With the Midsummer Classic less than two weeks away, it seems like a perfect time to look back and reflect on the season’s first half. As with any year, 2016 has seen plenty of surprises, breakouts, and busts.
Over the next two weeks, the Fantasy Lookout will breakdown the All-Value Team. This week we will get into the hitters, while next week we will take a look at the pitchers. We will be using Yahoo Fantasy data as our benchmark. The key data points will be both the current overall roto rankings and the preseason overall roto rankings for all of the discussed players.
To determine a player’s value, you need to consider both their purchase cost and their year-to-date production. Anyone could have picked Mike Trout with an early pick, but that doesn’t really result in any incremental value. Uncovering value occurs when you draft a player in the later rounds and then they go on to significantly outperform their ADP.
For each of the players on the All-Value Team, we will briefly touch on their year-to-date performance and discuss their prospects for the remainder of the 2016 campaign.
While only some of these players may be going to San Diego for the All-Star Game on July 12th, I am sure they are all ecstatic to be named to the 2016 Fantasy Lookout All-Value Team.
2016 First Half Fantasy All-Value Team
|Position||R||HR||RBI||SB||AVG||Pre-Season Rank||Current Rank|
Wilson Ramos, C, Washington Nationals
Ramos has taken advantage of a .354 BABIP and 26-percent HR/FB rate to get off to a hot start. His batted ball profile is only marginally better than his career numbers, so expect those figures to potentially regress closer to his career marks of .289 and 17.4-percent respectively. Ramos has also quite significantly cut down on his strikeouts and it looks to be sustainable.
For the second half, I wouldn’t expect a repeat of the first half, but a weaker batting average and roughly two thirds of the counting stats feels about right.
Wil Myers, 1B, San Diego Padres
The biggest key to Myers’ outstanding first half has been his health, as he has appeared in 75 games already. When you look at his batted ball profile, other than a stronger HR/FB rate (20-percent vs. 14-percent), everything is pretty much in line with his career numbers. Myers has also made some strides in terms of strikeouts, as he currently has a sub-20-percent strikeout rate for the first time in his career.
As long as he stays healthy, I think Myers has a decent chance to approach the same numbers in the second half.
Jonathan Schoop, 2B, Baltimore Orioles
Schoop’s first half 2016 production nearly mirrors his injury shortened 2015 production so we shouldn’t be shocked by what he has accomplished. His batted ball profile has also been a near carbon copy of both his 2015 numbers and his career numbers.
Given the consistency, I see no reason why a repeat performance in the second half is not on tap.
Jake Lamb, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks
Armed with the comfort of an everyday role, Lamb has finally turned his potential into production so far in 2016. He has made a habit of making solid contact as his 41-precent hard hit rate ranks 13th in all of baseball. Lamb’s near 51-precent pull rate has also aided in his 16 long balls. He appears to be getting better as the season wears on as his home run and RBI totals have increased every month.
Continuing to hit in the heart of a solid lineup should help Lamb make a serious run at 30 bombs before the season comes to a close. Expect the pace to continue and a solid second half is on deck.
Aledmys Diaz, SS, St. Louis Cardinals
It looks like all Diaz needed was an opportunity. He took full advantage of the unfortunate injury to starting shortstop Jhonny Peralta and ran with it. In fact, given his ADP, Diaz may actually be the captain of this year’s All-Value Team. The majority of Diaz’s peripherals are in line with his minor league stats so a large regression does not appear imminent. Absent April’s batting average, Diaz has been very consistent in terms of his roto stats over each of the first three months.
When you combine that with the fact that he should continue to see everyday at-bats, you can see why a near repeat performance in the second half is not out of the question. There could be a slight pullback in his batting average, as his .333 BABIP looks a touch high given his batted ball profile. This will likely provide a small headwind to his counting stats going forward.
Ian Desmond, OF, Texas Rangers
Desmond regretfully turned down a long-term extension with the Nationals in order to test free agency. Needles to say, it did not go as planned, as he had to settle for a one-year contract with the Rangers. Now playing in the outfield, Desmond has been terrific and he holds the highest ranking of all the members of the All-Value Team. He has also cut down on his strikeouts and he is back to being a threat on the base paths.
An across the board repeat in the second half is unlikely given his first half .387 BABIP, even though his batted ball profile is better than his career numbers. Expect a lower batting average to be a drain on Desmond’s counting stats pace, but he should continue to provide solid five category numbers.
Mark Trumbo, OF, Baltimore Orioles
Trumbo has sure enjoyed his first experience in the AL East. As the current MLB home run leader, Trumbo has more than delivered since his trade out of Seattle. While Trumbo’s batting average has fluctuated a fair amount month-to-month, his counting stats have been incredibly consistent. The pessimists will cite that Trumbo’s overall batted ball profile is only slightly better than his career numbers, yet he has managed to produce to 24.4-percent HR/FB ratio against a career mark of just 18.6-percent. A counter argument would be that he is now playing in the most hitter friendly division that he ever has over his entire career.
He has done this before, as from 2011 through 2013, Trumbo was a lock for 30-plus home runs and 90-plus RBIs. Trumbo may see a slight decrease in his home run pace, but I fully expect him to approach 35 home runs and 100 RBIs when all is said and done.
Marcell Ozuna, OF, Miami Marlins
Ozuna has more than bounced back from a disappointing season last year as he has already met or exceeded his 2015 totals for home runs, runs, and RBIs in nearly 200 fewer plate appearances. His batting average has seen the benefit of his improved approach at the plate. Ozuna has cut his strikeout rate by nearly 3-percent and improved his walk rate by nearly 2-percent. The fact that he has traded ground balls for fly balls (roughly 5-percent when compared to his career marks) is also a positive sign for his power prospects going forward.
I do not foresee a material regression in the second half for Ozuna and he should finish with new career highs in the major roto categories.
All of these players are not the top Fantasy hitters at their respective positions; they are just the ones that have returned the best value given their ADP. Make sure you tune in next week when the Fantasy Lookout unveils the All-Value Team pitchers. Until then, enjoy the games!
Data courtesy of www.fangraphs.com
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