CCO Fantasy Baseball: First Half Awards and Review
As we get into the second half and I am on vacation and the CCO leagues like many leagues are in a 10 day week to start the second half, let’s review the first half and hand out some completely unofficial hardware. I included links to my positional reviews so you can compare what was thought then, with what we think now.
AL MVP First Half – Josh Donaldson
.304/.418/.598/1.017 – 5.5 WAR, 23 HR, 63 RBI, 80 R
Josh Donaldson was projected to be the fourth best hitter and was a Top 10 pick in most drafts. I was not expecting him to be first in points at the break that is for sure, but here he is, leading all hitters in points with 412 points. Anytime you can outscore Mike Trout in fantasy points, you are doing something really good.
- Josh Donaldson – 412 points
- Mike Trout – 382 points
- Mookie Betts – 375 points
Here was my first round preview – CCO Fantasy Baseball: The First Round
NL MVP First Half – Kris Bryant
.286/.384/.578/.962 – 4.6 WAR, 25 HR, 65 RBI, 73 R
Kris Bryant had two great weeks to finish the first half putting up 88 points and passing everyone on his way to leading the National League batters in points and leading the league in home runs with 25.
- Kris Bryant – 375 points
- Nolan Arenado – 364 points
- Anthony Rizzo – 351 points
AL Cy Young First Half – Chris Sale
Chris Sale held off teammates on his way to 14 wins in the first half and leading the American League in points with 362 points.
- Chris Sale – 362 points
- Corey Kluber – 329 points
- Danny Salazar – 312 points
NL Cy Young First Half – Clayton Kershaw
How is it possible you can have two or three less starts than all the other top pitchers and yet still lead the league in points by 20 points? Answer: You are the undisputed best pitcher on the planet! Seriously, how can anyone argue against this point? Short term stats and a few months of greatness do not replace someone who has been doing it every year at an elite level. Clayton Kershaw has many great stats I could recite, but this is the only one you need to remember, nine walks in 16 starts and 121 Innings Pitched. NINE WALKS! The next best is Johnny Cueto with 24 walks in 131 innings or Noah Syndergaard with 18 walks in 105 innings.
- Clayton Kershaw – 443 points
- Madison Bumgarner – 423 points
- Max Scherzer – 408 points
AL Rookie of the Year First Half – Nomar Mazara
.282/.330/.420/.750 – 0.8 WAR, 11 HR, 36 RBI, 36 R
Nomar Mazara took advantage of his opportunity when Shin-Soo Choo went down with an injury that placed him on the disabled list and when he came back off the DL, Mazara was staying in the lineup. Mazara’s best month was May when he scored 87 points
- Nomar Mazara – 222 points
- Joey Rickard – 163 points
- Byung Ho Park – 162 points
NL Rookie of the Year First Half – Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Aledmys Diaz
- 1a) Corey Seager – .297/.357/.521/.879 – 3.2 WAR, 17 HR, 42 RBI, 60 R
- 1b) Trevor Story – .260/.329/.545/.874 – 1.7 WAR, 21 HR, 57 RBI, 52 R
- 1c) Aledmys Diaz – .315/.380/.536/.915 – 3.0 WAR, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 57 R
It wasn’t that many years ago, shortstop was a very weak position in fantasy baseball and in MLB. Now, we keep seeing more and more great shortstops coming up every year. If this was just black and white and most points then Corey Seager is the winner. But there are no rules here and they are just so close that this one will take more time to see a clear leader for the actual award.
- Corey Seager – 320 points
- Trevor Story – 317 points
- Aledmys Diaz – 294 points
Now let’s go through each position and talk about players that have surprised most everyone with their performance. Now I know that someone has predicted every player to have a great season, just law of averages but most of these players have outperformed any projection even the most optimistic could have predicted.
Two players come to mind in Wilson Ramos and J.T. Realmuto and both were in my If you wait (A) category and boy if you waited and got these guys, you have made out at the catcher position without spending an early pick.
- Wilson Ramos – Projected points 317 – first half points 253 – on pace 571 points
- J.T. Realmuto – Projected points 314 – first half points 203 – on pace 374 points
Two players at first base as well have not only outperformed the projections but are right at the top of the best bats in baseball for the first half. Both were in my If you wait tier and once again, sometimes it is just blind luck, sometimes you just missed out on the higher tiers and have to make the best guess you can to which player will over perform the projections.
- Mark Trumbo – Projected points 408 – first half points 352 – on pace 655 points
- Wil Myers – Projected points 421 – first half points 349 – on pace 635 points
Let’s just say Daniel Murphy isn’t liked much around here and I am absolutely shocked he has had the first half he just did. I really don’t see it lasting and if the Cubs face the Nationals in the playoffs really hope it doesn’t.
- Daniel Murphy – Projected points 440 – first half points 340 – on pace 612 points
Ian Desmond was at least listed in the solid tier. But I would say many were skeptical of him. How about now? He is leading all shortstops in points and is now eligible in left field and center field. That is like Fantasy Gold!
- Ian Desmond – Projected points 433 – first half point 347 – on pace 625 points
If you wait at third base, I would have still gone Yunel Escobar, Jung Ho Kang and likely Josh Harrison before I thought about Jake Lamb. Boy did I miss that one. Lamb had a great first half and far exceeded expectations with a .294/.372/.611/.983 line with 20 home runs and 62 RBI.
- Jake Lamb – Projected Points 378 – first half points 325 – on pace 585 points
Almost every team has to wait on at least one outfield position and then hope for the best. Well these guys have all out produced their expectations and will look to keep it going in the second half.
- Marcell Ozuna – Projected points 385 – first half points 298 – on pace 549 points
- Stephen Piscotty – Projected points 398 – first half points 290 – on pace 534 points
- Adam Duvall – Projected points 120 – first half points 293 – on pace 533 points
- Michael Saunders – Projected points 265 – first half points 291 – on pace 518 points
- Dexter Fowler – Projected points 431 – first half points 225 – on pace 460 points*
Every team has to take a chance on mid-tier or lower tier starting pitchers to round out their rotation. When making these decisions, we have to decide to go with players who may have less upside but should be decent or more risk but have good upside. These guys represent all but the top tiers, even to not listed in the preseason tiers, yet all have produced great results. The hardest part with these guys is knowing if you should sell high, or keep them and hope their great success continues.
- Drew Pomeranz – Projected points 365 – first half points 314 – on pace 591 points
- Danny Salazar – Projected points 528 – first half points 312 – on pace 587 points
- Marco Estrada – Projected points 392 – first half points 282 – on pace 563 points
- Stephen Wright – Projected points 135 – first half points 297 – on pace 560 points
- Julio Teheran – Projected points 472 – first half points 303 – on pace 538 points
- John Lackey – Projected points 473 – first half points 298 – on pace 531 points
- Kyle Hendricks – Projected points 386 – first half points 275 – on pace 518 points
What can I say about closers that I haven’t said before … not worth high draft picks or paying big bucks in the draft. Ok, I have said that before.
Here are some good examples of guys doing better than their projections and only Steve Cishek out of this group was assured of being the closer, with most of these guys expected to be more in a set-up role.
- A.J. Ramos – Projected points 373 – first half points 227
- Jeanmar Gomez – Projected points 136 – first half points 216
- Steve Cishek – Projected points 315 points – first half points 216
- Roberto Osuna – Projected points 362 – first half points 209
- Jeremy Jeffress – Projected points 316 – first half points 197
- Alex Colome – Projected points 158 – first half points 188
- Fernando Rodney – Projected points 230 – first half points 187
- Sam Dyson – Projected points 157 – first half points 182