Drew Silva explains why the underlying numbers back up Garrett Cooper's first-half success and why they hint at more rest-of-season power.
DREW SILVA: Garrett Cooper of the Marlins was sort of a strange NL all-star selection on the surface. He's hit only seven home runs in 81 games played this season. And his OPS of 783 is well below his career OPS of 804.
Cooper currently ranks 15th among all MLB first baseman and wins above replacement behind even Wilmer Flores. But while we're cherry picking numbers, it should be noted that the 31-year-old has already reached a new career high in doubles with 21, and that he is in the 88th percentile among all hitters in average exit velocity.
His expected slugging percentage is above 500. All of this data points to more of Cooper's hard hit balls going over the wall in the second half. A predeadline tread to a more power friendly home environment would certainly help that cause. And given that he's into his arbitration years for a cost conscious Marlins club with now a first time all-star nod on his resume, the idea of him being dealt is not some pipe dream. Cooper's fantasy stock could be on the rise as the baseball calendar steers toward August.