Here are some updates on guys I covered earlier in the year and where I expect them to be for the rest of the season:
Jason Heyward – He no longer drives me crazy. Right Said Fredi Gonzalez caused him to have a toxic season last year, but he’s rebounded nicely in 2012. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Justin Upton – This year his season has been tearing up my heart. He’s posting the lowest OPS of his career since he was a rookie in 2007. Since that time, he’s oscillated between great years in 2009 (.899 OPS) and 2011 (.898 OPS) and merely good years in 2008 (.816 OPS) and 2010 (.799 OPS). Please, blog, may I have some more?
In OPS leagues, you generally have a higher level of tolerance for guys that strikeout a lot and produce a low batting average. Guys who walk a lot and have a good slugging rate can be overlooked due to some of their flaws, but carry value in OPS leagues. Please, blog, may I have some more?
I realized that in the couple months I’ve been writing these articles, I haven’t covered any Pirates players. Maybe it’s a personal bias, or maybe I’m struggling with the idea that so many Pirates players are worth owning this year. When was the last time that happened? Please, blog, may I have some more?
J.J. Hardy won’t run this town any longer. After hitting seven home runs and posting a tremendous .922 OPS in May, Hardy’s followed with an abysmal .498 OPS in June, and an awful .329 OPS in July. Yes, some of this variance is due to fluctuations in his BABIP and home run to fly ball rate, but when you have an OPS that low it is hard to simply dismiss it as bad luck. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Brett Lawrie is finally starting to live up to the hype he had coming into this season. After hovering around a .700 OPS in April and May, Lawrie has an .870 OPS in June. This is especially encouraging because his BABIP and his HR/FB in June are not indicating that he may simply be receiving good luck. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Aaron Hill is something you can’t understand. He’s maintained a career-high .868 OPS in 2012 after posting a career-low OPS the past two years, with .665 in 2010 and .655 in 2011. The only time he’s achieved an OPS above .800 in his career was in 2009, and that was largely fueled by a HR/FB well above his career rate (14.9% in 2009 compared to a career 8.0% average). Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ichiro Suzuki is the epitome of public enemy. In OPS leagues, there are two kinds of SAGNOFs: those who destroy your OPS and those who only have a minimal impact. Ichiro (and every sub .700 OPS player) is the former. Two of the main reasons people have loved him are his batting average and his steals. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ryan Zimmerman’s summer feels out of reach. Now that he’s supposedly healthy, it’s difficult to be pleased with his .650 OPS. I hate to give up on a 27-year-old with considerable potential, but I’m questioning whether he’ll ever again produce at the near .900 OPS levels he had in 2009 and 2010. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Lance Berkman was a renaissance man. Last year he reached 30 home runs for the first time since 2007 and his .959 OPS was his highest since 2008. I credit this turnaround to him staying healthy, and, despite his age, remaining incredibly talented. Please, blog, may I have some more?