Like the stock market, Fantasy Baseball is a game where you want to buy low and sell high. By knowing the game and the numbers, one can come to differentiate a player who is in the midst of a career year, from one whose meteoric rise over the first half of the season could only be followed by a tremendous crash during the second half. Here then are top five National League position players to avoid during the second half of the season.
Miguel Tejadas (SS) Astros
For the first half of the decade, no one in MLB was a better hitting shortstop than Miguel Tejadas. But Tejadas is 35 years old, and coming off two of his worst seasons since 1999. What’s more, his .348 batting average over the season’s first 61 games is almost 60 points higher than his lifetime average. Look for age to take its toll over the second half of the season and for Tejadas numbers to drop steeply. Trade Tejadas while you still can generate offers.
Raul Ibanez (OF) Phillies
It will be tempting to hold on to Ibanez, especially when he’s hitting in the midst of a hot Phillies offense, but numbers don’t lie. It is a safe bet that Ibanez, who has hit 22 homers and driven in 59 runs over the first 61 games of the season, will not sustain the effort during the second half. His .664 slugging percentage is almost .200 higher than his lifetime average. While he may still end up with a career year at the age of 37, unless he is channeling the late great Ted Williams this season, look for his second half numbers to drop and be more in line with what he has posted the past three seasons.
Justin Upton (OF) Diamondbacks
I like Upton, and the former number one pick overall in the 2005 MLB Draft will have a great career someday. Having said that, he not a .300 hitter yet, and his average has already dipped 45 points since May 28th. The fact that he has both power and speed will make trading him away a piece of cake. Put Upton on the trade blocks and pull the trigger before his average drops any further.
Cristian Guzmán (SS) Nationals
Yes Guzman his hitting .316 this year, and has hit at least that during the past two seasons, but let’s face facts, there is a lot not to like here. Guzman has been plagued by injuries over the past 4 seasons, he has lost the speed he once had, and he plays for the Nationals, which will cut down his ability to score and drive in runs. Chances are this is how good it gets for him this season, trade him.
Orlando Hudson (2B) Dodgers
There are three things to know about Hudson; one, he has little power; two, he seldom plays a full season; three, he is not really a .300 hitter. Though he has hit .311 over the first 64 games this season, and appears to be a good option at second base, the magic won’t last. Trade him away if you can, and take a better second baseman who has had a weak first half this season.