Things change in fantasy baseball. Daily. I could put Hanley Ramirez number one on the top 100 list for the second half of 2008 and he could get injured tomorrow. Or Alex Rodriguez could announce he’s skipping out on all August games to join Madonna on tour for the remake of the Madonna: Truth or Dare movie with Arod playing the part of Warren Beatty. This list may not be relevant two weeks for now. Or it may be completely correct in two months and you’ll want to join the Church of Grey. There’s no membership fees. Sin all you want. Just don’t trade for Ryan Zimmerman. This list is NOT (Caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take the first half and combine it with the 2nd half of their season. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up on the first day of the 2nd half. So while Kouzmanoff did not have a solid first half, he will appear on this list because I like him more for the 2nd half. Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half. (Also, download Rudy Gamble’s 2nd half fantasy baseball projections for 2008.)
1. Alex Rodriguez – I’d trade my left nut for Arod. In fact, to prove a point, I just did. Are you happy? I’m one-nutted now. You’re welcome.
2. Hanley Ramirez – And there goes my right nut. Now I’m a woman.
3. Jose Reyes – To answer the Bee Gees, my love goes deep, especially for Reyes. He’s on pace for 135/18/70/.300/60. I think he exceeds those steals numbers, which means he does better in the 2nd half.
4. Chase Utley – My only regret this season is not having him on one team. I thought he should go 7th in the beginning of the year and I just never had the right pick.
5. David Wright – His average usually picks up in the 2nd half and he fills every category.
6. Matt Holliday – Think he can chip in ten steals while hitting twenty home runs in the 2nd half. Oh, and a .330 average.
7. Albert Pujols – I’m starting to feel like he’s overrated. .340/17/45 is solid for the 2nd half, but he’s that much better than Teixiera?
8. Lance Berkman – I think he slows down a bit as the season wears on and when he realizes he’s doing it all for nothing. Making the season count out of nothing at all…
9. Johan Santana – No reason why he can’t win 12 games in the second half, even though he only won 8 in the first. Recognize!
10. Ryan Braun – 17/10 in the 2nd half as the Hebrew Hammer does work at the plate on every day but Yom Kippur (<—-forced!).
11. Ryan Howard – Gets to 50/150. You take that with a .250 average and you like it.
12. Prince Fielder – Hey, why do my Tofutti Cuties taste like hamburger? *Yost smiles devilishly*
13. Miguel Cabrera – As I have said before, he’ll have the same numbers at the end of the year he always has.
14. Mark Teixeira – PABST, Post-All-Star Break Stud Teixeira.
15. Grady Sizemore – 15/15/.270 Tastes like Rollins with more power.
16. Jimmy Rollins – Tastes like Sizemore with more steals.
17. Josh Hamilton – First one I don’t feel completely comfortable with, but after his first half I couldn’t drop him any further.
18. Carl Crawford – Strong 2nd half last year. A force in steals, runs and average.
19. Jake Peavy – If the DL-stint this year didn’t worry me, he’d be sitting in first class with Santana.
20. Brandon Webb – His 2nd half last year was insane. I wouldn’t bank on any player to be the same this year as they were last year. It’s not how things work, but I still think he can be excellent.
21. Carlos Lee – Lisa Gray, who’s funny for a broad, calls him Clank Lee. (A funny girl who knows baseball? You schmohawks should be combing your hair just reading that.)
22. Ichiro Suzuki – I don’t know why I can’t get behind Ichiro. I love sushi. Love! I once dated a Japanese girl, which turned out miserably, but other than my current girlfriend, they all end badly, right? I mean, at some point in every relationship you gotta say, “The sound of your breathing irritates me. Let’s breakup.”
23. Ian Kinsler – He can actually build on his 1st half power, but his average will probably come down.
24. Nick Markakis – On the last day of the season, when Markakis reaches 110/30/110/.315/20, there will be a party at my house called, “My Girlfriend Gets Me Back On The Final Day Of The Season If I Still Have A Girlfriend By Then” Party. Hopefully she gets us a stripper.
25. Brandon Phillips – Every single time I rank him, I always want to drop him further, except if I’m ranking overrated players. For some reason, Phillips always makes me feel like this reporter.
26. CC Sabathia – I almost moved him above Peavy, that’s how much I like him in the 2nd half.
27. Vladimir Guerrero – Almost 40 points below his career average, I think he gets much closer to it, which would make for a very hot 2nd half.
28. Carlos Beltran – My placement of so many Mets in the top 30 shows I obviously think they’re going to continue their winning ways. I’m not exactly a fan of Willie Randolph, but it’s a shame that Manual will get credit for the Mets’ resurgence. They are just playing how they should’ve been the whole time, which, in this case, is very good.
29. Aramis Ramirez – I’m still a fan even though I feel like the first half of the year he was giving his owners a dutch pantry. (The first entry, of course. BTW, why is Dutch an adjective that equals kinky shizz dealing with farts? Or you “can go Dutch?” Which is splitting a check. Don’t try and figure this out. You’ll just waste precious man hours.)
30. Justin Morneau – I just went over why I like Morneau.
31. Garrett Atkins – The last two seasons’ second halves have been tremendous. I kinda wanted to push him into the top 30, but his HRs just haven’t been high enough.
32. Chipper Jones – What’s left on the Braves’s season? 67 games. Chipper makes a run at 40 of them, but not a run at .400.
33. Derrek Lee – Mostly a yawn after April. Swapping him for Howard would’ve been the move. But you didn’t do that, did you?
34. B.J. Upton – And, unlike Brandon Phillips, I always wanna move Upton, um, up. Maybe because his initials are BJ. I gotta call my shrink and tell her I’m making progress!
35. Nate McLouth – Tastes like Sizemore but much riskier.
36. Alfonso Soriano – I hope this is the year of the Cubs just so I don’t have to hear how this is the year for the Cubs every year. BTW, Soriano is this low because he has an injured hand. I wouldn’t want to mortgage the farm on a hitter with an injured hand. But he has shown great resiliency in the past so he could be a bargain.
37. Robinson Cano – I’m drunk on my love for Cano. Leave me alone.
38. Adrian Gonzalez – I don’t think he gets above 35 HRs. He’s at 22 HRs. You do the math!
39. Jacoby Ellsbury – 5/30 with a kagillion runs is great. Hopefully his average doesn’t continue to dip.
40. Corey Hart – Just a bit off of Sizemore in terms of production and “getting ladies,” which I guess could be consider production, as well.
41. Josh Beckett – Only a few pitchers moved up in the top 100 from where they appeared in the March top 100.
42. Curtis Granderson – He’s one of the few players that I disliked in March that I actually like more now. Primarily because of his ’07 post-All-Star Break numbers.
43. Cole Hamels – Few pitchers give you 8 Ks even when they have an off game.
44. Bobby Abreu – 10/10 with a chance for a pile of runs and RBIs.
45. Matt Kemp – Power has come on, his Ks are a bit worrisome, but I’m finally buying.
46. Carlos Pena – For those looking for someone who can hit 20 HRs in the 2nd half. Here’s one. I actually like Pena more now than in the beginning of the season. Partly because he can’t have a much worse half than his 1st.
47. Adam Dunn – Here’s another post-All-Star Break twenty home run possibility.
48. Manny Ramirez – The season is long and Manny’s attention span is short. This is the time of year I don’t want Manny.
49. Dan Uggla – If he only hits 10 HRs in the 2nd half with a .240 average, you’ll wish you had Yunel.
50. Roy Halladay – Halladay looks like he’s everything he used to be, but hadn’t been for the past two years. If that makes sense.
51. Jason Bay – I wanted to drop him even further, but when someone’s on pace for 36/10 with respectable peripherals you just can’t do it.
52. Torii Hunter – He’s one hot streak away from a 17/10 2nd half.
53. Carlos Zambrano – One of the few pitchers that’s at even odds for ten wins after the Break.
54. Brian Roberts – Bad three year Post-All-Star Break average and he slows down in the 2nd half.
55. Magglio Ordonez – I don’t feel good about his placement in the rankings because of the injury, but he should be back right after the All-Star Break.
56. Carlos Quentin – I’m worried the average keeps falling, that’s why he’s ranked this low. If you, ya know, were wondering.
57. Michael Young – Two shots of solid, one shot of steady and absolutely no excitement.
58. Shane Victorino – I feel like The Flying Hawaiian is not getting his due. His pace 110/9/55/.280/40. To think some people dropped him in the beginning of the season. Or traded him to Rudy for Matt Capps.
59. John Lackey – Yes, I’m a fetishist for NL pitchers, but I likey Lackey. The problem is the injury in the beginning of the year and his last two starts.
60. Dan Haren – His 2nd half troubles last year are well-documented, I won’t tack on more of the same.
61. Pat Burrell – One of the few players who I would double their stats to this point and say that’s close to what you’re going to get on the season.
62. Brian McCann – Putting up Victor Martinez numbers while V-Mart puts up Jason Kendall numbers. Weird!
63. Geovany Soto – For the search term “Geovany,” this guy used to be on the first page of Google. Nice hat!
64. Justin Verlander – As we said the other day, “Since June 1, 8 starts, 5 Wins, 55 IP, 52 Ks, ERA/WHIP in the 2.70/1.10 area.” And that’s me quoting us!
65. Joe Nathan – Current number one closer in my book. But my book is titled, “I’d Never Draft A Number One Closer.”
66. Jonathan Papelbon – Should be trading these closers sooner rather than later, if you have holes elsewhere.
67. Francisco Rodriguez – Just because he closed 38 games in the 1st half doesn’t mean he reaches 55.
68. Mariano Rivera – And the closer run ends.
69. Tim Lincecum – Innings will begin to pileup and the Giants (if they have any sense in their collective heads) will limit Lincecum in the 2nd half.
70. Kevin Kouzmanoff – So far he’s hit .293 in July. Last year in the 2nd half, he hit .317 with 11 HRs. Maybe this is his thing.
71. Brad Lidge – His Ks can actually make a difference.
72. Chone Figgins – There’s very few players on this list that can impact one category like a healthy Figgins.
73. Derek Jeter – If Jeter starts dating Arod’s ex-wife, I’ll draft him in the first round next year, until that time…
74. Ervin Santana – A decent bet to get to 20 wins and possibly 200 Ks. He’s only ranked this low because he’s never done any of this before.
75. Adrian Beltre – In past years, even when he wasn’t good in the 1st half, he’s been solid in the 2nd half.
76. Mike Jacobs – See no reason why he can’t go .260/15/40 which could be better than Adrian Gonzalez. Cust kayin’.
77. Evan Longoria – Hey, Alex Gordon, this is how you don’t let people down.
78. Chris B. Young – I tried to do these rankings for the most part without looking at my top 100 from March. But I peeked in at where I ranked Krispie. In the 90s. So not only did Krispie have an awful 1st half, but he jumped 12 spots up. He’s failing upwards! Well, this is another sign that these rankings are really trying to look forward instead of look back. I don’t like a lot about Krispie, but his splits last year leaned towards the 2nd half of the year and really all we care about is the 2nd half.
79. Alexis Rios – I hope he finishes strong just so I can stop the hate mail over the winter.
80. Troy Tulowitzki – There’s really nothing that points to Tulo being placed this high. He started off miserably, got hurt, came back with limited results then hurt himself again. So why is he ranked here for the 2nd half? Because if I had to choose between Carlos Guillen and a healthy Tulo, I’d try my hand at Tulo.
81. Carlos Guillen – I’m not a huge fan of Guillen to begin with and his 2nd half last season wasn’t good.
82. Jhonny Peralta – Second to only Hanley and Michael Young for shortstop HRs and RBIs respectively.
83. Chad Billingsley – I believesley.
84. Ben Sheets – I kinda wanted to drop him off the list because of injury history and last year’s 2nd half.
85. Russell Martin – I suppose a catcher going 7/7 excites some.
86. David Ortiz – Papi will hold his best for the playoffs and the Sox will be fine with it.
87. Milton Bradley – It’s just a matter of keeping the injuries in check. The talent was always there.
88. James Shields – Notice who he’s ranked just in front of. The significance is deafening.
89. Scott Kazmir – I put him right after Shields to magnify who I like better. Shields. Dur.
90. Jason Giambi – Stumbled a bit into the All-Star Break, but he can have a ten home run month and pile on the RBIs
91. Paul Konerko – Three year post-All-Star Break average is 16/44/.297.
92. Jeff Francoeur – What, you can root for Hamilton to turn his life around, but you can’t root for Frenchy to turn around his season?
93. Alex Gordon – If he can turn it on this 2nd half like he did last year, he’s worth this spot. If he doesn’t, he further infuriates me. You’ve been warned, Gordon!
94. Hunter Pence – Can be a 15/10 guy in the 2nd half. (I’m not sure I believe that myself, but he can go 15/10. Nope, still don’t believe it.)
95. Miguel Tejada – I considered leaving him off and he seems like he won’t be anything but a higher profile name putting up Kelly Johnson-type numbers.
96. Rickie Weeks – Throw him in Krispie’s sidecar as someone who doesn’t deserve to be on the list, but what he can do makes him impossible to leave off. Actually, I could’ve left him off but I didn’t.
97. Mike Lowell – He’s Puerto Rican and only 34. I always find that curious. Anyway, carry on.
98. Kevin Youkilis – I know he has a history of 2nd half swooning, but he wasn’t even good in June and July last year and he has been this year. I’m going to go out on a wild limb here and say he wins the AL MVP with numbers like 115/30/125/.320/5.
99. Edinson Volquez – When rookie pitchers start to accumulate too many innings, struggles turn to rotation spots being skipped. Then again, Management, “Dusty, you need to limit Edinson’s innings.” Cut to: Dusty’s blank stare.
100. Joey Votto – More valuable than Bruce.
101. Erik Bedard – Because no top 100 list is complete without a 101. Liked Bedard coming into the season. Do not like him at all in the 2nd half. His return is a question mark and he may be shutdown come September. He’s on this list because I wanted to say how much I didn’t like him. “Yo, Point, where you going?” “Home.” “Jump in, I’ll drive you.”
102. Cliff Lee – I didn’t forget him. I just wanted to.
103. Carlos Gomez/Willy Taveras/SAGNOF – If you need steals, you overpay for them. Why? Because it’s now or never.
104. Jonathan Broxton/Damaso Marte/SAGNOF – If you need saves, you… See right above.
105. Whatever Player Gets You The Championship – It’s now or never, people. I cannot stress this enough. Actually, I can and will post about this tomorrow.