No one will argue that Nelson Cruz is having a Fantasy All-Star first half. With a combination of power and speed, he has all of the tools to be a Top-10 Outfielder.
Yes, there is a but. You can argue that he is 29 (actually his birthday is 7/1) and in the prime of his career. Also, that he plays in that hitter’s park in hot and humid Arlington, TX. Plus, Nelson gets a lot of protection in that big time Rangers lineup. Unfortunately, that’s not going to be enough.
When Josh Hamilton returns it creates a log jam in the Texas OF. Everyone will suffer from shared At Bats, and without the consistency of defined roles Cruz’s numbers will fall. His batting average has already dropped below .260, and OBP in June is also under .260. Nelson knows that he is competing with Dave Murphy, Marlon Byrd, Andrew Jones, and Josh Hamilton (he is a fixture in CF, no real competition). The DH position is occupied by Hank Blaylock, but even if he is slumping they will still occasionally give him the start.
So, what to do? This is the best time you will ever have to trade him. His statistics are very appealing in comparison to other sluggers. In addition, having 12 stolen bases makes him look like a speed threat when in actuality he has only done a good job at picking and choosing his spots. In Cruz’s 557 ABs dating back 4 seasons to 2006, he has totaled 6 stolen bases. Don’t count his minor league swipes because his numbers were overinflated due to poor defensive catchers.
Players to Target: H/AB Runs HRs RBIs SB BA OPS
Jason Bay: 74/277 50 19 69 5 .267 .921
Grady Sizemore: 52/233 32 10 39 7 .223 .732
Ryan Braun: 93/284 56 16 57 6 .327 .990
Carl Crawford: 101/315 55 8 38 40 .321 .842
Andre Ethier: 72/277 40 15 52 4 .260 .840
Manny Ramirez: 32/92 22 6 20 0 .348 1.13
NELSON CRUZ: 70/267 44 19 47 12 .262 .862
Tags: Not Cruzing,Dan Pollak, The Fantasy Fix, Nelson Cruz, Rangers, Manny Ramirez, Andre Ethier, Dodgers, Ryan Braun, Fantasy Baseball