The major-league All-Star break is here, which is a good time for fantasy owners to take a step back and take a breather. We have been grinding since March, so it will be nice to take a couple of days off. With that said, we also need to do a full reevaluation of our roster and figure out the moves we need to make in order to finish the season strong.
Throughout the week we will be looking at the hitters who surprised and disappointed along with the pitchers.
Three Up for Hitters:
1. New York Mets First Baseman Pete Alonso -- While Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was being drafted in Rounds 5 and 6, Alonso was being taken after Round 21. It has been Alonso who has provided the fantasy value as a rookie many thought Guerrero would. The 24-year-old is batting .280 with 30 home runs and 68 RBIs and is one of the few bright spots for the Mets in 2019. I don't expect the power to slow down and fantasy owners should continue to benefit from the youngster.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates First Baseman Josh Bell -- It was a special first half for 26-year-old, as he batted .302 with 27 home runs and an eye-popping 84 RBIs. We have been waiting for the talented Bell to put it all together, and it finally happened this season. Bell was the No. 33 first baseman drafted in 2019, according to FantasyPros.com, and now he leads all of baseball in RBIs. I love when things like this happen because it shows that while drafting is important, hitting the waiver wire is equally important.
3. Boston Red Sox Third Baseman Rafael Devers -- The 22-year-old has quickly become a fantasy asset as he ranks seventh in baseball with a .324 batting average. Devers has also hit 16 home runs with 62 RBIs and 69 runs scored. I also like seeing the eight stolen bases. For a player who was drafted as the 20th third baseman, he's giving fantasy owners a nice lift. That'll continue if he can keep his batting average above .300, hit around 25 home runs, drive in and score around 90 runs and steal close to 15 bases.
Three Down for Hitters:
1. Cleveland Indians Third Baseman Jose Ramirez -- It has been an extremely disappointing first half for the third baseman as he is batting only .218 with seven home runs and 35 RBIs. Ramirez is saving some fantasy value due to his 18 stolen bases, but he was drafted as a top-five hitter this year because of his ability to hit for power and a high average. Ramirez has started off July strong, so the hope is he will continue that for the remainder of the season.
2. St. Louis Cardinals First Baseman Paul Goldschmidt -- The 31-year-old has not hit worse than .290 since 2012, but finds himself with a .254 batting average through the first half of the season. Even more disappointing is the lack of power and stolen bases. Goldschmidt only has 16 home runs, and it will be difficult for him to finish with 30 in 2019. Goldschmidt was always a top fantasy performer due to his ability to steal bases, but after only eight in 2018, the veteran doesn't have any this season.
3. Philadelphia Phillies Outfielder Bryce Harper -- When you sign the largest free-agent contract in baseball history, expectations are going to be high. Due to this, we have to say he's been a disappointment in the first half with a .253 batting average and 16 home runs. I should note that if fantasy owners use on-base percentage instead of batting average, Harper has been more effective with a .370 on base percentage. However, we expected more power when signing with the Phillies and that hasn't happened.