The perception is that Mark Teixeira has always been that he is a slow starter but an excellent player in the second half of the season. However, is that really the case? All you have to do is look at Teixeira’s numbers from the past few seasons to answer the question:
- 2009 – .313, 18 HR, 59 RBI and 47 R over 278 AB
- 2010 – .259, 16 HR, 48 RBI and 50 R over 259 AB
- 2011 – .253, 14 HR, 46 RBI and 38 R over 265 AB
By looking at the numbers over his first three seasons as a Yankee, it was only the first year that he really excelled after the All-Star Break. In 2010 and 2011, how much different are those numbers than what you produced in the first half?
In 2010 he hit .254 with 17 HR in 342 AB in the first half of the season.
In 2011 he hit .244 with 25 HR in 324 AB in the first half of the year.
Looking at the overall numbers over the past two seasons, it is hard to argue that he is going to be an exceptionally better player now that the All-Star game has come and gone.
He did improve his HR/AB in 2010, going from a home run every 20.12 AB prior to the All-Star Break to one every 16.19 AB after. However, last season he saw his HR/FB go from 12.96 to 18.93.
You can argue that his 2011 first half was the aberration, but the fact is over the past two seasons he has been far from the huge slugger that fantasy owners had hoped for in the second half. He has continued to hit for a poor average, driven in runs at a similar rate and hit for the type of power we’d have expected. So, why will 2012 be any different?
You could argue that his HR/FB thus far is on the low side, sitting at 39.5% (he was at 43.8%, 45.5% and 46.8% the prior three years). It’s a fair argument, and it appears like he is overcompensating in July with his current 52.6% mark. Would a continued increase help lead to more power? It should, but it also should bring with it a reduced BABIP.
Generally, if you put more balls in the air you will carry a lower BABIP. As it is he is struggling to hit for a good average (.250) so, while a few more home runs would help to offset it, expecting him to hit any better than his current mark would be impossible.
Is he going to drive in and score runs hitting in the middle of the Yankees lineup (he’s flipped between third and fifth recently)? Absolutely, but as you can see from the numbers the past two seasons it is not likely he posts a 60+ RBI second half. Plus, no matter how deep the lineup is, if he is hitting fifth in the lineup he just isn’t going to score as many runs.
The moral of the story isn’t to say that trading for Teixeira is a bad idea, but you need to be realistic of what you are going to get. He’s not likely to give you significantly more than he’s already shown, outside of maybe a little bit more power.
More importantly, if you are a Teixeira owner, you may be able to use the perception to really maximize your return. Shop him around and see if an owner is willing to overpay because of what Teixeira is supposed to be as a second half stud. Cashing in on that perception could go a long way into carrying you to a fantasy title.