The buyers have brought in new talent, and sellers have unloaded some of their best bats for young talent. The July 31st trade deadline has come and gone, and while most of the best producers have stayed put, some big bats have shuffled around the league. As the division races heat up, fans will find out who has the best value as the season winds down. These are the National League Power Rankings as of July 31st.
1) Matt Kemp – LAD (Last Week: 4)
Matt Kemp’s last week has been a good one, and hopefully one that has him back on track. Over his past 8 games, he has compiled 14 hits, with 3 doubles and 2 homers. 6 of those games have been multi-hit games, and he has driven in 10 runs over that span. It looks as though Matt Kemp is out of his mini-slump and back to his usual production.
2) Ryan Braun – MIL (LW: 1)
Ever since recovering from an injury, Braun has shown a little more power. After missing 8 games, He has homered 5 times in 15 games since leaving the Brewer lineup. He has hit .333 in that span as well, with 8 RBIs. While Fantasy Baseball owners may want a little more production from Braun, fans should look for Braun to improve as the NL Central race heats up.
3) Joey Votto- CIN (LW: 2)
Joey Votto has had a power streak as of late, and it is about time. After homering only twice in July in games before July 26, Votto has homered 4 times in the 6 games since, including homers in 3 straight games. The reigning National League MVP should step up as the division race closes out, so look for more production out of Votto.
4) Justin Upton – ARI (LW: 7)
Justin Upton has had a good month all-around at the plate, showing power, production, and a good average. In July, Upton has hit .300, with 8 home runs, and driven in 22 RBIs. His stolen base total has declined, with only 2 this month, but if his other numbers keep where they are, fans should not complain.
5) Jose Reyes – NYM (LW: 3)
It is hard to make the argument that hitting .274 is really “slumping,” but when it comes to Jose Reyes, he has definitely slowing down since his injury. Since he returned to the lineup July 19th, Reyes has only hit 5 extra base hits, and has only stolen 2 bases. If this slump keeps up, it will significantly descrease his value in his free agent year.
6) Price Fielder – MIL (LW: 5)
Fielder has homered twice in the past week, which is good news for Brewers fans and Fantasy Baseball owners everywhere. That contributes to his total of only 3 for the month, which had many concerned that the Home Run Derby had messed with his swing. He has also had two 3-hit games in that past week, so the average is heading back up as well.
7) Ryan Howard – PHI (LW: NR)
Ryan Howard has been the RBI guy for the front-running Philadelphia Phillies all season long, and that has not changed as of late. He is the closest one to Matt Kemp’s league-leading 82 RBIs with 81. Although his average is never going to be anything great, as long has he produces, the fans in Philadelphia will remain happy with him.
8) Carlos Beltran – SF (LW: 8)
A brand new team for Beltran, and fans will wonder how he fares out west for the defending champion San Francisco Giants. So far with his new club, he has not played well, with only 2 hits in 17 at-bats, but that is only in 4 games. It may take some time for Beltran to settle in, but he should get back to his usual numbers before too long.
9) Lance Berkman – STL (LW: 6)
Fresh off of a short injury stint in which he missed 4 games, Berkman went 1-for-4 against the Cubs, but that one hit was a huge 3-run homer. That game is a representation of how his season has gone in the past few months; sort of an all-or-nothing player. His average is suffering, but he will remain in the Cardinal lineup as long as he keeps producing.
10) Troy Tulowitzki – COL (LW: NR)
Ever since the Rockies lost Carlos Gonzalez to an injury, Troy Tulowitzki has been the focal point of the Colorado lineup. While Tulowitzki certainly has not struggled in this role, the Rockies have, playing at about a .500 level. Regardless, Tulo continues to be a fan favorite in Denver, and will continue to put up good numbers.
Tags: 2011 All Star Game, 2011 fantasy baseball, 2011 MLB All Star Game, Carlos Beltran, fantasy baseball power rankings, joey votto, jose reyes, justin upton, Lance Berkman, Matt Kemp, National League, NL Power Rankings, prince fielder, ryan braun, Ryan Howard