It seems like the ride just started, but the fantasy baseball season has already reached the midway point.
Scary, I know.
Where did the first three months of the season go? Well that depends on how many of the studs you drafted have gotten hurt or been slumping most of the season.
If you’ve had great luck in this department, the season has been a joy ride. Especially, if you somehow stumbled onto the amazing Curtis Granderson in the last round or the $1 bin.
If your big-time players were Hanley Ramirez, Ryan Zimmerman and Carl Crawford, you’ve spent that time learning new curse-word combinations and scouring the waiver wire trying to stay afloat until DL stints end. Either way, time has been slipping away.
The good news though is that, the halfway point is exactly that and there’s plenty of time to continue the trash talk or make a run from the middle of the pack.
The key though is making moves from either position. The people at the bottom of the standings haven’t given up yet, but they probably are panicking. Now is the time to strike. Here are some guys (some I’ve mentioned before) to snag for huge second halves.
Hanley Ramirez, SS, Florida Marlins
I know, I know. It’s starting to look like the typical “lost” season that can plague even the game’s best players. But Ramirez is just too good in every category to give up on. He will be hard to get, but I’d rather go down swinging than just let the season pass me by. He has even been heating up a little bit.
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington Nationals
Any time a baseball player hurts anything in their abdomen it’s trouble. The violent and sudden twisting nature of a baseball swing makes these injuries devastating (same thing with Evan Longoria this year). Zimmerman actually tore one of these muscles. So why am I endorsing him? I might be crazy, but the Nationals seemed to really take their time bringing him back. I think his struggles have been timing. He will get that back.
Nelson Cruz, OF, Texas Rangers
It’s about the time of the year when pitchers in Texas start falling apart and balls start flying over the fence. When Cruz is healthy he’s a force. He’s already had his annual DL stint and worked his way back.
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Chicago Cubs
I mentioned Ramirez a few weeks back and I hope you have been enjoying his power surge (9 homers, 23 RBIs since June 8). When he’s healthy (and out of his annual season-starting slump), he might be a top 5 third basemen.
Alex Rios, OF, Chicago White Sox
Count me in the camp that can’t figure out why Rios isn’t a better baseball player. He has all the tools you can ask for, maybe he needs better contacts. Still, he is usually good for one good half each year. As any White Sox fan will tell you, it wasn’t the first this year. It better be the second.
Angel Pagan, OF, New York Mets
I don’t know how it happened but Pagan has become a legit ball player. I remember watching him slap balls around with the Cubs his first two years and laughed when I heard he was starting for the Mets. But he’s quietly a good third outfielder. He’s batting fifth so he’s getting more RBI chances and he stole 37 bases last year. He might even be on your waiver wire (52% owned).
Jake Peavy, SP, Chicago White Sox
This comes with a disclaimer that after suffering no major injuries his first seven seasons, Peavy (pictured) volunteered to have his entire body remade with glass some time in 2009. When he’s healthy though, he’s still one of the better pitchers in the league. Classic high risk/high reward guy.
Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Colorado Rockies
If Jimenez’s owner was so frustrated with his first two months that he (or she) is looking to unload him while his value is back up, it would be a good time to cash in on that. I remember numerous stories last year in which other players talked about how filthy Jimenez’s stuff was. I’m a believer that big-time talents will turn it around.
John Danks, SP, Chicago White Sox
The pitcher who didn’t get a win until June 8, predictably got hurt after reeling off three straight. He’s already throwing again though and should be back right after the all-star break. Look at his career numbers (mid-3 ERA, 1.2-ish WHIP), he’s going to have a big second half.
Joe Nathan, RP, Minnesota Twins
Injuries seem to be the common thread among these pitchers and Nathan fits that bill. He didn’t pitch last year, then went on the DL for a while this year after a disastrous start. Only a solo homer in a blowout blemishes Nathan in his three appearances since returning. He’s been too good for too long and Matt Capps is … well Matt Capps. I’d be shocked if Nathan isn’t saving games in a couple weeks.
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