Midseason Warnings and Warm-ups
It’s that time of year again, the All-Star Break. Marking the halfway point in the baseball season, the All-Star Break is a focal point of a player’s statistical performance thus far. Recently we took a look at the Top 3 players that have historically preformed well before the break and struggled after, as well as players that have done the exact opposite (had a slow start and gained momentum after the break). To narrow down the list, we used career batting average pre and post break.
Hot Starts & Slow Finishes
Brennan Boesch, OF – Detroit Tigers
Interestingly enough, Brennan Boesche is the player who replaced Ryan Raburn in the Tigers line-up. Rayburn in his career has frequently struggled in the first half of the season, but is a hot bat in the second. In any case Boesch is off to an amazing start hitting .307 with 12 HR, 57 runs scored and 4 surprising stolen bases. Unfortunate news for Boesch owners, the young talent has the greatest BA disparity from the first to the second half of the season. Boesch is a career .322 hitter Pre-All-Star break and a .163 hitter Post-All-Star Break (a .159 difference). This 26-year old 2x AL Rookie of the Month Award (May, June 2010) needs to fight past trends and maintain pace to continue his production going into the alter half of the season.
Peter Bourjos, OF – Los Angeles Angles
You can add Angel’s center fielder Peter Bourjos to the sell-high list. If he’s on your team you are probably happy with his production so far this season. He’s batting .272 with 33 runs scored, 17 RBI and 11 stolen bases, however history suggests numbers won’t stay, and Bourjos does not have the stamina to keep up this solid level of play. In his career Borjos is a .268 first half hitter, sliding 64 points down to a .204 hitter in the second half of the season.
Ryan Hanigan, C – Cincinnati Reds
Hanigan might not be the most popular fantasy player and is likely a free agent in your league. In the beginning half of the season he is hitting a modest .255 with 19 RBI and 3 HR. Despite decent numbers so far, like many catchers before him, Hanigan breaks down in the second. Over his career he is a .301 hitter going into the break, but slumps down to a low .239 after. So, if you come across Hanigan on the waiver wire it might be a smart move to pass on him.
Chris Coghlan, OF – Florida Marlins
Chris Coghlan is the former NL Rookie of the Year, but he barely seems like the same player hitting just .230, with only 7 stolen bases to his name, but Coghlan is no stranger to cold first halves, or hot second halves. In his career the 26 year old has had a .250 BA before the All-Star Break compared to a whopping .364 after. In 2009, he had 41 hits in August, followed with 50 hits in September/October, making him the first rookie with back to back 40+ hit months since Ichiro Suzuki in 2004. Looking at his fantasy value, it is very likely that Coghlan will be available in most leagues. If history repeats itself he may be a guy who comes in and hits over .300 with 15 HRs and handfuls of stolen bases. Staying healthy has been a problem in the past, but if he can stay on the field Coghlan is worth a pickup.
Ryan Raburn, 2B/OF – Detroit Tigers
The Tigers utility man is a notoriously slow starter, with a career BA of .225 before the All-Star break and a .291 BA when he returns. After a great second half last year, it was exciting to see how he would start the season, but Raburn has largely been a disappointment. He is only batting .205 with 7 HRs in the first of half the season, but don’t sleep on Rayburn as he looks to repeat last season’s second half run.
Jason Heyward, OF – Atlanta Braves
21-year old Jason Heyward is another player who has been disappointing so far, after almost getting the nod as Rookie of the Year last year. Heyward is just hitting .223 now with 8 HR. He is currently being shown up by his former roommate, and teammate, Freddie Freeman. Historically he is just a .225 hitter in the beginning of the season, but a strong .291 in the second half. If Heyward could repeat this pattern and return to last year’s form he has huge potential for fantasy manager in the latter half of the season.