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April Fantasy Awards
May 1, 2002

April is over and there are 5 players who deserve recognition for an outstanding month of fantasy numbers.  Three of them were expected but two others are nice surprises.

1. Randy Johnson

No one was better in fantasy baseball last year and this year is no different.  Just one month into the season, the Big Unit already has 6 wins, 61 strikeouts, 46 innings pitched, an ERA of 1.37 and a miniscule WHIP of 0.848.  You cannot possibly ask for more out of a fantasy player in one month.  The thing about Johnson, though, is that he is capable of putting up similarly scary numbers the rest of the season.

2. Kenny Lofton

Summoning the early '90s, Kenny Lofton has become resurgent in his quest to be the best leadoff man in baseball.  So far Lofton has far exceeded the expectations of his fantasy owners and the White Sox.  So far, Lofton has 13 stolen bases, 13 RBIs, an unheard of 28 runs in April and is hitting .343.  Lofton will likely slow down a little but a .300 average with 120 runs and 40 stolen bases is a possibility in 2002.

3. Vladimir Guerrero

Nobody does it better is such a quiet fashion.  Playing in Montreal, Vlad has to let his numbers speak for themselves.  Well here they are, loud and clear:  .379, 7 HR, 28 RBI, 22 R, 7 SB.  By the end of the year, the whole league will be listening and trying to figure out how to acquire Guerrero after Montreal is contracted.

4. Curt Schilling

The best "number 2" pitcher throwing today, Schilling showed fantasy owners this April that age is not as important as quality stuff.  Almost matching Johnson, Schilling has accumulated 5 wins, 61 strikeouts, and 44 innings while finishing April with a 3.068 ERA and a 0.932 WHIP.  Don't expect Schilling to slow down either; he's a gamer and figures to come close to last year's 22 wins.

5. Torii Hunter

Hunter has been a HUGE surprise for fantasy owners this year.  Swiping only 9 bases and hitting .260 last year, Hunter is currently on pace for 30 stolen bases and is hitting .371 with 9 HRs, 22 RBIs, and 23 Rs.  The Commish's advice:  trade Hunter now because he's good, but not this good.

Honorable Mention:
Alfonso Soriano, Johnny Damon, Cliff Floyd, A.J. Burnett, Tom Glavine, Kazuhiro Sasaki, Kazuhisa Ishii, and all closers with a bunch of April saves.