5 MLB First-Half Phenoms We Should Not Take Seriously

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2013

5 MLB First-Half Phenoms We Should Not Take Seriously

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    Yes, it is that time of year again.

    The time where baseball analysts delve into the first-half numbers of some surprise stars and tear them to shreds and tell readers how bad their strong play will not continue after the All-Star break.

    So without further ado, here are the five players I think are first-half flukes and are players that we should not take seriously in the second half.

Jeff Locke, Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Everyone across America, including fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is waiting for the Buccos to wilt away after a dominant first half of the season.

    One of the best starting pitchers on the Pirates staff in the first half of the season has been Jeff Locke, who is 7-1 with a 2.06 ERA in 16 starts.

    Like most of the Pittsburgh roster, Locke is a young talent who is beginning to make a name for himself.

    However, you should not expect Locke to keep up his low ERA all season as the contenders in the National League begin to show themselves for good and the pressure is put on the Pirates.

Domonic Brown, Philadelphia Phillies

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    Before Yasiel Puig stole his thunder as the hottest hitter in the National League, Philadelphia's Domonic Brown was the sexy name to keep an eye in the senior circuit.

    Brown got hot in the month of May, hitting 12 home runs and driving in 25 runs in 109 plate appearances.

    Once the attention shifted away from Brown during June, he began to go back to average statistics with just six homers and 19 RBI.

    Brown will still be the main attraction in Philadelphia for the rest of the season, especially if the rest of the roster becomes trade bait, but do not expect him to put up the numbers that he did in May.

Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays

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    Edwin Encarnacion has found a home north of the border in Toronto over the last few seasons, and he has found his hitting stride in the last season-and-a-half for the Blue Jays as well.

    But Encarnacion has just hit over 26 home runs twice, one of those seasons being 2012 when he hit 42 dingers.

    Another thing about the last season-and-a-half that differs from the rest of his career is that he was actually healthy for a majority of the year.

    Although it looks like Encarnacion has found some consistency, a player with injury concerns from the past is always someone to not take seriously, especially when an injury has not plagued the utility man for quite some time now.

Addison Reed, Chicago White Sox

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    Yes, the Chicago White Sox have not been good this season.

    No, Addison Reed's save total does not reflect their 32-43 record.

    The 24-year-old right-hander has saved 21 of the Southsiders' 32 wins, which means he has saved 65 percent of the team's wins this season.

    That pace is surely set to slide after the All-Star break due to the new ways the White Sox find a way to lose.

    The latest example of the lowly defensive play of the White Sox came on Tuesday when they made a mockery of a pop-out that should have been the final out of the game against the Mets.

Bartolo Colon, Oakland Athletics

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    Out of nowhere, Bartolo Colon has recorded 10 wins before the All-Star break for the first time since 2005.

    Colon, now 40, has found success in the Bay Area with Oakland, and he could find himself on his third All-Star team in a week's time.

    The main reason for people to believe that Colon's first-half success will not be sustained is that he has not won over 10 games since that 2005 season when he played for the Angels.

    While he may end up winning another few games this season, Colon will definitely not reach the 21-win mark that he reached in that 2005 season.