Monday is the first day of the work week, and while we all have our jobs to take care of, more importantly, we have fantasy baseball to discuss! It’s what the player has done for the entirety of the season, his past recent performance and then what I personally think each player will do (or is most likely to do) for the remainder of the season.
Adrian Gonzalez – I don’t much care for first and second half splits, but this season has been pretty wild for him. After hitting just two home runs each in April, May and June, many owners began to panic and trade A-Gon. If you were smart enough to hang on to him, you’ve been handsomely rewarded in the second half of the season. He picked up his power stroke a bit by hitting four dingers in July and already had four halfway through August. His month-by-month fantasy numbers have seen a massive uptick as well. The table below spells it out much clearer than my words ever could.
*August is of course still not finished yet. The rate stats will float and the counting stats should increase.
Other than stolen bases (which no one drafted him for anyways), Gonzalez has been doing it all for the past month and a half. Kudos to those of you who either didn’t sell low or managed to trade for him on the cheap. This is the Gonzalez that a lot of imagined when envisioning him in Fenway.
Mark Trumbo – I know this will raise a lot of eyebrows given that I just had Trumbo in tier two barely over a week ago, but his month of August has been awful. After slowing down from his torrid April and May pace, Trumbo has really struggled so far in my birthday month. His current triple slash for this month is a pathetic .212/.257/.303 line. It isn’t BABIP noise either, as it is .316 compared to a .318 seasonal mark. The cause of the massive decline is his incredible 37.1% strikeout rate and his minuscule 2.9% walk rate. Trumbo managed to get a handle on his walk to strikeout ratio for most of this season and that is why I’m not too terrible concerned about this 18 day blip. If an owner has been frustrated by his slow decline (read: totally predictable regressions) from his early season form and is fed up by his August performance, you might be able to buy low on him.
Torii Hunter – Over the past 30 days Hunter has an incredible .470 BABIP. Mike Trout only has a .338 BABIP in comparison. Although I did passively rank Hunter in my last tiered rankings update, maybe he caught fire like this just to spite me. The downside is that there is no that he (or anyone else, even Trout) is capable of this for much longer. He managed to pop a pair of homers and steal two bags in that time frame too, but he still is only at 12 homers and six stolen bases on the year. His seasonal line is up to a very impressive .299/.350/.441, but with a rest-of-season ZiPS of .271/.331/.434, he is a useful but expendable fantasy piece. If you can convince an owner in your league that his past month performance is his true talent line then maybe you can move him for a solid piece in return. Of course, if you can convince a fantasy owner of that, then you should be a lawyer. I wouldn’t out-right drop Hunter, but I would have him on my list of players to trade away.
Carl Crawford – Late breaking news here on Sunday night is that Crawford may require Tommy John surgery. I had him low before this (potential) surgery and this would effectively remove him from this year and at least half of next season.