Let’s take a look at the guys who’ve had quality 1st half this season. I’ll try to find someone you didn’t have to spend a high draft pick or over pay in your auction league for.
1st base Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees. Before just about any draft people would’ve told you that Teixeira was done and you’d be wasting a pick on him. While the batting average may be a little low at .240 he’s hit 22 home runs and has driven in 62 runs. There where experts at the start of the season who thought those would be his numbers for the entire season. Now there is always the injury bug attached to Teixeira, but he was ranked right around 250 at draft time and now he’s in the Top 60 players. I think most fantasy owners would be happy with that.
2nd base Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians. There are a few 2nd baseman I could’ve went with here as a few of them had good 1st halves, but I’m taking Kipnis. A couple of seasons ago I thought I had gotten a steal when Kipnis fell to me at the 40th pick of our draft; WRONG! He’s bounced back in the 1st half of the 2015 season with a .323 average, 27 doubles, 6 home runs, 37 RBI’s and has added 10 steals for fantasy owners. Was it a lingering injury that had Kipnis down the last few seasons? Whatever it was it seems to be gone and he’s back the the player people thought he’d be a couple of seasons ago.
3rd base Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers. Turner was playing so well that the Dodgers dealt Juan Uribe to give him more playing time. Turner has responded with a .308 average, 11 home runs and 39 RBI’s. The 2nd half question will be can Turner continue to play well as a full time guy. Turner was ranked in the 300’s to start the season and has moved up into the Top 150. If you grabbed Turner late in your draft as a utility guy; he qualifies at all the infield positions in my league you might have the steal of the season on your hands.
Shortstop Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants. Crawford has always been a great defensive player, but that doesn’t matter in a lot of fantasy leagues, but this season his bat has caught up to his glove. Crawford went off the board as around the 300th player taken in the draft. Now he’s ranked as the 90th player in my league; not a bad jump. Crawford’s average did drop a little heading into the All-Star break, but he’s still hitting .262 with 12 home runs and 52 RBI’s. If he gets to 20 homers and 100 RBI’s he’ll be a huge steal for someone this fantasy season.
Catcher Stephen Vogt, Oakland A’s. Finally one I was right on as I have Vogt in every league I’m in. Vogt was ranked outside the Top 300 pre-season, but is now just outside the Top 50 with the numbers he’s put up. He has 14 home runs and 56 RBI’s to go along with a .287 batting average. Vogt has even manage to pic up 2 triples this season. With the numbers Vogt is putting up I’m sure most fantasy players are using him as just a catcher, but he does qualify at 1st base and in the outfield. It’s just rightfield if your in a position specific league.
I mentioned it yesterday, but again the outfield in my leagues are position specific; so that’s how I’ll divide it up.
Leftfield Kevin Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays. Pillar has gotten regular playing time this season and if you took a chance on him in our draft or found him on the waiver wire he’s been doing well for you. Pillar was ranked right around 350 as the draft rolled around and I’m guessing he wasn’t even drafted in smaller leagues. With some injuries and the wash out of a rookie Pillar has found playing time and has responded with a .278 average, 7 home runs, 37 RBI’s and 13 steals. Not too bad for a guy who you probably didn’t even draft or spend a $1 during your draft.
Centerfield A.J. Pollock, Arizona Diamondbacks. It’s no surprise that Mike Trout is the top ranked centerfielder or that Bryce Harper is right behind him, but if you had Pollock at #3 nice job. 11 home runs, 42 RBI’s, 19 steals and a .299 batting average have moved Pollack up the board. He was ranked right around 130 during the draft, but has moved up to just outside the Top 10; he’s ranked 12th overall in my league. Pollock”s 2nd half key will be health as he has had some injury issues early in his career.
Rightfield J.D. Martinez, Detroit Tigers. I had looked like Martinez had arrived last season, but he barely cracked the Top 100 in pre-draft rankings. His .289 batting average, 25 home runs and 59 RBI’s have him ranked right around the Top 10 at the All-Star break. With the injuries the Tigers have had this season Martinez will continue to get a chance to produce. Martinez has a shot at a 50 home run, 100 plus RBI season which would be huge for a player that came off the board as the 100th pick in most leagues.
Starting Pitcher Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros. Keuchel was ranked outside the Top 250 overall going into the draft. Keuchel is 11-4 with an ERA of 2.23 and while he’s not a huge strikeout guy he has stuck out 114 batters. The Astros had hit a slump heading into the All-Star break; so they’ll need to get back on the winning track for Keuchel to continue to win games. If you did land Keuchel on your team you’ve got a pitcher who is ranked just outside the Top 10 for the 1st half of the season.
Closer Jeurys Familia. New York Mets. Remember that Familia wasn’t even suppose to be the Nets closer. After Jenrry Mejia was suspended for failing a drug test and Bobby Parnell was injured the job fell to Familia. Familia has 27 saves, 2 wins and even picked up 1 hold before being put in the closer role. With an ERA of 1.25 and a WHIP of 0.90 you’d have to think it’s his job even when Mejia returns from his suspension, If you drafted Familia in the late rounds of your league draft because you needed someone to put up numbers in the hold category you landed the right guy.
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