The All-Star break is a time to reflect on the happenings of the first few months of the season. It’s also a time to catch your breath in the biggest marathon of fantasy sports.
Rather than resting on our laurels though, let’s take a look at some batters that got off to a rough start and see if they will rebound in the second half.
Starlin Castro, SS, Chicago Cubs
Castro is hitting .232 with 41 runs, five home runs and 27 RBI. His second-half career OPS is 79 points higher than his first half, which should help, but I’d like to see some proof before expecting a turnaround.
Josh Hamilton, OF, Anaheim Angels
Hamilton enters the day hitting .229 with a paltry .711 OPS. He did smack a pair of home runs Wednesday night to bring his total on the year to 14.
In his past 14 games, he’s hitting .346 with 12 runs, four home runs and 14 RBI. His career slugging percentage is 20 points lower following the All-Star break, but given the fact that he set the bar so low, I think a continued surge is in order.
Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta Braves
Heyward is hitting .225 with seven home runs and 21 RBI. He got off to a brutal start hitting .146 through May, but rebounded in a big way (.312) in June.
So far July has been slow (.189) so there is cause for concern. Heyward’s second-half batting average is 26 points higher than his first-half average.
Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Kemp currently resides on the 15-day DL because of inflammation in his AC joint. That sounds as painful as the .254-29-4-24-9 line he has produced for his fantasy owners.
Instead of bouncing back from a mediocre 2012 season, he is making his monster 2011 campaign look more like an outlier. I wouldn’t expect him to be worse, mainly because he has done so little, but I’m not feeling a huge turnaround.
Albert Pujols, 1B, Anaheim Angels
Hamilton isn’t the only Angel off to a slow start by their standards. Pujols is hitting .252 with 15 home runs and 56 RBI. He’s on pace to hit only 27 home runs, which would mark the first time in his career that he failed to reach 30 home runs.
Pujols’ slugging percentage is 43 points higher in the second half, and if last year is any indication, Pujols should be set to take off. His slugging percentage jumped from .460 in the first half to .581 in the second half. With his streak in jeopardy, look for Prince Albert to get his power groove going.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Miami Marlins
Stanton is only hitting .246, which isn’t as big of a problem as his minuscule .436 slugging percentage. He has been limited to 48 games and that has resulted in a single-digit (eight) home run total.
His second-half OPS is 115 points higher than the first half. He should be much better following the break.
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