Derrek Lee, Cubs, .383. Career high: .282 2004 leader at break: Barry Bonds, Giants, .365; final stat: .362, 1st in league
In Lee's Triple Crown quest, winning a batting title will be the toughest task for the career .275 hitter, especially with Albert Pujols (.342) and Miguel Cabrera (.340) looming behind him.
July 10, 2005
Brian Roberts, Orioles, .360. Career high: .273 2004 leader at break: Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers, .369; final stat: .334, 4th
Not since Frank Robinson hit .316 in 1966 has an Oriole won a batting title, but Baltimore's diminutive second baseman has the stroke and speed to keep his average up.
AL HOME RUNS
Mark Teixeira, Rangers, 22. Career high: 38 2004 leader at break: Manny Ramirez, Red Sox, 26; final stat: 43, 1st
A home run title this year could be the first of many for the Rangers' 25-year-old first baseman, who's thriving in Arlington's homer-happy Ameriquest Field after cutting down on his strikeouts.
Carlos Lee, Brewers, 72. Career high: 113. 2004 leader at break: Scott Rolen, Cardinals, 80; final stat: 124, 2nd
Traded from the White Sox to the Brewers after six productive but unheralded seasons in Chicago, the slugging leftfielder (22 homers through Sunday) has bloomed in Milwaukee, making his first All-Star team.
Jon Garland, White Sox, 13. Career high: 12 2004 leaders at break: Kenny Rogers and Mark Mulder, 11; final stats: Rogers, 18, 3rd; Mulder, 17, 5th
Scouts have long drooled over Garland's stuff, and now the 25-year-old White Sox righthander has finally put it all together, thanks primarily to his improved changeup.
Dontrelle Willis, Marlins, 13. Career high: 14 2004 leaders at break: Eric Milton and Jason Schmidt, 11 wins; final stats: Milton, 14, 17th; Schmidt, 18, 2nd
The flamboyant lefty has a history of fading down the stretch--he's 8--11 with a 4.30 ERA after the All-Star break--but he's focusing on conditioning in hopes of staying strong all season.
Chad Cordero, Nationals, 29. Career high: 14 2004 leader at break: Danny Graves, 33; final stat: 41, 6th
The 23-year-old Cordero has been the key to the Nationals' hot start, but his heavy workload--he's second in the majors in appearances--means he might be gassed come September.
Roy Halladay, Blue Jays (2.33) Career low: 2.93 2004 leader at break: Tim Hudson, 2.98 final stat: 3.53, 5th
Coming off a disappointing season in which he made two trips to the DL with shoulder tendinitis, Halladay has cut his ERA nearly in half and is on pace to put up better numbers than in his '03 Cy Young year.