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Saturday 16th Dec 2017

Maybe the past isn't always an accurate predictor of the future. But every year at this time, as the unofficial second half of the baseball season gets underway, I do like to glance at second half stats from the previous season. Maybe this exercise will help me identify players to target in potential trades. Or maybe this exercise will be a waste of time. I'm not a strong believer in the "second half player" theory, but I don't think it should be dismissed entirely. And besides, it's always better to be informed. On that note, let's open the 2015 record book and take a look at some of the Post-All-Star Break leaders. Each of these players ranked among the top-10 in at least one of the five standard rotisserie hitting categories. Note that for batting average, I'm requiring an at-bat minimum of 200.

Shin-Soo Choo: .343 AVG (4th in MLB) - Not only did Choo hit for a high average, but he also ranked 3rd in OBP (.455) and was tied for 3rd in runs (56). Injuries have limited the Rangers outfielder to just 31 games this season, but if he can stay healthy down the stretch, Choo could reward his patient owners with a strong finish. The proven across-the-board producer is especially valuable in OBP leagues (career .382 OBP).

Khris Davis: 21 HR (Tied for 7th in MLB) - Adding Davis to my roster during the FAAB period immediately following the All-Star break was undoubtedly my best Tout Wars move last season, as he quickly became my most consistent home run source. The 28-year-old was purchased for a mere five bucks at the Mixed Auction Tout Wars draft back in March, and this lack of interest surprised me. Reliable power is hard to find on the waiver wire and usually carries a hefty price tag in a trade. Well, Davis has maintained his home run stroke so far this season, as he's on pace to finish with 36 homers and 103 RBI. If he comes anywhere close to matching last season's second half output, he will easily reach those gaudy projections.

Adrian Beltre: 61 RBI (5th in MLB) - There seems to be this feeling that Beltre has been disappointing this season, but he's performing at just about the level of his draft day price ($15 in Mixed Auction Tout Wars). Projecting his 2016 totals over a full season, we get 21 homers and 97 RBI to go along with his .281 AVG. And that's if he doesn't enjoy another second half boost. Pretty good for a 37-year-old who is past his prime.

Curtis Granderson: 55 Runs (5th in MLB) - Speaking of $15 players, that's exactly the price I paid for Granderson this year. And I'm not thrilled with what I've gotten so far. Then again, my initial expectations might have been unreasonable. Through 84 games, Grandy is on pace for 27 home runs, and since the beginning of June, he's quietly raised his OBP from .305 to .337. As for his underwhelming totals in runs and RBI, an underperforming Mets lineup is largely to blame.

Dee Gordon: 25 SB (1st in MLB) - Remember him? Actually, now is a good time to remember Gordon, as he's slated to return from his 80-game PED suspension before the end of the month. This is the same Dee Gordon who swiped a combined 122 bases from 2014-2015, so 20 steals over the final two-plus months of the season is certainly attainable.

Maybe the past isn't always an accurate predictor of the future. But in the case of Gordon, I'm going to trust the past.

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