Second Half Breakout Hitter:
Carlos Correa (Owned in 99.2% of ESPN Fantasy leagues)
Correa knows what baseball pundits talk about when they talk about the “sophomore slump.” That is not to say that he has been bad, though. He has just been underwhelming. In his 85 games this season, Correa has a .260 average with a .812 OPS. He also has 34 extra base hits, including 14 home runs, with 55 RBIs and 45 runs scored.
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The problem in 2016 has been his strikeout numbers. With a 22.3% strikeout rate, he has 84 strikeouts this season, already eclipsing his 78 last season. After being looked over in regards to the AL All-Star team, Correa has something to prove in the second half of this season. There are reasons to believe he will do that.
First, he has a history of producing well in the second half. Yes, he did not play much in the first half of the season last year. However, that is when he started to come into his own. In his 67 games, he hit .281 with a .875 OPS. He also hit 15 home runs and drove in 49.
Second, he will most likely continue to hit fourth in the Astros lineup. After Hinch had moved Correa to hit behind Altuve, his bat seemed to get hot very quickly. In his 23 games in the cleanup role, Correa has a .281 average with a .948 OPS. He also has six home runs in only 89 at bats.
After struggling so far in the month of July, with a .200 average and a .581 OPS, this All-Star break is well needed for Correa. He will have to work hard to supplant Francisco Lindor and Xander Bogaerts as the best shortstop in the AL for 2016.
Correa will be an important piece if the Astros want to make the playoffs. Look for Correa to live up to his expectations in the second half.
Next: Second Half Breakout Pitcher