Last season the following players erupted for a power surge in July. Could a repeat performance be in their future or should we ignore past performance? Let’s take a look and draw some conclusions:
9 Home Runs
Ramirez led the league with 9 home runs in July 2011, but he also accomplished the feat as a member of the Chicago Cubs. Now a member of the Brewers, he will no longer be aided by the wind blowing out at Wrigley Field (he hit 5 HR in 13 home games for the month). However, he has had a lot of strong finishes throughout his career, including 19 HR over the final three months of 2010. His line drive has been getting progressively better all season, so now may not be the worst time to buy (though I may not go out of my way).
8 Home Runs
Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Justin Upton, Dan Uggla, Giancarlo Stanton & Mark Reynolds
Upton is by far the most intriguing player in this grouping considering he had just 7 home runs over the first three months of 2012 and has disappointed owners throughout the year. Last season he entered July with 13 HR, but then proceeded to hit 18 over the remainder of the season. That should give us plenty of hope. Additionally, if he doesn’t start hitting right away don’t panic. Six of his July home runs in 2011 came on or after July 21. We can go through metrics, but we know the talent. He should produce in the second half and is worth buying in all formats.
We will have to wait and see when Jacoby Ellsbury returns, but we all know that last years power was a little out of whack. For the season he posted a 16.7% HR/FB rate, a number he’s not likely to replicate (he didn’t homer in his first 26 AB of 2012).
We all know how hot Uggla got in the second half last season, so seeing his name on the list shouldn’t be a surprise. While he hasn’t been awful in 2012, his 13.4% HR/FB is well below his numbers from the past few seasons. Don’t be surprised to see him get hot again.
Mark Reynolds is his normal all or nothing self, though this season he has just six home runs. I’d be worried about him even seeing at bats so, while its possible he catches fire, he’s a hard investment to recommend.
7 Home Runs
Jose Bautista, Curtis Gramderson, Albert Punols, Raul Ibanez, J.J. Hardy
Nothing too out of the ordinary here. Ibanez has been a good story, but I can’t expect another big month like this at his age. Don’t read into last years outburst.
Hardy is a tough player to figure, as he’s had some good years and some bad. His BABIP has been poor this year, at .243, so there is a lot of hope for an overall improvement. That said, am I counting on his power to rebound? I hope so, as there is room to improve on his 10.8% HR/FB, but its hard to bet on.