by Will Overton
For one reason or another there are just some guys in the game of baseball who get better as the season goes on. Is it the weather heating up? Is it just the player needing time to adjust to the season? I don’t really know, but for one reason or another it just happens with some guys.
The key is finding who those guys are and making a preemptive grab of them off the waiver wire before they start heating up to the point where everyone else is on to them as well.
Obviously just because they have had big second halves in the past doesn’t guarantee anything this season, but a pattern is a pattern for a reason, because it keeps happening. Just because you can’t explain it doesn’t mean it’s not there. These guys are no lock for a big second half, but they do have history on their side and in some cases that could and should be enough to take a flier.
Marco Scutaro – 2B, San Francisco Giants: He’s been pretty good so far this season, but despite that he’s still unowned in a fair amount of standard leagues. Scutaro is already hitting .316 with 37 runs, but his second half could be even better. Last season Scutaro kicked it up several notches after the all-star break hitting .339 and he also drove in 50 runs and scored 46 of them.
The year before he hit .329 in the second half with 39 RBI and 37 R. Clearly the guys heats up with the weather. Scutaro is already borderline ownable in every league at a shallow position, so his history of second half success should put him over the top, even without much power or speed.
David Murphy – OF, Texas Rangers: It has been a very forgettable first half of the season for David Murphy. He started the season owned in pretty much every league, and now he’s all the way down to 6% ownership in ESPN leagues. Murphy has shown a little power with 10 HR’s, but he’s hitting .219 and he’s only stole one base so far.
Now for the good news, Murphy is a machine in the second half, hitting .300 or better in each of the last three years after the all-star break. Collectively the last three second halves he is hitting .313 compared to .268 in the first half. He’s also got more HR’s, more SB’s and a lot more RBI in the second halves. To compound things his luck has been awful with a .221 BABIP and his LD% is down slightly from last year, but it’s almost right at his career level. I think Murphy is due for a breakout and it would fall right in line with his history of second half success.
B.J. Upton – OF, Atlanta Braves: A lot of standard league owners are fed up with Upton and sending him packing to the waiver wire, I’ve even seen some in leagues deeper than standard to drop him. I can’t completely blame anyone for being done with him, but after the second half he had last season you might want to think twice. The last three years combined Upton has hit 40 HR’s in the second half and Upton hit 21 of them last season in the second half. He’s never hit less than 8 HR’s in a second half which is what he has this season.
I wish I could tell you his average improves dramatically, but it really only does slightly. Still, if you’re going to suffer through this average you’d like to get some power to go with it. If he could even come close to last year’s second half a lot of owners are going to regret dropping him.
Ike Davis – 1B, New York Mets: I could understand you having a little hesitancy about adding Ike Davis. I mean the guy was so bad in the first half that he was demoted to the minor leagues for a while. He’s only hitting .165 in the big leagues and he only has 5 HR’s which is awful for a guy who is supposed to be one of the premier power hitters.
Last season though Davis hit only .201 in the first half before rebounding in the second half hitting .255 with 20 HR’s. In 2010 Davis hit .270 in the second half. The guy has legit power and he has upside so the Mets are likely going to keep giving him chances. If you want to take a risk you could give him a chance to on your fantasy team.
What do you think of these four second half hitters? Are you looking to add anyone that excels in the second half of the season?