Each month I try to highlight 3 players you should keep even though they are struggling, 3 potential sleepers you should add to your watch list and 3 guys who are struggling and may not turn it around any time soon. So here goes, Keepers, Sleepers and Busts near the halfway point…
These are the players who are performing below expectations to this point, but that I think are worth hanging on to as better days are ahead.
Alex Rodriguez – First round draft pick currently ranked outside the top 100. He may be slowing down a bit, but he’ll still be top 50 by the end of the year (which means top 20 in the 2nd half).
Matt Holliday – Everyone knows he heats up in the 2nd half and has shown signs of what is to come over the past week. If you can get equal value back fine, but don’t sell him short (you’ll regret it later).
The Uptons (BJ and Justin) – At first I was worried that the D Backs might trade some pieces meaning Justins supporting cast would take a hit, then I remembered this kids talent level is through the roof! If you thought BJ was going to hit .300 shame on you, other than that he is giving you some power along with his great speed. I also think he could get his average up to ~.255 by the end of the year.
Players that should be available in most leagues that I think could help in the 2nd half. Remember, your not dropping your top guys for the ’sleeper’, simply follow them over the next month or so to see if they are worthy of a speculative add.
Julio Borbon- Still hitting in the 8-9 spots in the order which is hurting is stolen bases (the only reason to own him). However if he continues his recent success and Andrus continues to struggle he could be back at lead off and his SB will take off.
Alex Gordon- The Royals have said that he won’t be up any time soon, and his past suggests that he can’t hit ML pitching. Based on his success over the past month in the minors (go check it out, he is absolutely crushing AAA) I’d be willing to take a chance that he can finally realize some of his potential. If/When the Royals deal some pieces, they will find a spot for him down the stretch, keep your eye on him (and your hand on your mouse).
TB Prospects – First, I am a sucker for prospects so take this with a grain of salt…The Red Sox have caught the Rays and their pitching is partly to blame. Sheilds, Niemann and Davis (though still pitching ok) aren’t shutting down the opposition like they were. If the Rays truly think they need to make a run at it this year we may see Jeremy Hellickson shortly after the all-star break. Whether he comes up as a starter or relief pitcher, he can help you. Also, they may not have a spot for him now, but Desmond Jennings is heating up! They could bring him up as a 4th OFer and pinch runner for their playoff push. If they do, he’ll play – and you’ll want to own Crawford Jr. at that point.
See what you can get, these guys are not going to turn it around any time soon.
Joe Mauer – if you drafted him in the 1st round, I hope you made some great picks in rounds 2-5 or else your in trouble. Still has a good average, but the power is missing. What is scary is that the guys around him have been hitting better than last year so he should be getting better pitches to hit. He’ll probably have a better 2nd half, but he is not a 1st round talent for fantasy purposes and hopefully you’ve learned your lesson and won’t draft a catcher in round 1 next year :)
Nick Markakis – I know, I know – he’s a second half player right. Well, he’d have to hit 25+ HRs in the 2nd half to get anywhere close to where you thought he’d be. There are many, many Outfielders (some probably on waivers) who can put up number like him. Plus the lineup around him is not developing like many thought it would. If you can get decent value, now is the time to sell!
Chone Figgins – Talk about playing for a contract! I know he’s changed teams and his supporting cast isn’t what it used to be, but what happened to this guy? You used to at least be able to count on a good average and solid R & SB numbers, now your getting a 1 category guy – not worth it IMO.
Bonus – All prospects and 1st year players. If you have Heyward, Strasburg, Stanton, etc. now is the time to sell (DOES NOT APPLY TO KEEPER LEAGUES). Their value will never be higher and you likely have a couple owners like me in your league who will get caught up in the hype, haha!
So there you have it. Check back next month for an update on these picks and a fresh set of Keepers, Sleepers and Busts!
Jeffrey Furtah is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Jeffrey in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Captain Furtah or check out his blog at bleachergm.blogspot.com.
Want to write for the Cafe? Check out the Cafe's Pencil & Paper section!