears to be at full strength once again (no more concussive consequences) ... meaning he still has time to recapture the old mojo of .320 hitting andor .360 OBP.
3. From May 11-15, Morneau tallied two runs, three extra-base hits, seven runs and 11 hits.
4. The Twins have a seven-game roadie for the week, with three against the Braves and four against the Tigers. At Comerica Park, Morneau has lifetime marks of .285 batting, .371 OBP, .512 slugging and 12 homers.
3B Eric Chavez, Diamondbacks
1. Chavez has been on absurd hitting roll in the last 15 days, notching two homers, 14 RBI, eight runs, two steals and a .406 batting average.
2. Put in greater context, Chavez has collected the second-most hits (26) of any MLB player since May 5, with the lone exception of Giants middle infielder Marco Scutaro (29).
3. With Aaron Hill on the disabled list, Chavez should get plenty of opportunities to sink or swim, fantasy-wise, in the coming weeks.
4. Arizona has six attractive games for the week, starting with three at hitter-friendly Coors Field (Rockies) and then a home series with San Diego, against the likes of Jason Marquis and Edinson Volquez.
5. For what it's worth, Chavez has boosted his seasonal batting average 92 points this month. And from a splits standpoint, he has a career OPSOBP of .346.848 for June.
3B Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays
On hard numbers alone, Lawrie (.191 batting, .256 OBP) probably doesn't warrant mention for this countdown. But there are a few positives:
1. It's a tiny sample size, but Lawrie has a .353 OBP in his last four games.
2. The Blue Jays have nine straight home games on the horizon (May 20-28) against the Rays, Orioles and Braves.
3. From a splits standpoint, Lawrie has a lifetime batting averageOBP of .310.371 during the month of June.
4. When healthy, the is simply too good to be this mediocre. He's an ideal buy-low asset in fantasy circles.
OFDH Raul Ibanez, Mariners
1. From May 10-18, spanning eight games, Ibanez ravaged opposing pitching to the tune of six homers, 14 RBI, six runs and a .375 batting average.
2. Despite a surplus of outfielders and designated hitters, Ibanez is getting regular reps for a Mariners club that's desperate for consistent power.
3. From 2002-12, Ibanez averaged 22.2 homers and 91.3 RBI per season. And apparently, turning 40 (now 41) hasn't sapped his power.
4. Ibanez actually has more homers on the road than home this season. But that stat will probably change by season's end thanks to Safeco Field's moved-in fences.
Jay Clemons can be reached, day or night, on Twitter at @FOX_JayClemons.