Second-half risers and fallers

Brian McCann isn't as bad as his results, and the second half should bring better luck. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

According to most sources, the start of the season's second half is still more than a week away, but technically it's already upon us. All but two teams have played at least half the games on their schedules. That means that most players have already accrued about half the counting stats they'll have at the end of the season, enough to give us some sense of whether their seasons are shaping up to be disappointments or successes.

Of course, some players have already left the bulk of their hitting behind them, while others are about to break out. Last season, Dan Uggla went into the All-Star break batting .185. After action resumed, he upped his average considerably, hitting .296 in the second half. Dexter Fowler played so poorly in the first half of 2011 that he was forced to spend a remedial month at Colorado Springs. After returning in mid-July, he hit .288 AVG/.381 OBP/.498 SLG, swatting all five of his homers and swiping 10 of his 12 stolen bases.

On the other end of the spectrum, Jose Bautista hit 31 of his AL-leading 43 home runs before the break, and his teammate Adam Lind completely collapsed after June, following up a .300/.349/.515 first half with a .197/.233/.356 second-half showing.

It's not always easy to see such second-half swoons and upswings coming, but it is possible to pick out some players who appear poised for progression or regression. The following six players could be on the verge of a comeback or correction in the coming months:

The risers