For years people that put stock in first half / second half splits being predictive pointed to Adam LaRoche as their example.Â Their new poster boy may be Brandon Belt, whose OPS is 65 points higher after the All Star Break.Â This year the split is even more pronounced at 196 points.Â He is one of the hottest hitters in baseball.
Brandon Belt:Â He is raking at a .318/.400/.580 clip in the second half and moved up to third in the Giantsâ€™ order.Â He has more than doubled last yearâ€™s home run total and pushed his fly ball rate from 36.6% to 43.5%.Â He is the rare left-handed hitter that has better numbers against fellow southpaws in his career.
Drop for him:Â James Loney, Mike Napoli, Anthony Rizzo
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Justin Morneau, Adam Dunn, Eric Hosmer
Will Venable:Â He is riding a 15-game hitting streak and batting near .400 in August.Â With 17 home runs and 14 steals a 20/20 season is in sight.Â This year his ISO jumped from .165 to .228.Â His HR/FB at home increased from 4.9% to 30.3%.Â Moving Petcoâ€™s fences in suited him very well.
Drop for him:Â Andre Ethier, B.J. Upton, Junior Lake
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Michael Brantley, Nick Markakis, Allen Craig
Brian Dozier:Â He is batting .288/.348/.563 in August and his 12-homer, nine steal line is decent production from a middle infielder.Â His skills have improved with his ISO increasing from .098 to .176 and BB/K going up from 0.28 to 0.44.Â He is well over 100 wRC+ since June 1, this is not just a short hot streak.
Drop for him:Â Andrelton Simmons, Jose Iglesias, Kelly Johnson
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Alcides Escobar, Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera
Brandon Beachy:Â In his last three starts he has a line of 20.1 IP, 5 ER, 3 BB, 14 K.Â His fastball is down only 0.6 mph from his pre-operation days, although it is trending downward.Â Also, he is not using his slider as much, opting for a changeup instead.Â While his numbers were ace-like in 2012 he is more of a back end pitcher in standard mixed leagues.
Drop for him:Â Jeff Locke, Wade Miley, Jon Lester
Donâ€™t drop for him:Â Alex Cobb, Dan Haren, Ivan Nova
Nick Franklin:Â He is batting a miserable .188/.265/.366 in the second half and his strikeout rate has risen from 21.3% to 32.7%.Â There is some bad luck in play here. His second half BABIP is .246 despite a 24.6% line drive rate.Â He hit six home runs in July, but does not have any in August.Â His major league ISO still exceeds his Triple-A numbers.Â Even if his average rebounds, do not expect much power for the balance of the season.
Drop him for:Â Jedd Gyorko, Jonathan Villar, Mark Ellis
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Brandon Crawford, Zack Cozart, Gordon Beckham
Michael Morse:Â He is hitting .161 with one home run since being activated on July 30 and has sat three times in the last seven games.Â He is producing a putrid 32 wRC+ since getting â€œhealthyâ€ and fantasy GMs can’t afford to play him.Â For dynasty owners, this slump means he is unlikely to be signed as a starter in 2014.
Drop him for:Â Josh Reddick, Josh Willingham, Nate Schierholtz
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Dayan Viciedo, Vernon Wells, David Murphy
Mike Moustakas:Â He sat most of the week with a calf strain but will avoid the disabled list.Â Batting .306/.362/.506 in the second half, he is one of the catalysts in Kansas Cityâ€™s playoff push.Â His contact rates are far better this year and his strikeouts are down 6% to 13.7%.
Drop him for:Â Kyle Seager, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Todd Frazier, Aramis Ramirez, David Freese
Coco Crisp:Â He has not started since August 11, but is planning to return this week.Â Unlike Moustakas he has been slumping, hitting .202/.276/.281 since the break.Â He only has sixteen steals total.Â He has no more than three steals in any other month after he stole eight bases in April.
Drop him for:Â Eric Young Jr., Ichiro Suzuki, Will Venable
Donâ€™t drop him for:Â Rajai Davis, Robbie Grossman, Juan Lagares