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It’s the halfway point of the season and it’s time to get real about what you can expect from your players the rest of the way. I’m specifically talking about guys like Starlin Castro and Elvis Andrus, both coming off of good seasons and playing a shallow position. Take a look at their midseason numbers below and consider if you would have ever kept them this long if their names weren’t Starlin and Elvis.
Name value is one of the biggest dangers to fantasy players because it doesn’t always equal production. Consider Marco Scutaro who became a household name in his stellar playoff run last season. To date, Marco has contributed exactly 18 RBI and 35 runs. Sounds like you should’ve went with a no-name like Mike Aviles or Brian Dozier and gotten the same production. Mind you, Scutaro is owned in 72% of leagues while Aviles and Dozier are owned in less than 15%. Anyway, let’s take a look at who’s heating up and who’s just holding your team back from its fantasy playoff destiny.
Jacob Turner: Strong Buy. Turner continues to impress and most recently tossed his first complete game in a 7-1 rout of the Padres. On the season, Turner now owns a 1.76 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 27 K/12 BB in 41 IP. The former #15 top prospect also played well for Miami in seven games last season (3.38 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 29 K/9 BB) and owns a career 3.30 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 72 minor league starts. He’s quickly starting to look like the real deal.
Chris Carter: Strong Buy. Carter leads the league with 115 strikeouts and owns just a .231 BA but everything else is right where it should be. He has 17 HR, 30 XBH, 44 RBI, 40 R, and a .791 OPS. He’s on pace to finish with around 35 HR and 90 RBI and I think plenty fantasy teams could use that kind of production.
Jeremy Hefner: Solid Buy. Overshadowed by Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Dillon Gee, Jeremy Hefner is quietly putting together a very nice season. He struggled a bit early on but still owns a 3.54 ERA and 1.25 WHIP on the season. More importantly, over his last six starts he has a 1.70 ERA and 29 K/7 BB. More impressively, he is throwing 67% strikes over that stretch. He’s definitely worth a look if he keeps playing like this, he has only given up more than three earned runs in three of his 17 starts.
Josh Satin: Deep League Buy. After the Mets sent Ike Davis to the minors, they settled on Lucas Duda as their first baseman. When Duda got hurt, the job fell into Satin’s hands by default and he has ran with it. Satin now owns a very impressive .378/.491/.600 line with a homer, seven runs batted in, seven doubles, and 10 runs scored. It’s hard to tell what the Mets’ plans for first base are when Duda and Davis return but Satin is doing everything he can to make it a very difficult decision.
Martin Perez: Solid Buy. I have strong doubts about Perez but I can’t fight what he’s doing right now. The 22-year-old is 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in his first three starts of the year – though he only has a 8 K/4 BB ratio over 19 IP. Perez is definitely a promising Top 100 prospect who was 5-1 with a 1.75 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 28 K/8 BB in Triple-A this year before being called up. Still, he has a 4.16 career ERA and 1.46 career WHIP in the minors and has only had one season since 2009 with an ERA below 4.25. If you can’t get it done in the minors longterm, odds are you can’t get it done in the Majors.
Starlin Castro: After a very solid season in which he posted a .283 BA, 14 HR, 55 XBH, 78 RBI, 78 R, and 25 SB, Castro’s production has disappeared. Through 81 games, Castro owns a .235 BA, four homers, 23 XBH, 26 RBI, 39 R, and seven steals. Over his last 40 games, Castro is batting just .182 with a homer, six RBI, 16 R, and five steals. If you’re expecting a lot out of him in the second half, I wouldn’t bank on it.
Elvis Andrus: Andrus has his steals back after swiping just 21 bags last season but everything else is gone. After sporting a .286/.349/.378 line last year, Andrus is down to a .242/.297/.284. After putting up 43 XBH last year, Andrus has just 11 this season. He may have 17 steals but just five have come in his last 38 games over which time he is batting just .193 with two extra-base hits and 28 K. You don’t need steals bad enough to keep this guy.
Corey Kluber: It was a nice stretch for Kluber, who had a 3.58 ERA and 65 K/12 BB through his first 10 starts, but he is inevitably leveling out to the same sub-par pitcher we’ve seen before. He has given up 14 runs, 27 baserunners, three homers, and struck out 11 over his last three starts – lasting just 15.2 IP. He has a career 4.79 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in the Majors and an equally unimpressive 4.42 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in the minors so we pretty much know what this guy is.
Marco Scutaro: I don’t normally hate on guys with .300+ BAs but in Scutaro’s case it’s just misleading. He’s owned in 72% of Yahoo leagues but what is he actually producing outside of the average? Through 71 games, he has just two homers, 18 RBI, 35 R, and no steals. That puts him on pace for around 40 RBI and maybe 70 R on the season. The average isn’t a sure thing either. He is batting just .167 over his last 11 games. Last year was also the first time in his 12-year career that he eclipsed the .300 mark with a .306 on the year. Middle infielder or not, there are plenty of guys that can outdo that kind of production-lacking performance available in your league.
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