Fantasy Baseball Second-Half Busts: Hitters
Every year there are a select few players that live past their expectations in the first half of the baseball season to only disappoint in the second half. This season isn’t any different, with many players who are over-performing as fantasy players and should be used with caution.
Todd Helton, 1B (COL): After it seemed that Helton was past his prime, he came out on fire in 2009 batting .324 with 10 home runs through 86 games with the Rockies. Helton’s lack of power numbers shows that his age is catching up to him at 35, and he may not be able to keep up the numbers he has shown through the first-half of the season.
If someone offers you a trade for Helton, sell him high while he still has good value and save yourself some disappointment.
Aaron Hill, 2B (TOR): Although Hill started out the season as one of the best second basemen in the league, his numbers have now started to fall off the deep end. Over the last month of the season Hill has a .222 BA, with only five home runs and 12 RBI.
Hill has shown that he is a solid fantasy player thus far in the season, but he has yet to play in a full season as an every day starter. Start shopping him around now, before his value starts to fall.
Russell Branyan, 1B, 3B (SEA): Branyan is having one of his best seasons in 2009, but a fall from grace seems inevitable for the second-half of the season. He put up All-Star numbers prior to the halfway point of the season, but the last month Branyan has a .213 BA with seven home runs.
Branyan has a career .236 BA, so his .278 BA in 2009 has him batting well above his expectations. Try to find a buyer as soon as you can before he has a total meltdown.
Jason Bartlett, SS (TB): After starting off the season atop the leader board in batting average, Bartlett has not been able to bounce back from his injury sustained in late May, which caused him to miss a few weeks of play. Since returning from injury, his batting average has fallen from .376 to .344 in a short period of time.
If this trend continues, Bartlett will finish the season batting under .300 and will have no fantasy value. While he is still floating around the top of the batting average leader board, you should try and see what you can get for him.
Ben Zobrist, 2B, SS, OF (TB): Zobrist has been one of the best stories for the 2009 season thus far, but I feel there is no way he can carry over his first-half to the second-half of the season. He had a total of 15 home runs in his career prior to this season, in which he already has hit 18 home runs.
He has not yet shown that he is slowing down, but it seems like this is just too good to be true. One thing to keep in mind is that Zobrist had a total of 269 at-bats last season and already has 263 at-bats this season, so we will see just how durable he really is in the upcoming months.
Brandon Inge, C, 3B, OF (DET): With his catcher eligibility, Inge became an attractive target in the beginning of the season by fantasy owners. He was able to come through in the clutch, hitting 21 home runs and recording 58 RBI.
Inge is on pace to surpass every one of his career numbers this season, but he has already started to show signs normalcy. He will continue to put up the power numbers, but his inconsistency makes him a sell high candidate.
Be sure to check back for the fantasy baseball second-half bust pitchers!