Today we finish what we started last week and review the second half prospects for some current underachievers.
AL UNDERACHIEVING HITTER MOST LIKELY TO CONTINUE DEPRESSED LEVEL OF PLAY
Todd Zola: Paul Konerko - He's bounced back before but it looks like Father Time has finally caught up to Paulie K.
Nicholas Minnix: Josh Hamilton - He was stinking for a while prior to this season. Numbers may improve, but not enough to satisfy anyone.
Starlin's star on rise?
Tim Heaney: Josh Hamilton - Hard to bank on a guy with a contact rate below 70 percent, even though I acknowledge he could go on one of his tears. We're seeing a decline in bat speed and thump, and he doesn't have a favorable home park to lean on this time.
Lawr Michaels: Josh Hamilton - Worn out his strike zone welcome.
Ryan Carey: Melky Cabrera - No PED's, no power and less speed. He is back to being the average talent he was before and a second possible suspension looms.
AL UNDERACHIEVING PITCHER MOST LIKELY TO CONTINUE DEPRESSED LEVEL OF PLAY
TZ: Justin Verlander - Yeah, he flirted with the no-no last start before the ASB but all those innings have finally caught up.
NM: R.A. Dickey - The magic has worn off the knuckler, I guess. Rogers Centre reportedly partly to blame. I agree on Verlander, too.
TH: Amazing how Jon Lester has fallen to enter this category after the start he got to this season. He's still nibbling too much, and I don't think it's going to be easily correctible. R.A. Dickey's dancing knuckler will continue to frustrate him, as well, but I'd rather take my chances with him now that he's had time to work with his backstops.
LM: Joe Blanton - Truth is he was never that good in the first place.
RC: R.A. Dickey - Unless he gets traded back to the NL, those ratios will remain a drag.
AL UNDERACHIEVING HITTER MOST LIKELY TO BOUNCE BACK
TZ: Michael Saunders - Perhaps wishful thinking on my part but with Franklin Gutierrez still out, the opportunity should be there and Saunders has full-season 20/20 potential.
NM: Yoenis Cespedes - Has nothing to do with the Home Run Derby, just think it won't hurt if he's, well, not. Of course, always the chance that he is again.
TH: Yoenis Cespedes - Talk about a wake-up call. Guy's just too naturally talented to fade away. He was hobbled for much of the first half and should start to play more smoothly if he can stay healthy.
LM: Yoenis Cespedes - Streaky, and all things considered, his numbers are not that bad. Hot on the heels of his Home Run Derby performance, Yo is ready to get hot and pick up some offensive Oakland slack.
RC: Brett Lawrie - Love the talent and the move to second base. That lineup offers the perfect setting to start to salvage a fantasy season.
AL UNDERACHIEVING PITCHER MOST LIKELY TO BOUNCE BACK
TZ: Jon Lester - Perhaps it's a homer pick but I think we have a stretch of the old Lester on the way.
NM: CC Sabathia - He's healthy, gets a chance to recharge, velocity has climbed in the last month or two. That's just what he does, after the break. Sorry, seems like a cop-out, easy answer.
TH: CC Sabathia - Typically turns things around this time of season. His fastball's giddy-up has gradually sneaked back into legitimacy.
LM: Bud Norris - Not really underachieving, but also rumored in trade rumors, and seriously talented, a trade to a contending team will really boost his value.
RC: Fernando Rodney - After looking like he might lose the job in June, he's back and starting to show signs of last year's dominance.
And the winners from the National League are. ...
About Todd Zola, MastersBall.com
Focusing primarily on the science of player valuation and game theory starting in 1997, Todd Zola and Mastersball carved out an important niche in the fantasy industry. In 2006, Todd became the Research Director for fantasybaseball.com, and in 2009, he relaunched Mastersball and is now a managing partner.
Todd competes in Tout Wars and the XFL, and has been a multiple-time league champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has been a contributor to the fantasy content at MLB.com and SI.com, is a frequent guest on Sirius/XM and Blog Talk Radio and is an annual speaker at the spring and fall First Pitch Forum symposiums.
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