It's amazing how quickly the fantasy baseball season has gone. We do the draft prep in March, try not to stress about early season results and now we are officially on the back half of the season and need to decide if we have a chance to make a run at winning a championship.
The grind continues with two and a half months remaining in the season.
1. Houston Astros Second Baseman Jose Altuve -- It's been a down season for the second baseman, but there are signs that he is returning to becoming the hitter that made him one of the best in baseball. After hitting .226 in May, Altuve finished June with a batting average of .292 and is currently batting .357 in July. The slugging percentage is also returning, which is good to see. The only negative about his recent performance is that he is still not stealing bases. Altuve finished with more than 30 stolen bases in every season from 2012-2017. But Altuve stole only 17 bases last year and this season he only has two. Altuve's fantasy value has been high because of his ability to swipe bags. I'm hoping with improved health and hitting, the stolen bases will start to occur as well.
2. Washington Nationals Starting Pitcher Patrick Corbin -- The left-hander is on a roll, as he has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last five starts. During this span, he has struck out 45 hitters. The left-hander went through a rough patch that saw his ERA rise to 4.11, but it is now 3.39 and he is once again a strong option in all formats.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers Outfielder A.J. Pollock -- It's a shame the veteran outfielder can't stay healthy. Pollock is always productive, but his body fails him on a consistent basis which makes him hard to trust in fantasy baseball. Pollock has returned after missing two and a half months due to an elbow injury and his made an immediate impact. In three games since returning, Pollock has collected six hits, two of which have been home runs, and has six RBIs. If the outfielder can stay healthy, he will give fantasy owners a huge boost down the stretch. I just have my doubts that this will happen.
1. Texas Rangers Outfielder Joey Gallo -- The slugger has actually hit for a strong batting average this season but has started the second half slow. During his last 15 at bats, Gallo has struck out eight times and has only collected two hits. I'm hoping we're not about to see a long slump, but in Gallo's defense, anytime he's had a week like this in 2019, he has quickly corrected it.
2. Baltimore Orioles Outfielder/First Baseman Trey Mancini -- The All-Star snub is in the midst of the worst slump of his career, as he has not collected a hit in his last 24 at-bats. This has caused his average to drop from .300 to .281. Overall, Mancini is having a strong season with 17 home runs and 40 RBIs, so the hope is he will snap out of this soon and look like the hitter he was through the first three months.
3. St. Louis Cardinals Third Baseman Matt Carpenter -- The horrific season continues for Carpenter, as he has collected just two hits during the second half. Carpenter is hitting .214 with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs this season in what has become a lost season for the veteran. Many fantasy owners were hoping for a summer power surge from Carpenter like in years past, but it appears that may not be the case in 2019.