Fantasy Baseball Thoughts: Adam Laroche, David Wright and Others

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After missing most of the 2011 season, Nationals first baseman Adam Laroche has had an excellent bounce back season in 2012. He is triple slashing 272-.342-.513 with 32 HRs, 70 runs and 98 RBI this season, and is one home runs and 3 RBI from career highs in those two categories. The timing couldn't be better for Laroche as he is a free agent at the end of the season, and it appears he will have many suitors, including the Nationals. Popular belief heading into this season was that the Nationals would let him walk this offseason and move Michael Morse to first base. His solid performance this season may change that line of thinking.

I read yesterday morning that the Red Sox are considering re-signing first baseman James Loney for 2013. My first reaction was to chuckle loudly, then my first thought was that this is a sure fire sign that the Red Sox are in rebuild mode.

Indians catcher Carlos Santana had a very disappointing first half this season, hitting just .221-.339-.336 with just 5 HRs and 30 RBI. But, he has had an excellent second half, hitting .288-.381-.506 with 13 HRs and 45 RBI, which will certainly help his ranking amongst fantasy catchers in 2013. Coming into the season, I thought he could approach 30 home runs this season, but he flashed middle infield type power in the first half. If he can put together a full season like his second half in 2013, he will fight Buster Posey as the top fantasy catcher.

I was trading emails with another fantasy owner last night, discussing whether the Mets should sign David Wright long term or not. I can see the argument for signing him long term, but as the owner pointed out, if they sign him long term, you are paying for what he has done in the past and will likely see his production drop during the life of the contract. I look at what the Mets got for two months of Carlos Beltran (Zach Wheeler) and think they could get a lot more for Wright this offseason, especially with so few good hitters in the free agent market.

Wright has had a good year at the plate, but his second half has been atrocious. Here are his first half and second half splts:

Split G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS sOPS+
1st Half 82 302 56 106 27 2 11 59 9 50 47 .351 .441 .563 1.004 177
2nd Half 64 243 28 60 13 0 7 23 5 28 63 .247 .325 .387 .712 97
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/23/2012.

Wright wasn't going to hit .351 again in the second half, but his OBP and power has dropped in a big way after such a solid start to the season. He may not be a 30 home run hitter anymore, but he was on pace to hit 20-25 HRs and drive in over 100. Now he will be lucky to hit 20 HRs, and drive in 85. He's certainly not the same hitter anymore, and I think fantasy owners would be wise to wait and see if he can fall to the fourth round in 2013.

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