Neil Walker continues powerful start 

April, 16, 2014
Neil WalkerJustin K. Aller/Getty ImagesEntering the season, Neil Walker had three career homers in April. He's got five already in 2014 with two weeks left in the month.

Big league second basemen don’t generally contend for home run titles, and when one comes along with enticing power, fantasy owners tend to gravitate toward that player. Last season, for example, 26 hitters managed to reach 26 or more home runs, and the only middle infielder among that group was Robinson Cano. In 2012, Cano also stood alone as a middle infielder among the 36 players who hit 27 or more home runs. This theme is partly why San Diego Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko and Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy bring special value as power hitters at positions that don’t generally provide those statistics.

It’s possible that Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is on his way to surprisingly joining the club of power-hitting middle infielders. Walker’s fantasy owners have already received three blasts this week -- he hit two of them in the rain on Monday -- and that means he’s only one off the big league lead with five home runs after 14 games. Walker has been a reliable yet modest fantasy contributor for years, hitting 12 or more home runs four consecutive seasons, including last year’s career-best 16, but he’s obviously on pace for far more after only two weeks.