Now that we’ve passed the All-Star break, we are moving into the unofficial second half of the season. Some players are renowned for their second-half surges, yet some are infamous for falling apart in the dog days. I’ve taken the liberty of breaking the Phillies’ starters into three categories…
SELL HIGH: Players who have historically proven a disappointing second half
- Ben Revere sees his average drop 33 points after the first half as well as a decrease in just about every other fantasy stat.
- Chase Utley experiences a drop in offensive production in the second half, most drastically in slugging percentage.
ON THE FENCE: Players who haven’t proved enough to predict an increase or decrease in performance
- Cody Asche in his limited major league experience has slightly lower numbers in the second half.
- Domonic Brown in a small sample size sees an uncommonly big drop in power in the second half, but fairly even numbers elsewhere.
- Marlon Byrd has better second half numbers, but not by a substantial amount.
BUY LOW: Players who have historically proven a significant increase in production in the second half
- Carlos Ruiz sees an increase in each sector of the triple-slash line: batting average, on-base percentage, and especially slugging percentage.
- Ryan Howard, despite his numbers being down this season, should see a large increase in offensive production, although most likely not enough to see typical end-of-year Ryan Howard numbers.
- Jimmy Rollins experiences a surge in the second half of seasons particularly in power.
Domonic Brown has 8 hits, 4 RBI, 1 home run and 3 runs over his last five games.
Analysis: Domonic Brown now has 7 home runs and 19 RBI this year making himself fantasy relevant for the first time in his career. His 7 bombs rank 14th most among all major league outfielders, his 19 RBI is 21st among outfielders. Brown’s biggest detriment to his fantasy game was always his batting average. This year he’s hitting a respectable .257 with a sub .280 BABIP, which means it could get better. He’s not walking at a higher clip nor is he striking out less… so what is the difference this year? Well, Brown is finally hitting lefties with consistency.
The twenty-five year old Brown is available in 30-70% of fantasy leagues nationwide. He won’t sustain his home run pace of 30 that he is currently on track for this year but you can expect around 20-25 by season’s end. He has yet to record a stolen base in 2013 but he has recorded 20 stolen bases over the last two years between the minors and majors. His stock is on the rise but he must contribute with his legs before he becomes a must own.
Ranked fourth on Baseball America’s latest Top 100 Prospects list, Brown is fighting to become Philadelphia’s starting right fielder on Opening Day.
Analysis: A hidden gem not selected until the 20th round in 2006, the 23-year old Brown has rapidly ascended through the Phillies system over the last few years, making his Major League debut this past summer. The youngster scuffled a bit over 35 games in the bigs, to the tune of .210/.257/.355 in 70 plate appearances. During this cup of coffee, however, Brown displayed flashes of brilliance including an RBI double in his first at-bat. A true five-tool player, Domonic’s potential emergence has softened the blow of losing Jayson Werth to free agency. Currently in competition with both John Mayberry Jr. and Ben Francisco for the starting right field job, Brown appears to have the upper hand in manager Charlie Manuel’s eyes. Although Manuel has stated that the position if “up for grabs” he plans to play the phenom a lot this spring, getting him as many at-bats as possible. This stance says a lot about the team’s immediate plans for Brown, and they are giving him every chance possible to work his way onto that April 1st lineup card.
Projection: Unless he has a terrible showing in the Grapefruit League, expect to see Brown patrolling right field at Citizens Bank Park when that first pitch is thrown against the Astros. The Philly brass wants him there, and so does young Domonic who seems to have the right mindset about winning the job. Surrounded by a monster (albeit lefty heavy) lineup, Brown should thrive in the cozy confines of the Phillies home park. Look for something in the .280/.350/.490 area over a full season, with 20-25 stolen bases to boot.