By Sam Bush
As poorly as the Phillies have played this year — worst record in the majors — three of their players have performed well enough to have scored some fantasy points:
The Phillies outfielder (above) is having a breakout season for Fantasy purposes. He and other Phillies hitters have praised new hitting coach Matt Stairs this season. A .341 BABIP and 18.1 HR to FB rate could point to some slippage ahead, but so far the overall results have been very satisfying and you can look ahead to more respectable production in the counting categories.
Usage of his changeup is up to 14.3 percent this season. Nola is coming off his best month (June) and seems healthy again and is performing like the Fantasy standout many expected him to be. His FIP and XFIP are both lower than his ERA of 3.73, so more smooth Fantasy riding is ahead as long as he avoids injuries.
The first baseman came out of the chute very slowly this year, hitting .179 in April with one home run. But he rebounded to hit 12 homers over the next two months, and batted .300 in May. He has hit .200 over the past week, but will run hot and cold for extended periods like many power types do. More ups and downs are ahead, but lots of pop is on the second half map for sure.