Y’know, I had already regretted trading Trout even though I got a nice haul and keeper upgrades. However, the trade was supposed to improve my chances at the championship this year, and so far it hasn’t resulted in any movement in the standings. The nice thing about roto leagues is that it’s a full-season grind. The bad thing about roto leagues is that it’s a full-season grind…
Players on the Rise
Kole Calhoun – It took him some time to get going after his DL stint, but he’s got a BA over .300 for the last four weeks, along with 4 HR in that span. I liked him a ton last year, and it’s nice to see him continuing his growth.
Alex Wood – He’s back in the rotation, thank god. If he stays there all year, he could still put up a very solid stat line. Pray that Braves management doesn’t take more stupid pills.
Jose Altuve – Billy Hamilton who? Man oh man, who gave Altuve a bowl of greenies for breakfast this week? He’s got 11 SB in the last 8 games. I’ll freely admit that I wasn’t high on Altuve going into this season. Maybe you liked him more than I did, but there’s no way you projected him to have over 35 SB in the first half alone. It seems he has a constant green light, so there’s a chance we’ll see 60 SB from more than one player this year.
Bryce Harper – He’s off the DL, and there’s every reason to assume he’ll get to hitting HR in bunches. I’m relying on him to give me offense a boost in a league where my playoff chances are hanging in the balance.
Tim Lincecum – He had good luck and bad luck in June. Hopefully it evens out for the rest of the year. Even though he’s lost his super K rate, throwing 17 scoreless innings in his last two starts indicates he’s in the groove right now.
Players on the Decline
Charlie Blackmon – I hope you sold high on him in redraft leagues. There are always players who come out of nowhere the first month of the year and rake it before slowing down. Blackmon’s been declining since April. He’s still useful, and his first-half stat line still looks great, but if you’re expecting a repeat of that in the second half, you’re mistaken. Sell him now before he has an even worse month and loses more trade value.
Jason Heyward – May was a decent month, but June was pretty poor by 5×5 standards, where he had a 50% ground ball rate. The HR/FB is trending in the right direction, so if he can start hitting more balls in the air, there’s hope for a HR surge. However, I haven’t been high on him the last two years, and I wouldn’t look to him as a second half savior in redraft leagues. His name and hype keeps his price tag too high to make a good rental value.
CJ Wilson – There’s some bad luck involved in his recent poor starts, but there are also some warning signs here. His BB/9 has been rising every month, as has his FIP. If he can get his walk rate under control, or if his luck neutralizes moving forward, he’ll still have a solid season, but in redraft I’d try to sell for a more useful piece.
Justin Masterson – In the last five years, he’s only been good in the odd years, 2011 and 2013. I’ve never been a big fan and sold on him years ago, and I’m glad I’ve stayed away despite his decent 2013 year. Though his K/9 and GB% are still nice, his BB/9 has gone up every month, and though his BABIP and strand rate seem to indicate bad luck, it’s been consistently bad all year, which more indicates it’s a problem with Masterson. Only teams in really deep leagues, or teams very desperate for strikeouts, should even consider rostering him in 2014, let alone starting him.
Everth Cabrera – April saw a good BA, and May had a nice SB total, but that’s all he’s offered fantasy managers this season, and now he’s on the DL. He used to take walks at a decent rate, but his BB% was poor in April and May, and if he’s not on base, he’s not going to produce in his one-trick pony category. If you gambled on him as your starting SS for the beginning of the year, you’ve probably already cut and run, but in case you’re hanging onto any hope of a resurgence, don’t.