The All-Star break is a great time to talk trade with other members of your league. You have a couple of days where the stats do not change and everyone is focused in on just one game. Take advantage of this time and consider the following players in your trade talks.
Pat Burrell – One of the more consistent HR threats the past four years, Burrell has just four HR this season. And while his BABIP is a normal .292 his AVG checks in at just .238, his lowest since 2003. Burrell has been slowed by a neck strain this season, which explains some of his poor numbers. But despite a career 16.2 percent HR/FB mark, Burrell’s numbers this year in the category sits at 5.7 percent, a figure unlikely to remain that low going forward. He may not do much better in AVG the rest of the year, but he should provide plenty of HR in the second half.
Roy Oswalt – Five wins at the All-Star break was not what owners were expecting when they made Oswalt a fifth-round pick this year. And now he shows up with the red injury symbol next to his name. But the bruised fingers are not expected to keep Oswalt out of action and he has a lifetime .770 winning percentage in the second half of the season, along with a 2.89 ERA.
Howie Kendrick – He has yet to play 100 games in the majors in any season but the one thing Kendrick can do is hit. In his three previous seasons with the Angels, he has posted BABIPs of .329, .382 and .362 in what adds up to 945 at-bats. This year he has a .279 BABIP. Kendrick is hitting just .239 right now but it would not be a surprise if he hit .300 for the remainder of the season. RoS ZiPS has him hitting .294 over 201 at-bats.
Tim Stauffer – The fourth pick of the 2003 draft, Stauffer had his development stunted by a torn labrum that required surgery and caused him to miss the entire 2008 season. But Stauffer pitched very well in 12 games at Double-A and four starts in Triple-A this year. He made his 2009 major league debut right before the break and struck out seven in seven innings versus the Giants. Stauffer is someone that fantasy owners should pick up and see if he can keep it going. Getting to pitch half his games in Petco Park will certainly help.
Gerardo Parra – The National League Rookie of the Month in May, Parra has carved out a full-time role, alternating between left and center field. With former Diamondbacks Director of Player Development A.J. Hinch taking over as the team’s manager, Parra has been given the opportunity to develop at the major league level. In 52 games, Parra has a .284 AVG and 30 runs scored. He is even more valuable in leagues with daily transactions, as he has an .855 OPS versus RHP.
Evan Longoria – In the first 30 games of the season, Longoria was one of the top three fantasy players in the game. He posted a .367-11-44-27-2 line. In the ensuing 54 games, his line reads: 234-6-22-21-0, which places him significantly lower than top three. Unfortunately, a finger injury is keeping Longoria out of the All-Star game, but it does not figure to be a long-term issue. The public loves Longoria and if someone is willing to trade first-round talent for him, it is time to pull the trigger. This is by no means a dump candidate but someone who you try to maximize his name value.
Tommy Hanson – He seemingly has the world on a string with a 4-0 record and a 2.85 ERA. But a quick look at his peripherals shows a player who has really been the beneficiary of some good fortune. Hanson sports a .236 BABIP, an 85.4 percent strand rate and a 1.10 HR/9 despite allowing a 46 percent fly ball percentage. It all adds up to a 5.04 FIP. A key indicator for Hanson will be his K/BB ratio in the second half. In Triple-A this year he had a 5.29 mark while so far in the majors it checks in at only 1.25.
Jeff Francoeur – Atlanta’s golden boy now finds himself in the media capital of the world. Francoeur’s career with the Mets is off to a great start with back-to-back two-hit games. But Francoeur is simply not a good fantasy player. The only times he was useful in AVG was when his BABIP was over .340; it now sits at .287 for the year. The swing that produced 29 HR in 2006 appears gone, as his dismal .102 ISO indicates. And the 105-RBI season came thanks to a season when he came to the plate 319 times with runners on base, including 257 times with runners in scoring position.
J.A. Happ – Like Hanson, Happ has great fantasy numbers with questionable peripherals. He sports a 6-0 record with a 2.90 ERA. But his BABIP is .242 and he has an 85.9 percent strand rate. Happ struggled with his slider last year and has ditched that for more fastballs and cutters. It is a shift that has worked very well so far but it is not likely to remain so rosy the rest of the season.
Franklin Gutierrez – When the Mariners acquired him from Cleveland in the off-season, everyone raved about what a fine defensive outfielder Seattle was getting. And he has been just as good as advertised in the field. But it is at the plate where Gutierrez has really turned heads. He has 10 HR at the All-Star break after hitting just eight last year and his AVG is 47 points higher than a year ago. A .348 BABIP helps explain the average while his HR/FB rate is over twice where it was a season ago.