This blog is in conjunction with the “Fantasy Focus” segment on the Boise Hawks pre-game show
If you would have told me at the beginning of the season we would have already had two no-hitters, two-perfect games, and three guys competing for the Triple Crown in the AL, I would have bet you “a brand new Memorial Stadium” that you were wrong.
Thank God I don’t gamble that often.
It’s been one of the crazier season that I can remember in baseball. Which means our fantasy baseball season has been “Tom Cruise” (before and after “Oprah”). It’s safe to say if you have guys like 1B Miguel Cabrera, OF Josh Hamilton, and RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, ride them until their legs fall off. But if you are looking for guys who could potentially be great “buys” in the second half, here are some names to consider.
Buster Posey, Catcher, San Francisco Giants
38 G, 137 AB, .350 BA, 7 HR, 25 RBI, 8 BB, 22 R, 48 H, 16 SO
As if the power, the batting average, and the fact he’s a good player at a thin position is not enough to lure you to pick him up, consider this. He’s all alone on the depth chart. With the trading of long-time catcher Bengie Molina, Posey is now “the guy” and should see an increase in those impressive numbers. If he can get more disciplined at the plate, he could become a “Top 5” catcher on draft day in 2011.
James Loney, First Base, Los Angeles Dodgers
88 G, 337 AB, .308 BA, 6 HR, 63 RBI, 28 BB, 47 R, 104 H, 50 SO
It seems like every year we keep saying “this will be the year that Loney breaks out”. And every year since his rookie year in 2007, we are all sadly disappointed. But Loney went on major hot streak before the All-Star Break (unlike years past) and could finally be ready to restore our faith in him. He has never hit above .300 before the break (outside of 2007) until this season and he is batting a ridiculous .447 in July.
Sean Rodriguez, Second Base, Tampa Bay Rays
70 G, 219 AB, .264 BA, 6 HR, 30 RBI, 6 BB, 34 R, 58 H, 64 SO
Consistency is the name of the game and for Rodriguez, he’s still looking for it. But the thing I like is he will consistently get the duties at second base in the second half and he went into the break batting .309 since June 29th. Rodriguez is a guy worth snagging in head-to-head leagues.
Stephen Drew, Short Stop, Arizona Diamondbacks
81 G, 298 AB, .275 BA, 4 HR, 29 RBI, 6 SB, 31 BB, 43 R, 82 H, 56 SO
Drew is batting .346 in July and has been one of the more consistent producers in fantasy baseball this season (ranked 11th). Drew has always been a better second half hitter and if you are in dire straights and need a solid short stop, he is one worth trading for.
Ian Stewart, Third Base, Colorado Rockies
81 G, 256 AB, .257 BA, 11 HR, 44 RBI, 5 SB, 34 BB, 40 R, 66 H, 76 SO
The weird thing with Stewart is that if you take away June, he’s been a really good fantasy player. But after hitting a dismal .167 in June, Stewart has seen his value drop. With the arrival of SS Troy Tulowitzki (who is due back soon), Stewart could get his production up and becoming a must-start fantasy option.
Drew Stubbs, Outfield, Cincinnati Reds
85 G, 293 AB, .235 BA, 11 HR, 43 RBI, 17 SB, 31 BB, 47 R, 69 H, 90 SO
If it weren’t for the batting average, there would be more people out there talking about him as a Rookie of the Year candidate. Stubbs has been inconsistent (much like Stewart) but nonetheless, he is still on pace to be a 20-20 guy. If he can learn better plate discipline in the second half, scoop him up and get him active.
Tyler Colvin, Outfield, Chicago Cubs
80 G, 179 AB, .262 BA, 12 HR, 32 RBI, 2 SB, 14 BB, 29 R, 47 H, 53 SO
I know this seems like a homer pick, but you and I know at some point the Cubs will trade somebody. And when they do, Colvin will see those every-day at bats in outfield and his value should increase tremendously. He’s already having a solid year in terms of production. Giving him the starting job should make those numbers soar (just don’t tell this to Lou Pinella).
Jair Jurrjens, Pitcher, Atlanta Braves
1-3, 5.40 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 35 IP, 25 K, 16 BB
The hamstring injury he suffered early in the season had a huge affect on him. He’s always been a guy who struggles with walking batters, but he averages an ERA around 3.23 and he is good for at least 10 wins and 101 K. The Braves are in contention, which means Jurrjens will get plenty of starts from here on out.
Tommy Hunter, Pitcher, Texas Rangers
5-0, 2.33 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 42.3 IP, 27 K, 10 BB, 1 CG
Hunter, like Posey, really didn’t acquire the starting spot until later in the early part of the season. That being said, he has been lights out this far. He will lose a couple of games here and there, but he has a great offense backing him up and should be added in head-to-head leagues.
Brian Matusz, Pitcher, Baltimore Orioles
3-9, 4.77 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 103.7 IP, 80 K, 38 BB
This is a guy that had a lot hype going into the season and given his W-L, ERA, and WHIP, he really hasn’t lived up to it. But then again, he does play for the Orioles. Matusz seems like he is getting back on the winning track and the K/IP totals are pretty darn impressive. If he heats up, add him!
If the first half of the season is any indication, the second half is going to be one of the more exciting ones we have seen in a long time. Good luck to you and your fantasy squad and for more info, tune in every Monday night on 1350 KTIK “The Ticket” for more fantasy advice from myself and Mike Safford.
Till next time..