NL Fantasy All-Stars

Posted: July 11, 2011 in Articles

By David Kerr

NL Fantasy All-Stars

Today is the last day of games before the All-Star break. I wanted to give my NL and AL Fantasy All-Stars over the next couple of days, so without further adieu…

Catcher: Brian McCann, Braves

Brian McCann started off the season with two homers in the first month and a half. In less than two months since that time, he’s went deep 13 times. Overall, he’s been the best fantasy catcher this since. With a great blend of power, average, and getting on base plus a knack for staying healthy, it doesn’t get much better than this. You can be confident that McCann will continue his success and have a great second half. His average may dip a bit, but the power and run producing will be right on par with what you’d expect.

Honorable Mention: Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks

First Base: Prince Fielder, Brewers

It’s no secret that Prince Fielder becomes a free agent after this season. He’s made it very apparent with the way he’s been playing. With 22 homers and 72 runs batted in, he’s the top dog in the National League at a very strong position. He’s getting on base at a .416 clip and has one more walk than strike out (59 to 58). This production is sure to continue in the second half with 45 homers definitely in striking distance.

Honorable Mention: Joey Votto, Reds

Second Base: Rickie Weeks, Brewers

Being healthy again this season means Rickie Weeks is once again at the top of his game. He heads into the break with 17 homers and 7 steals and has crossed home a National League leading 67 times. He bats in front of two prolific hitters in Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder which means he should cross home plate at least 125 times this year. He has a great blend of pop and speed and he should have a second half that replicates his first half.

Honorable Mention: Danny Espinosa, Nationals

Third Base: Aramis Ramirez

In the first two months of the season Aramis Ramirez was looking very washed up. He hit his second homer of the season on May 29th and ended May with a meager 19 RBI’s on the season. In the month and a half since then he’s hit 13 homers and driven in 32 runs. He’s now on pace to hit around 28 home runs and drive in 90 or so runs. Quite a turn around. As usual, he always seems to have nagging injuries, but if he can avoid the disabled list he will be quite productive in the second half.

Honorable Mention: Ryan Roberts, Diamondbacks (how weak is 3rd base this year…)

Shortstop: Jose Reyes, Mets

As usual Jose Reyes got hurt. Before injuring his hamstring though he batted at a .354 clip, stole 30 bases, and scored 65 runs. The most awe-inspiring statistic is his 15 triples. That’s serious speed. Of course, it’s his legs that landed him on the disabled list, so you must proceed with caution in the second half. If he’s healthy, he’s going to produce and steal a lot of bags. You can never be sure with Reyes. It’s said he’s going to miss three weeks. Those three weeks can turn into an early September return. Jose Reyes is a fantastic player, especially for fantasy, but he isn’t a sure bet to stay healthy and that has to be taken into account.

Honorable Mention: Jimmy Rollins, Phillies

Outfield: Matt Kemp, Dodgers

After a very disappointing 2010 campaign, Matt Kemp has re-emerged as a potential 40/40 threat. Heading into the break with 22 homers and 27 steals he has a VERY GOOD chance of doing exactly that. I see a slight dip in average, but only to the .285 range. It’s too bad that the Dodgers only have one real credible hitter in front of Kemp or his run producing statistics would probably be even better than they are now. Just to put that into perspective, he’s driven in 67 runs. My fearless prediction is Matt Kemp reaches the 40/40 plateau this season as only the fifth player to do so and the first since 2006.

Outfield: Ryan Braun, Brewers

If there were one word to describe Ryan Braun, it’d be automatic. Since coming into the league in 2007, he’s been a top 10 fantasy player every year. With the coveted blend of speed and pop, Braun has already hit 16 home runs and stolen 19 bases. He’s a 30/30 lock (as long as his calf gets healthy) and should hit over .300 the rest of the season. It doesn’t get much more consistent than Ryan Braun.

Outfield: Andrew McCutchen, Pirates

Another 5 tool player, Andrew McCutchen has really emerged as a top fantasy outfielder. He has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball since June 1st. He is hitting .291 with 14 homers, 15 steals, 54 runs and runs batted in, respectively, and has also drawn 49 walks. He has an on base percentage pushing .400! I expect more of the same in the second half, but with more steals. I could see “Cutch” swiping 20 more bags between now and October. If the Pirates stay hot, you can guarantee it will have a lot to do with McCutchen’s production.

Honorable Mentions: Justin Upton, Diamonbacks, Lance Berkman, Cardinals, Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies

Starting Pitcher: Roy Halladay, Phillies

Who else but Doc? With a record of 11-3, an ERA of 2.45, a WHIP of 1.02, and 138 strikeouts, he is the best and most reliable pitcher in all of baseball. He should have no problem winning 20 games again this season and topping 210 strikeouts. He is the only pitcher that I would even consider trading a top 10 hitter for straight up. My personal favorite statistic of Halladay’s game is his consistently low WHIP numbers. Because he pitches so many innings, even if he has a bad game, it’s not going to hurt. Look for big things from Doc in the second half. You already knew that though.

Honorable Mention: Cliff Lee, Phillies

Relief Pitcher: Craig Kimbrel

With a K/9 rate of 13.70 (70 K/46 IP) you know you’ve got a filthy pitcher. Add 28 saves to those strikeout numbers in the first half alone, you’ve got the most valuable fantasy reliever in the National League. Kimbrel is only 23 years old, but has emerged as a quite an asset to the Braves. He has blown 5 saves, but has a sparkling ERA of 2.35 and a WHIP of 1.04. The statistic that makes him most valuable is his strikeout numbers. He is on pace to strikeout around 125 guys and it’s entirely possible the way he’s pitching. He should have no problem reaching 45 saves in the second half to go with over 100 strikeouts.

Honorable Mentions: Joel Hanrahan, Pirates

Be sure to follow me on twitter by hitting the follow button below. I will answer any and all fantasy baseball questions you have. Also, you can e-mail me at askROTObaseball.com for any long form question’s. If you need an answer quick though, definitely use twitter!

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