How about some bold predictions based on the HVaC? The model has done a solid job in showing the top players in terms of value for head-to-head owners and now we will use that as well as some of the numbers being put up to show what should happen as we move towards July.
As younger players produce and injured players return, there will certainly be a shake-up in how the top people at each position look towards the end of the summer. Check out what you should know for your head-to-head leagues and how your roster could change in the coming weeks.
All numbers are through games on June 25th.
- Alex Rodriguez will not be a top-10 third baseman the rest of the season. In the past, A-Rod was looked at as a major compiler, which is needed in head-to-head leagues. But there are too many people that will be within earshot across some of his most major categories (home runs, RBI) and will hit better. Will Middlebrooks, for example, has more RBI and is hitting 60 points higher. His 16 run difference equates to just over one per week. Kyle Seager and Mike Moustakas are two others performing well. Add in Ryan Zimmerman and a healthy Pablo Sandoval and A-Rodâ€™s production level will not be enough different over a given week to overtake them.
- At Second Base, Dustin Pedroia will regain top-10 status and likely top-5. Pedroia, after a slow start to the season, is just one point out of the tenth spot and is still scoring runs. Now feeling healthy after the thumb injury, he should provide the power we saw last season and a .300 average the rest of the way. Those stats put him ahead of Dan Uggla (who will suffer in average), Kelly Johnson (same reason), and ultimately Jose Altuve. Altuve will lap Pedroia in speed, but their averages will be similar and the Boston lineup will keep Pedroia ahead.
- Zack Cozart will rank with Derek Jeter the rest of the way. The two are not that far apart in reality as only 10 RBI separate them. The average is tougher, but there is not a huge weight on that at Shortstop. Here, we want runs (Cozart leads 41-40) and steals (6-2 for Jeter). Cozart has picked up on Jeter in June, hitting 40 points better this month and out-ranking him over the last 30 days. He could use a few RBI to help his cause, but for what owners need out of the position, he adds plenty of value in key spaces.
- Top-five first baseman the rest of the way? Paul Goldschmidt. After a rough start in April, Goldschmidt has come on top be a top-seven player over the last 60 days. Six of his ten home runs have come against the NL West. Because of the early struggles, Goldschmidt actually has fewer at-bats than all first basemen outside of Justin Morneau and Todd Helton yet is producing as a top-12 player already. He is hitting for average, has the home runs, and the RBI totals have improved every month.
- The Catchers that will make the biggest moves in the second half are Wilin Rosario and Miguel Montero. People forget about these guys but both are producing better at the position than most regulars. The power numbers for each are impressive and each has improved their average dramatically in the last few weeks. I still believe that Yadier Molina with his balance of power and ability to get on base will ultimately lead the Catcher rankings. The real Jesus Montero is the one from May, not June. He averaged 13 RBI and 3.5 home runs in April and May. A better June puts him top-five. He will be there the rest of the way.
- A few injured players will be coming back as well. While there are too many good options available to think that Ryan Howard will put up enough numbers with his type of injury to be productive, teammate Chase Utley should be considered. If Utley is half the player, he should be a top-15 option the rest of the way. I would take his production and power history. If he were to garner eight home runs, 34 runs, 31 RBI, and even just five steals with a .265 average he would be the 13th overall second baseman. Those are barely better than his typical second half numbers.
Check out the rest of the Top-50: