The All-Star game signals the end of the first half of the season and the time has come to see how the dust settled on the initial pass at the HVaC system. This was certainly a trial but one I think came through well at the end of the day. There are some obvious differences from typical rotisserie leagues in the rankings for the HVaC and there should be. Weighting head-to-head is just simply different.
At this point, I do not believe there needs to be any adjustments done based on these mid-year numbers. It falls about how it should fall for fantasy owners and weights the skills appropriately. So, with all of that in the background, here is what we saw from the first half.
Next weekâ€¦second half projections!
All numbers through the All-Star break.
- No doubt that Felix Hernandez is still a top pitcher, but his value has dropped in head-to-head leagues. With just six wins and a 1.23 WHIP, he is falling behind in two key categories. Long-term, Hernandez should be fine but he is not a top-10 pitcher the way the first half stacked up. Over the first half, wouldnâ€™t you have traded one strikeout per week for twice as many wins? That would have given you Gio Gonzalez.
- Yovani Gallardo would like to forget the first half ever happened. Tell me at the beginning of the season anyone predicted that he would be ranked BEHIND Kyle Lohse, Colby Lewis, Jonathan Niese, and Jason Vargas at the All-Star break. Gallardo is starting to show he can win, but his ERA has a long way to go and his WHIP is still at 1.38 for the half.
- No doubt that Tim Lincecum is the biggest disappointment on the mound this season. Still, there are others that have been as bad if not worse. Josh Johnson and his 1.39 WHIP and 4.06 ERA come right to mind. Great to see five wins, but no other category has put himself into even an above average category this season. Obviously, the top three Boston starters need to be put in this grouping as well.
- Many would be hard-pressed to call Jason Kipnis a top-ten position player, but he needs to be in the discussion. With 20 steals, 53 runs, and 49 RBI from the second base spot, he has proven to be a player that can provide true differentiation at the position. This is a spot where owners need steals and scoring. Kipnis is giving that in spades. This is not a passing fling. Look to keep him on your radar in the second half.
- Ian Desmond is another player inside the top-15 that may not necessarily be one we expect as owners. Desmond has 17 home runs and 51 RBI with a .285 average from the Shortstop position. No shortstop has as many RBI or home runs. Desmondâ€™s addition of speed and average help add to the decent run totals. Not the prototypical player to fill the spot, but certainly one that needs to be given the credit where credit is due.
- The position player providing the biggest disappointment has to be Mike Napoli. Coming off a pre-season top-10 rank, Napoli checks in at number 89 overall. He has suffered from a .228 average and the RBI totals are not doing him any favors. This is a player that this year is on pace for closer to 65 RBI and 24 home runs, much closer to his 2010 numbers than 2011. Not bad numbers, but certainly not those that thrust him into the elite levels he seemed to be headed for.
- We continually push Mark Teixeira as a legitimate first three-round draft pick. Teixeira, though, has had problems keeping his average to a respectable enough level to be even a top-five player at his own position. Billy Butler has only been one run worse per week than Teixeira over the course of the season. That while hitting one more home run and 40 points better. Albert Pujols is within a point of Teixeira and we can all admit he had the worst start to the season possible. Still, he has a better average, just one less home run, three less RBI, and five fewer runs scored. All negligible sums.
- Despite not playing all season, Mike Trout is a top-ten outfielder. That is not going to change. His combination of speed, power, and average is unmatched by anyone at the position. Expect him to be top-ten overall the rest of the way.