2013 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

Deal Before the Dog Days: First Half Performers To Sell

photo by: Keith Allison
photo by: Keith Allison

There are certain baseball players that fall into the category of “first half performers” in that their career splits indicate their best stats come before the All-Star break on a yearly basis.  These are the type of players you want to trade before mid-season when they hold peak value.  There are a lot of players in the game who are guilty of this so I recommend assessing your roster using this filter.  Thanks to statistical splits provided by baseballreference.com, here are three good examples accompanied by their career averages and 2012 season splits before and after the All-Star break.  These three players, among many others, will see their maximum value in late June/early July so if you plan on trading up, that is the time to deal them.

IAN KINSLER – 2B – TEXAS RANGERS

Ian Kinsler is one of the top fantasy second basemen.  He represents a 25-30 HR/25-30 SB ceiling threat every season at a middle infield position.  Going into 2013 he was the third highest ranked 2B behind Robinson Cano and Dustin Pedroia, but as recent as last season, he dropped off 50 points in batting average and 76 points in OPS in the second half of the year.  You can certainly deal him before the “dog days of summer” for second half value in other players in areas your team needs improvement.

CAREER SPLITS

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

FIRST   HALF

.282

.364

.479

.843

SECOND   HALF

.258

.333

.437

.770

2012

 

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

FIRST   HALF

.279

.341

.442

.783

SECOND   HALF

.229

.308

.399

.707

 

ALEX RIOS – OF – CHICAGO WHITE SOX

In 2012 Alex Rios, at the age of 31, had the best season of his career.  His statistical drop off in the second half isn’t as bad as other players. However, I decided to include him because I feel the temporary reputation carry over from 2012 combined with his scorching start in the early going this season (4 HR, .419 average), and his career trend of fading in the second half makes him a perfect candidate to sell high for a big return.  Also, although 2012 was a career best season, his second half drop off was significant, bringing him closer to his career averages (-29 in average, -37 in OBP, – 51 in OPS).

CAREER SPLITS

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

FIRST   HALF

.285

.335

.458

.793

SECOND   HALF

.271

.313

.437

.745

2012

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

FIRST   HALF

.318

.352

.522

.874

SECOND   HALF

.289

.315

.509

.823

 

KEVIN YOUKILIS – 1B/3B – NEW YORK YANKEES

Kevin Youkilis had an unusual 2012 mixed with a drama-filled final few months in Boston that many experts believe affected his production, to a few month stint with the White Sox.  I would agree that you can toss 2012 out as an aberration to what we can still expect from the 34 year old. However, it cannot be denied that Kevin Youkilis is one of the most guilty names on the list of “first half performers”.  His career declines from first half to second half are huge (-37 average, -35 on base percentage, -73 slugging, -108 OPS).  If a rejuvenated Youkilis lights up the back of his baseball card with the Yankees in the first half, sell him off before the All-Star game to get the biggest return in value.  He will certainly have a better year than 2012, but the numbers don’t lie, he’s a first half guy.

CAREER SPLITS

 

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

FIRST   HALF

.298

.399

.513

.912

SECOND   HALF

.261

.364

.440

.804

 2012

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

FIRST   HALF

.262

.341

.426

.767

SECOND   HALF

.214

.332

.395

.727

 These are just three solid examples of many players that fall under the category of “first half performers”. Take a look at your players and if you see a similar trend and can benefit your team with a trade, that half way point is often the right time to make a move.

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