Who’s on First?
The Best: Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox
The likely AL MVP has made a smooth transition from the pitcher-friendly Petco Park to the hitter-friendly Fenway Park. Thanks in large part to the fine start by Jacoby Ellsbury, Gonzalez has been driving runs in at a career-high pace. While his power is evident in the 25 doubles and 16 home runs, it’s his consistency that makes his .356 average sustainable.
The Surprise: Mark Trumbo, Angels
The loss of Kendry Morales for another season would have been even more devastating had rookie Mark Trumbo not filled in admirably. The 25-year old first baseman has belted 13 home runs with a solid seven steals. Though he can improve on his plate discipline and raise his .258 average, Trumbo’s 28 extra bases have gone a long way for the Angels.
The Bust: Adam Dunn, White Sox
Playing in the homer-friendly US Cellular Ballpark with an improved lineup around him seemed like a slam dunk for Adam Dunn. Instead, the White Sox slugger who has had no less than 38 home runs over the last seven seasons has been downright awful. His .173 average is nearly 100 points lower than last season’s batting clip, and his power has been zapped to a .316 slugging percentage.
The 31-year old veteran has a few possible reasons for his lack of production. He is new to the American League and he has never before been a designated hitter on a regular basis. It may be time for the White Sox to call in Harold Baines to help mentor the fallen slugger.
The 2nd Half Sleeper: Mitch Moreland, Rangers
Texas may be a launching pad for sluggers, but during the dog days of summer, the heat takes its toll. That’s why fantasy managers should not be too concerned about the fact hat Mitch Moreland remains a platoon player despite the .287 average and 11 home runs. Come August, Moreland is bound to be fresh. On that note, Moreland has yet to get into a big hot streak that is bound to lift his season totals past 20 home runs. Expect a big second half from the rising first baseman who blasted nine home runs in 47 games after the All-Star break last season.