MLB Predictions: Each Team's Player Who Will Heat Up with the Summer Weather
As we approach the All-Star break, there are several players who have yet to find their stride this season.
Some players are slumping, while others have been bitten by the injury bug.
For whatever reason, some big name players just aren’t producing in 2011. However, this should change in the near future.
Some players are coming off the DL soon, while others just find their stride in the second half.
These are the players from each team who will heat up with the summer weather.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Kelly Johnson
After batting .284 in 2010, Kelly Johnson’s average has fallen to .207 in 2011.
He also has failed to get on base at all, only recording 27 walks this year.
Johnson should be able to improve on his patience and increase his average and on-base percentage in the second half.
Atlanta Braves: Dan Uggla
In his first season in Atlanta, Dan Uggla has not been able to put up the numbers that we are accustomed to see from him.
His batting average is below the Mendoza Line and has only 11 home runs on the year.
Uggla is too good of a player to keep this going the whole season. Look for him to raise his average and hit between 25 and 30 home runs.
Baltimore Orioles: Mark Reynolds
After a slow start, Mark Reynolds has found his power stroke as of late.
Reynolds currently has 14 home runs, many of which have come since June 1st.
Reynolds should continue to hit home runs at a high clip for the rest of summer.
Boston Red Sox: Carl Crawford
Carl Crawford has battled both slumps and injuries in 2011, his first season with the Red Sox.
One of the most talented players in the game, Crawford is sure to right the ship.
He is scheduled to get off the DL as soon as he is eligible, so maybe the extended break will help him find his stroke.
Chicago Cubs: Matt Garza
Matt Garza’s first season in Chicago has been mediocre. He currently sits on a 4.11 ERA and a 3-6 record.
Garza has pitched better lately and should continue to lower his ERA while working toward a winning record.
Chicago White Sox: Adam Dunn
Adam Dunn has had an atrocious season for the White Sox so far, hitting just .173 with seven homers.
Dunn is a 40 home run machine, but it will be hard for him to reach that number.
Still, he should be able to turn things around and reach 25 home runs.
Cincinnati Reds: Zack Cozart
Zack Cozart is on fire this season, hitting above .320 on the season. The problem is, it’s been in the minors.
Cozart should get called up any day now for the Reds, who have lacked production all year from their shortstops.
Cozart will be able to hit immediately upon arriving in the bigs and provide the Reds with an offensive jolt for their playoff push.
Cleveland Indians: Lonnie Chisenhall
Lonnie Chisenhall is in the same boat as Zack Cozart. He’s hit well this year, except it’s in the minors.
Chisenhall has finally reached the majors, and the Indians will be looking to him for some offensive production that they have lacked.
Colorado Rockies: Carlos Gonzalez
Carlos Gonzalez has followed up his breakout season of 2010 with a decent 2011.
He has shown signs of life though, including his two home run outburst against the Cubs on Monday.
Cargo will continue to rake and raise his .280 average this summer.
Detroit Tigers: Victor Martinez
Victor Martinez is a player known for his good second halves. Over the past three seasons, Martinez is batting .311 after the break compared to .288 before the All-Star Game.
Martinez is already batting .333 this season, which is scary considering his tendencies.
Look for Martinez to compete for the AL batting crown all summer long.
Florida Marlins: Hanley Ramirez
Hanley Ramirez has had a subpar year thus far to say the least.
He is only batting .218 with four homers in 2011.
The former batting champ will be able to turn things around under new manager Jack McKeon, so look for his usual All-Star stat line the rest of the way.
Houston Astros: J.A. Happ
The key piece in the Roy Oswalt deal, J.A. Happ has a 3-9 record with a 5.54 ERA.
It’s obvious Happ still has some developing to do, but these numbers are much worse than expected.
Happ should have a decent second half and be able to lower his ERA to a respectable number.
Kansas City Royals: Alcides Escobar
Alcides Escobar was having an awful offensive season before the summer months came.
Now, he has heated up much like the weather. Escobar is batting over .300 in June and has started swiping bases again. Much of this is due to a slight change in his batting stance.
Expect Escobar to settle in nicely around .270-.280 and be efficient on offense.
Los Angeles Angels: Peter Bourjos
The speedy Peter Bourjos hasn’t been a big offensive threat in 2011.
Bourjos is batting just .253 with only eight steals.
He’ll be able to raise average a bit this summer but really look for him to steal more and get to 25 steals.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Chad Billingsley
Chad Billingsley’s 2011 season has been below average for him.
Before tonight’s game, he was sporting a 4.48 ERA and 1.52 WHIP.
However, he pitched 6.1 shutout innings against the Twins and is on the right path to regaining his 200 strikeout form.
Milwaukee Brewers: Casey McGehee
After putting up 104 RBI in 2010, Casey McGehee has regressed in 2011.
So far, McGehee is only hitting .227 with 33 RBI.
Last year, McGehee hit 24 points higher after the All-Star break, so look for a turnaround this year.
Minnesota Twins: Carl Pavano
Carl Pavano is another player that traditionally does better when the weather gets hot.
So far, 2011 has proven this theory. Pavano only has one start with more than two earned runs since June 1st.
Pavano should continue lower his 4.24 ERA and 1.32 WHIP.
New York Mets: Angel Pagan
Although he has swiped bases at a good clip, Angel Pagan’s .237 average has been less than stellar.
Pagan has fought injuries this year, so he still could turn things around this season.
If he can get that average up he will be even more dangerous on the basepaths as well.
New York Yankees: Phil Hughes
Phil Hughes got off to an awful start to 2011 and has been on the DL since with a shoulder problem.
His velocity was down to start the season, and during his minor rehab stint, he has almost regained his velocity.
Hughes should bounce back well and put up good numbers for the Yankees once he gets the call back up.
Oakland Athletics: Kurt Suzuki
Kurt Suzuki is a far cry from his 71 RBI season in 2010.
So far, Suzuki is hitting .222 with just 17 RBI in 2011.
He may not reach 71 RBI again, but expect him to drive in more runs in the second half.
Philadelphia Phillies: Domonic Brown
Domonic Brown has been another one of the players who’s be hindered by injuries in the first part of the season.
He is back now but not producing at the level the Phillies are hoping for though.
Brown is a young player still getting into the groove of the season, so expect a turnaround from him after the All-Star break.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Jose Tabata
Jose Tabata hasn’t had a poor 2011 by any means, swiping 14 bases halfway through the season.
However, he needs to get on base more to be even more effective.
His average currently sits at .265, and he has the ability to get it higher.
Look for Tabata to raise his average at least 15 to 20 points the rest of the season, despite his current injury.
San Diego Padres: Mat Latos
After a great 2010 season, Mat Latos is just 4-8 with a 4.22 ERA.
He has been marginally better since Memorial Day, and look for him to continue to improve throughout the season and lower his ERA under 4.00.
San Francisco Giants: Aubrey Huff
The Giants are in dire need of some offense if they want a chance to repeat as World Series champs.
Instead of making a trade, current star Aubrey Huff could be the jolt they need.
Huff has hit just .244 this season, and San Francisco needs more out of him.
Huff is too good to hit this low all season, so look for a better second half out of him.
Seattle Mariners: Dustin Ackley
The Mariners’ top prospect Dustin Ackley is in the majors now and helping Seattle make a run at the postseason.
Ackley is 9-for-30 in the bigs so far, and he is talented enough to maintain a high batting average for the rest of the year.
St. Louis Cardinals: Colby Rasmus
After a fast start to the season, Colby Rasmus has significantly cooled off, hitting just .260 with six home runs.
Rasmus should hit his way out of this prolonged funk, especially after showing everyone why he was such a highly touted prospect earlier this season.
Look for the second half to be more kind to Rasmus than the first.
Tampa Bay Rays: Evan Longoria
Evan Longoria has had a tough 2011, battling injuries and slumps all season.
Now that he appears to be healthy, he has started to heat up, especially after going 8-for-14 with three home runs against the Astros over the weekend.
Longoria will return to his All-Star form and improve upon his .253 average.
Texas Rangers: Mike Napoli
Since coming to Texas, Mike Napoli has hit just .221 with 25 RBI.
He has also been hampered by an oblique strain, but it appears he is close to being over that as he starts a rehab assignment.
Napoli should come back and be able to hit for a higher average and drive in more runs in a very potent Texas offense.
Toronto Blue Jays: Aaron Hill
For a second straight season, Aaron Hill has struggled at the plate.
However, he has been much better this year and really has just lacked power.
Hill’s average should rise from its current position at .247, and if he can get in a groove, expect some of the power to come back.
Washington Nationals: Ryan Zimmerman
Like others on this list, Ryan Zimmerman has battled an injury for much of the season.
Since he’s been back, he hasn’t yet produced, hitting just .232.
Zimmerman is one of the best third baseman in the game though, and he will be sure to heat up with the summer weather.