Fantasy Baseball: Top 10 Hitters to Get Excited About for Later in Season
There are many players in baseball that are notorious for getting off to slow starts or have spent a lot of time of the disabled list during the first half of this season. Nevertheless, they will put up great numbers.
While many of the people who are currently playing well will continue to do so, it may be difficult to pick them up for your fantasy team.
These are the top 10 improving fantasy gems to pick up by the All-Star break.
Batting just .209 this season, Hideki Matsui isn't going to be a mainstay on many people's fantasy teams. Still, he has been fairly consistent the last few seasons and with a career average of .286, he shouldn't be overlooked.
In his one season in Los Angeles, Matsui managed a .309 average with 11 homers and a .955 OPS after the All-Star break, which brought his season totals to .274, with 21 home runs, and a .820 OPS.
Jim Thome is currently on the 15-day DL for a strained quad. He has had a lackluster season thus far, playing in only 28 games and batting just .237. Although Thome is in his twentieth season in baseball, he showed last season that he can still produce.
He ended 2010 with a .283 average and an impressive 1.039 OPS—.313 average, 1.158 OPS, and 15 homers after the All-Star break—and is someone to keep an eye on when he comes off the disabled list.
Currently sitting at .221, Audrey Huff is a career .280 hitter.
He has already hit four home runs in June and has improving offensive numbers all around. He hit 26 homers and batted .290 just last year, so look for him to use the remainder of the season to get back to that form.
A .225 average is unusual to see next to Delmon Young's name, so don't expect it to remain that way for much longer. A career .288 hitter, Young batted .298 last season.
Despite batting just .228 in April and .197 in May, Young has a .286 average in the month of June and seems to be picking it up.
It is not likely that a career .291 hitter like Shin-Soo Choo is going to maintain his current .241 average for the remainder of the season.
Choo managed a .317 average with 9 homers and 47 RBI after the All-Star break in 2010. Look for him to pick it up in the second half to get closer to that career average.
The numbers of Carlos Gonzalez have dropped a bit from his fantastic 2010 campaign, but he, like many other players on this list, tends to pick things up after the All-Star break.
He's currently batting .250 with just 8 homers, but his .336 average from last season—.363 after the All-Star break—is the important thing to focus on.
Although Yadier Molina hit just .223 before the All-Star break in 2010, he went on a tear in the second half, hitting .315 and bringing his season total up to .262.
This season, he has shown that same tendency—improving as the season goes on. He hit .200 in March, .296 in April, .330 in May, and is currently hitting an astounding .381 in June.
Nelson Cruz may have been overlooked this season because he is only hitting .247 with just a .304 OBP, but he is still producing with 14 home runs.
It is important to keep in mind that Cruz hit .318 last season and .333 after the All-Star break.
Although Josh Hamilton spent a lot of time on the DL during the first part of the season, he hit a ridiculous .384 with a 1.098 OPS after the All-Star break last season.
Hamilton may be a difficult pick up to make, but anyone who was deterred by his injury and his slightly lower numbers will pay dearly come the second half of the season.
Ryan Braun is having a stellar first half of the season. .304 average, 13 home runs, and 43 RBI. Still, if last year's numbers are any indication, he'll have an even better second half.
Braun's batting average was .319 after the All-Star break—hitting .424 in August and .323 in September of last year.
A hard player to get your hands on for sure, but if you do, don't let go.