Yesterday I mentioned some pitchers who are establishing themselves (or appear to be) in the second half of the season, and today I bring you the hitters doing the same.
Matthews put up a very disapointing first half after a decent 2004 campaign, but seems to have rebounded with an increased walk and power rates in the second half. Another player whose season line correlates well with what he really is. He is not the masher he is showing in the second half, but he is also not the waste of roster space evidenced by his first half.
Now here is a deceiving one for you. Matt Holliday appears to be semi-useful in the first half, and very talented in the second half. Let me show you a more important split than his first/second half numbers:
I still like Brad Hawpe more.
This is what you get when you finally allow Jason Lane to have a starting spot in your outfield. In the first half he looked overmatched at the plate (like every player not named Biggio, Berkman or post-April Ensberg). Now Lane appears to be living up to the potential statheads thought he had for the Astros semi-lifeless lineup. They will need his hitting to continue to hang onto the Wild Card in the NL.
I expect Rivera to be more like the hitter he has shown in the second half than the one he did not show in the first half. Considering Maicer Izturis was also involved in the deal for Jose Guillen, this was just a steal of a deal for the Angels.
Here is a guy who has been trying to establish himself for a few years now, and has not had much of a shot to do so. One of my favorite players, due mostly to his power and on-base ability that seems to go unheralded by every team he is on. Maybe he is starting to hit enough that he'll retain a job for awhile this time around. He is hitting .331 this year after all, and that seems to be the only important stat to some.
A few other players who are bringing themselves back to the good old days of thump and importance are Geoff Jenkins and Shea Hillenbrand. Hillenbrand has finally shown some semblance of plate patience this year (not much, but more is better). Jenkins on the other hand has torn up the league completely in the second half of the season after a disapointing first half that had Brewers' fans calling for a trade. A .369/.436/.656 line in the second half makes you popular again.