Avisail Garcia has been great the past few weeks, hasn’t he? At this point in the season, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to throw projections out the window (defenestration, yo!). This isn’t to say that you should expect something completely unrealistic from a player, but it is ok to minimize any worry about regression. For example, can Avisail maintain the .800 OPS he’s produced over the past month? Why not? And, am I allowed to answer a question with another question? This is my long way of saying that if a player is on a hot streak, it could absolutely continue for the rest of the season and doesn’t “have to” regress. With that out of the way, I’ll admit that I’m still deciding how I’ll feel about Garcia for next year, but I believe he can be productive for the rest of 2013. Anyway, here are some players who can be better than expected in OPS leagues going forward:
Will Middlebrooks – This might just be a case of a player who was producing so much less than he was capable of and now has finally turned things around. With a relatively low walk rate and high strikeout rate, streakiness comes with the territory, but I could see him hitting well over an .800 OPS in the final weeks.
Salvador Perez – After tormenting Grey with embarrassingly little production, he too has turned things around in a significant way. As with Middlebrooks, I think the real talent lies somewhere in between his slow start and recent hot streak. It will be interesting to see where these guys end up being drafted next year. I’m thinking that, even if they continue producing, people will only remember their devastating starts and they will end up being available at a discount.
Josh Rutledge – Yet again, here’s a guy with great expectations coming into this season who completely flopped and is trying to regain some dignity. Before this season, I was very reluctant about believing in Rutledge, but there’s still hope, especially considering his age. I’d definitely pick him up if you need help at middle infield. And really, who doesn’t need help at middle infield?
Josh Donaldson – I touted Mr. Donaldson early and often this year. For some reason, I’m pulling for the guy. Maybe it’s because I saw the Moneyball movie. Or maybe it’s because I want there to be better options at third base. Regardless, his .297/.372/.496 line this year is spectacular. I could see him being a bit undervalued next year with people being skeptical of his ability to repeat his 2013 numbers. I’ll likely be projecting him to approach those numbers next year.
Andrelton Simmons – I never thought Andrelton would get 15 homers in a season. But just because his power has been greater than expected, doesn’t mean that he’ll have -10 homers the rest of the way. Player’s stats can’t be manipulated like that. Unless you’re Bud Selig…
Tom Jacks is sporadically on Twitter @votetomjacks