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First Half Fantasy Surprises Pt. 1- Fielders

Posted By Trevor Stewart On Jul 15 2010 @ 3:53 am In Fantasy Baseball | No Comments

Some guys you expect to hit 20 homers and carry your fantasy roster; it’s assumed those guys will be your anchors and your consistent source of RBI’s or hits or stolen bases. However, there are some players that no one saw coming, or maybe people were down on and resurrected themselves this year and have become fantasy relevant again. Here are some of the best so far this season.

Texas Rangers OF Vladimir Guerrero: Vlad has had a resurgence with the always offensively-minded Rangers, and whether it’s the hitter-friendly Ballpark at Arlington or just a fresh start Vlad is swinging at everything, which is usual, but this year he is hitting them all. The Angels thought his injuries and struggles were too much and that he was done and some of us agreed that we had seen the best of Vladimir Guerrero, but he proved us wrong. Vlad is batting .319 and has 20 home runs while slugging in a whopping 75 RBI’s. That’s right, Vlad’s 3/4 of the way to 100 RBI’s by the All-Star break. Amazing. With the way the Rangers can hit and score runs, don’t expect a drop-off either. Vlad is going to continue to tear the cover off the ball.

Chicago White Sox OF Alex Rios: Rios had a down season last year, so virtually no one stuck their neck out to draft him, or if they did, they took a chance in late rounds. I picked him up on the FA list early on when I saw him hitting some homers and stealing bases and I am glad I grabbed him when I did. Rios has already almost matched his home run total and stolen base total of all last year prior to the All-Star break. What a turnaround. Rios may finally have that 20/20 season we always thought he could have. The combination of speed and power is very attractive in a fantasy player, not to mention he is batting .305. Rios had a bad year, but picking up a guy like that turned my team around in a hurry, as I am sure it did for other managers as well.

Atlanta Braves 1B,2B,3B Martin Prado: I waited to draft him lower, but not too late because I knew this was his breakout year. I know everyone says this, but I was on the Prado bandwagon from the start. I saw the potential, I saw the great batting average, and I knew it would come to fruition this season. I was drinking this guy’s Kool-Aid from the start. How smart do I look now? I got a couple comments in my live draft when I snagged up Prado, but guess who is getting the last laugh? (If you guessed me, that was the correct answer).  Prado is batting .325 and is 1 homer off his career high and only 10 RBI’s off his career high, although he isn’t a huge RBI guy, but those are bonuses to his batting average and how many runs he scores, 61 already this season, good for seventh place among all players, second in the National League only to Cincinnati Reds 2B Brandon Phillips. Not only are his hitting stats valuable his fielding eligibility makes him a huge fantasy asset. You can put this guy anywhere in the infield except at SS. This makes it easier to pick up FA and make trades knowing Prado could fill in any gaps at positions you may be thin at. But when I list Prado under the fantasy surprises I mean a surprise to the general population, but not to me. This Kool-Aid tastes delicious.

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