With the half way point officially upon us, it's a good time to look at the production (rankings) we expect from the top 300 position players in the second half of 2008. Subscribing to the regression to the mean concept (the statistical term referring to the probability that an accumulation of non random numbers will revert towards their norm), the rankings below have a bias to our preseason projections and the historical first half/ second half splits for each player. There are other factors including injuries and playing time situations that have also been factored in.
As we've discussed in prior Strategy Plus articles, players do follow trends in their production. Most player production comes in spurts during different time periods of the season....and for many players, these trends tend to repeat themselves. Some players are great 1st half players while others don't come around until after the all star break. Using this information helps us (The Fantasy GM) make educated decisions with player personnel.
Second Half Performers
Knowing that over the last 3 years Carlos Pena and Adam LaRoche's second half slugging percentage RISES by over 100 points (+.19 FPI), is pretty handy information. Here's a big look at the group of players who have performed much better in the second half of the season over the last three years (some players only have a 2 year history):
Second Half Under Performers
On the other end of the spectrum are the players who have not had a good second half based on their 3 year average. Jack Cust, Kevin Youkilis, and Eric Brynes have all seen their slugging percentage drop by over 100 points when compared to their first half! It's typical to find this list littered with catchers, as they tend to tire in the late stages of the season (squatting for 3 hours, 5 days a week has it's toll) On to the list:
Although some of the listed players above may be have a desirable or undesirable experience in the second half, they still may be moving in a opposite direction in the current rankings. Other factors such as current playing time situations, injuries, and regression to their "production mean" are also factors in the equation. Also keep in mind that all players are included in the analysis, including first and second year players. The 1st/2nd half splits on players with less then 2 years of playing time should be considered inconclusive.
Click here for the Second Half Rankings - Batters (Pitchers coming later this week)