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Second Half Hitting Stars - AL West

Nelson Cruz is ranked 19th overall in production and the good
news is that he is still only owned in about 88% of all leagues.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - In Part III of our six-part series, we look at second half hitting stars from the American League Western Division. The information is valuable to fantasy owners because it will tell us when to trade away a player (sell high) and when to trade for a player (buy low).

We will again look at a player's career OPS as our guide and first half/second half as the All-Star break. Obviously, the more years a player has played the more reliable the information. Mark Teixeira's OPS increase in the second half (+.078) is more reliable than Luke Scott's increase (+.129) because Teixeira has six full major league seasons of results versus Scott's two seasons of 400+ at-bats.

With top second-half guy Mark Ellis on the 60-day disabled list, the West doesn't appear to have a great deal to offer.

However, if Nelson Cruz is truly a "second-half star" then his numbers for the year are going to be awesome considering he is already hitting .296 with 29 runs scored, 14 HR, 36 RBI, nine steals and an OPS of .952. Heading into the season, Cruz had an Average Draft Position (ADP) of 192 and wasn't in the top-50 outfielders. Currently he is ranked 19th overall in production and the good news is that he is still only owned in about 88% of all leagues.

I can't recommend Adrian Beltre, who has an OPS of just .595 (142 points below his career average), because even if his statistics get its usual +0.089 bounce, he won't be "fantasy worthy."

Two other Texas Rangers made the short list of players who have at least a 50- point OPS increases from the first half to the second half - Marlon Byrd and Chris Davis. But Davis, despite having hit 12 home runs, is batting below .200 and has already struck out 77 times in 165 at-bats, so no recommendation will be made there and Byrd is forced to share time with Andruw Jones and David Murphy for the two remaining outfield positions.

Career First Half-Second Half Statistics
PlayerTeamPos1st Half OPS2nd Half OPSDifference
Mark Ellis OAK 2B 0.688 0.793 0.106
Adrian Beltre SEA 3B 0.737 0.826 0.089
Marlon Byrd TEX OF 0.717 0.788 0.071
Chris Davis TEX 1B 0.787 0.855 0.068
Y Betancourt SEA SS 0.668 0.735 0.067
Nelson Cruz TEX OF 0.753 0.809 0.056
Vlad Guerrero ANA OF 0.937 0.989 0.052
Matt Holliday OAK OF 0.908 0.957 0.049
Howie Kendrick ANA 2B 0.723 0.768 0.045
Bobby Abreu ANA OF 0.884 0.921 0.037
Kenji Johjima SEA C 0.709 0.738 0.029
Mike Napoli ANA C 0.851 0.868 0.017
Chone Figgins ANA 3B 0.737 0.749 0.012
Torii Hunter ANA OF 0.8 0.803 0.003


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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