Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 6/25/13
In this installment, Shelby Miller struggles with his pitch count again, Yasel Puig breaths life into the Dodgers and Jose Iglesias forces the Red Sox's hand(all stats through Monday). 1. Shelby Miller, RHP, Cardinals8-5, 2.35 ERA, 1.00, 101 K The numbers are outstanding, but they're trending in the wrong direction as Miller approaches the midpoint his rookie season. On Saturday, Miller allowed two homers for the second time in three starts and failed to pitch more than six innings for the seventh time in eight starts. High pitch counts have been the main problem for Miller, who is actually the least efficient starting pitcher in the National League in terms of pitches per plate appearance (4.16). Considering he's never pitched more than 150 innings in a season, the Cardinals may have to limit Miller's innings in the second half if they want him fresh in October. 2. Yasel Puig, OF, Dodgers.442.476.753, 7 HR, 14 RBI Three weeks later, Puig is showing no signs of slowing down. He hit his seventh homer Monday night and added a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning off Madison Bumgarner, leading Dodgers to a 3-1 victory over the Giants. The stats are getting ridiculous: - Puig is first player in major league history with 34 hits and seven home runs in his first 20 career games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. - Since making his debut on June 3, Puig leads the majors with 31 hits and is batting .461 with runners in scoring position (6-for-13). - Puig is hitting .867 (13-for-15) with four home runs when he puts the ball in play on the first pitch of an at-bat. He turns singles into doubles. He hits opposite-field homers with ease. He trends worldwide on Twitter. Puig can do it all. He even drew his first two unintentional walks over the weekend. 3. Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP, Dodgers6-3, 2.85 ERA, 81 K, 1.22 WHIP Ryu gets into his share of jams, but he usually works his way out of them. When you have five reliable pitches (four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, slider, curveball and changeup), the batters never know what's coming. Ryu has also induced 12 double plays, which is a pitcher's best friend. If you're scoring at home, Ryu has pitched at least six innings in 14 of his 15 starts and has made 12 quality starts, including six in a row. Not bad for a rookie. Considering the instant success of Puig and Ryu, the Dodgers probably wished they beefed up their international scouting department years ago. 4. Jose Iglesias, SS-3B, Red Sox.426.479.565, 1 HR, 7 RBI First, Iglesias rendered utilityman Pedro Ciriaco expendable. Now he's forcing third baseman Will Middlebrooks to the bench -- or perhaps Pawtucket. How hot is Iglesias? With 43 hits in his first 100 at-bats of the season, Iglesias became the first American League rookie to pull off that feat since Tony Oliva in 1964. "I feel pretty comfortable at the plate," Iglesias said. "I've been able to put some good swings and also found some holes. You need a little bit of luck, too." Iglesias, who has who has reached base in 26 consecutive games, has had quite a bit of luck. Of his 46 hits, 15 didn't leave the infield and his batting average on balls hit in play is .489. A career .264 hitter in the minors, Iglesias won't win any batting titles, but he's emerged as the frontrunner in the AL Rookie of the Year race. 5. Anthony Rendon, 2B-3B, Nationals.333.338.467, 1 HR, 6 RBI Rendon, the sixth pick in the 2011 draft, didn't make a much of an impression during his eight-game stint with the Nationals earlier this season. While filling in for Ryan Zimmerman, Rendon hit .240 (6-for-25) with a double and one RBI. Opportunity knocked again on June 4, when Danny Espinosa was place on the DL with a wrist injury. Since then, Rendon is 24-for-65 (.367) with eight doubles, a homer and five RBI. He also sports a team-leading .930 OPS in that span. And he's done it while transitioning from third base -- his natural position -- to second base. That's pretty impressive, as is his lucky mullet ...
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