Chase Utley is in the midst of a horrible hitting slump.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
When you pick a player in the first round, you expect a certain level of production. Unfortunately, through the second week of June, many of the "Top-10 Hitters" on Draft Day aren't giving you the statistics you were looking for.
Now it's not like they are completely devoid of offense, it's just that with the quality of the names listed below, you would expect them to be leading a few of the offensive categories and their names to be all over the top-10 lists.
But when we look around the league only one on this list (Matt Kemp) is in the top-10 in runs, none are in the top-10 in hits, one is in the top-10 for home runs (Albert Pujols tied for 10th), one is in the top-10 in RBIs (Longoria), none are among the stolen base leaders, none are among the top-10 in batting average and only Longoria is in the top-10 in OPS.
In fact, when looking at the entire group of fantasy statistics, only Longoria has an overall rank in the top-10.
And three of the group, Chase Utley, Mark Teixeira and Prince Fielder aren't even in the top-125.
Utley is in the midst of a horrible hitting slump along with the rest of his Phillies teammates. Though he'll eventually come out of it, he's fallen well behind Robinson Cano as the top second baseman. As Utley's fantasy owner, or if you are thinking about making a trade offer for him, you should be aware that Utley's career second-half numbers are not as good as his first half. His batting average drops from .300 to .285 and his OPS has a corresponding drop from .924 to .865. Your options are limited because as an owner you won't get enough based on what you paid for him on Draft Day, but the prospects of Utley becoming what you expected grow dimmer by the day.
The same can't be said for Teixeira who is well known to be a "second-half hitter." While Utley's statistics fall off in the second half, Teixeira's numbers rise dramatically. His batting average jumps from .272 before the All- Star break to .305 after and his OPS grows from a pedestrian .867 to a stellar .968 after the break. For Teixeira owners it's called patience. If you still have it you will eventually be rewarded. For other owner's in the league, now is the time to approach said owner and test his patience by making him an offer for "Tex."
As for Fielder owner's I must refer you to a story I wrote last winter. In it, I explained that Fielder's offensive numbers were predictable based on his last four seasons. I found that in "even-numbers years" Fielder averaged 84 runs, 158 hits, 31 HRs and 91 RBIs with a batting average of .273 a slugging percentage of .495 and an OPS of .855. In "odd-numbered years" Fielder averaged 106 runs, 171 hits, 48 HRs and 130 RBIs while he batted .293, slugged at a .610 pace and had an OPS of 1.013. That's a difference of nearly 20% and unfortunately this is 2010.
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