The All-Star break isn't actually the halfway mark of the season, but it does serve as a convenient evaluation point.
The break can be just that for struggling players -- a chance to rest and reset. For some players, the "second half" might bring greater opportunity, better health, better luck, or simply sharper execution as necessary adjustments take hold.
With that in mind, here are 30 players -- one from each MLB team -- who seem to be turning their seasons around with post-All-Star break surges.
*all stats entering play on Thursday
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays: Aledmys Diaz, SS
It's hasn't come easy for Diaz since his All-Star rookie season with the Cardinals in 2016. But he's been one of the Blue Jays' best hitters in the second half -- in 21 games, he's hit .311 with seven home runs and a .995 OPS, following a first half in which he hit .240 with eight homers and a .670 OPS. How he finishes the season could be important as he seeks to secure a place in the rebuilding Jays' future.
Video: TB@TOR: Diaz slugs his 15th homer to left field
Orioles: Adam Jones, OF
As the non-waver Trade Deadline approached, Jones used his 10-and-5 rights to remain in Baltimore. And the longtime Oriole has been raking of late. He's hitting .333 in 22 second-half games, after batting .275 in the first half, and his on-base percentage has gone from .299 in the first half to .393 in the second half. That leaves Jones with a second-half OPS of .899, compared to his .723 first-half mark.
Video: BAL@TB: Jones goes back-to-back with a long solo HR
Rays: Willy Adames, SS
The Rays called up their former No. 2 prospect in late May, and the 22-year-old Adames burst onto the scene with a home run off Chris Sale in his MLB debut. But he went through some growing pains after that, finishing the first half hitting .216 with three home runs and a .604 OPS in 26 games. But the highly touted shortstop has picked things up in the second half, hitting .294 with three homers and an .820 OPS in 21 games since the All-Star break, giving Tampa Bay a glimpse of his bright future.
Video: TB@NYY: Adames clubs a solo home run to left-center
Red Sox: Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
JBJ has always been elite with his glove in center field. But he runs hot and cold with his bat, and it was more cold than hot in a first half that he finished with a 72 wRC+ (meaning he was 28 percent worse offensively than league average) over 86 games. But he picked up the pace toward the end of the first half and has carried that through to the second half -- in 22 games, he has a 133 wRC+, 33 percent better than league average.
Video: BOS@BAL: Bradley Jr. goes deep twice vs. Orioles
Yankees: Lance Lynn, SP/RP
The Yankees traded for Lynn -- despite his 5.22 ERA in the first half with the Twins -- as part of an overall effort to bolster their pitching staff. Now, with the scuffling Sonny Gray sent to the bullpen, Lynn has stepped into New York's starting rotation and stepped up his performance. He's allowed only one run in 16 2/3 innings, with 22 strikeouts to just four walks, in his three outings so far in pinstripes.
Video: CWS@NYY: Lynn goes 7 1/3 scoreless in 1st Yanks start
Indians: Melky Cabrera, OF
The Tribe signed Cabrera to a Minor League deal in April for his veteran presence, but he hit .207/.242/.293 without a home run in 17 games before being released in June. But the Indians re-signed Melky in July and recalled him for the second half -- and he's hit .311/.363/.459 with three homers in 23 games since, helping stabilize an injury-plagued Cleveland outfield.
Video: CLE@CIN: Cabrera hammers a 2-run home run to left
Royals: Salvador Perez, C
Salvy started the All-Star Game at catcher for the AL, but his first-half production at the plate wasn't really up to his usual level. Perez had 13 homers, but he also had a slash line of .221/.259/.394 in 73 games. In his 25 games since the break, Perez has hit .283/.330/.586 with eight home runs. His first-half wRC+ was 73; his second-half wRC+ is 146.
Video: TOR@KC: Perez smashes 2 homers, drives in 3
Tigers: Matthew Boyd, SP
Boyd had a 4.76 ERA in 18 first-half starts for Detroit. In his five starts since the All-Star break, the 27-year-old left-hander has a 2.37 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .196 against him, compared to .227 in the first half. He's also turned in his best start of the year, eight scoreless innings with seven strikeouts to beat the Reds on July 31.
Video: CIN@DET: Boyd strikes out 7 over 8 scoreless innings
Twins: Miguel Sano, 3B/1B
Sano is a core player for the Twins' future, but injuries and heavy struggles at the plate made for an ugly first half, in which he hit just .203/.270/.405 and struck out in 40.5 percent of his plate appearances before being sent to the Minors. But the 25-year-old slugger has looked better since his return in late July, with a .268/.349/.464 slash line in 16 games, and a 121 wRC+ in the second half compared to his first-half wRC+ of 79.
Video: PIT@MIN: Sano crushes a 2-run home run to right
White Sox: Carlos Rodon, SP
Rodon didn't take a Major League mound until June 9 this season, missing more than two months as he recovered from shoulder surgery that he underwent late in 2017. The 25-year-old left-hander is on a roll now. Rodon has a 1.69 ERA in the second half, all five of his starts have been quality starts, and he's been a workhorse, going at least seven innings in four of the five.
Video: CWS@DET: Rodon K's 6 in 8 strong innings vs. Tigers
Angels: Kole Calhoun, OF
For the first two months of 2018, Calhoun was having maybe the worst season of any player in baseball. When he went on the DL with an oblique strain in June, he was hitting .145/.195/.179 with one home run in 50 games. But he returned with a new batting stance and revamped approach -- "Kole Calhoun Version 2.0," as manager Mike Scioscia put it -- and now, he's carrying the Angels' offense. In the second half, Calhoun is hitting .315/.407/.641 with seven homers and a 1.049 OPS.
Video: OAK@LAA: Calhoun clubs a 2-run homer to right-center
Astros: Marwin Gonzalez, IF/OF
After his breakout 2017, the versatile Gonzalez got off to a slow start this season for the reigning World Champions. At the All-Star break, he had an 83 wRC+, with a slash line of .230/.305/.355 and six homers in 89 games. But he's been much better in the second half, with a 148 wRC+, a .284/.391/.500 slash line and four homers in 22 games -- all while filling key spots in the middle infield with Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve dealing with injuries.
Video: Marwin Gonzalez hits .375 to Carry the Freight
Athletics: Marcus Semien, SS
As the A's have surged into contention not just for a Wild Card spot, but for the AL West title, Semien has been heating up along with his teammates. After hitting .254/.307/.369 with an 86 wRC+ in 94 games the first half, the veteran shortstop has posted a 138 wRC+ with a .301/.387/.473 slash line in 24 games so far in the second half.
Video: OAK@LAA: Semien belts 2 HRs, drives in 4 vs. Angels
Mariners: Alex Colome, RP
Closer Edwin Diaz has been drawing most of the attention as he challenges the single-season saves record, but Colome has been on an impressive hot streak of his own, while playing an important setup role for a Seattle team pushing for a playoff spot. The right-hander hasn't allowed a run in 13 second-half appearances (part of a longer 19-game scoreless streak that started near the end of the first half), while picking up eight holds. Since the beginning of July, he's lowered his ERA from 4.72 to 3.04.
Video: SEA@HOU: Colome strands 2 in bottom of 8th
Rangers: Rougned Odor, 2B
Odor's first half was ugly; his second half has been sensational. In the first half, he hit .239/.319/.378 with six home runs and an 87 wRC+. In the second half, he's hitting .347/.425/.694 with eight homers and a 196 wRC+ ... meaning he's been essentially twice as good as a league-average hitter. Odor has already picked up two AL Player of the Week Awards in the second half, and he put together a historically unique performance on Aug. 2 when he became the first player ever to draw five unintentional walks and also homer in a single game.
Video: BAL@TEX: Odor homers, draws career-high 5 walks
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr., OF
Acuna performed just fine in the first half, especially for a 20-year-old who made his MLB debut on April 25. But after a month-long DL stint ended on June 29, he hit just .212/.255/.404 over 14 games heading into the All-Star break. Since then, though? Acuna has been perhaps MLB's hottest second-half hitter (.358/.425/.821), including a run of eight homers in eight games until Wednesday's controversial hit-by-pitch via Miami's Jose Urena.
Video: Acuna Jr. slugs a leadoff homer in 3 straight games
Marlins: Elieser Hernandez, RP
The 23-year-old right-hander made five starts and 12 relief appearances for Miami in the first half, producing a 6.14 ERA while allowing 50 hits and 19 walks in 44 innings. But Hernandez may have found something since the break, allowing just two runs on nine hits over 12 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, while bumping his strikeout rate from 14 percent to 24 percent.
Video: MIA@ATL: Hernandez K's Culberson to escape jam in 1st
Mets: Michael Conforto, OF
It has not been an easy year for the 25-year-old outfielder, who around this time last year dislocated his left shoulder. Conforto returned in time for Opening Day, but didn't seem quite right, posting a .710 OPS in the first half. Since then, however, he has returned to the form he showed in his 2017 All-Star campaign, when he generated a .939 OPS. That's a good sign for the Mets heading into '19.
Video: NYM@NYY: Conforto belts a solo HR to go back-to-back
Nationals: Bryce Harper, OF
After starting the season strong, Harper endured a massive slump for much of May, June and July. Coincidentally or not, he has seemed rejuvenated since taking part in the All-Star Game festivities in D.C., including winning the Home Run Derby. Even as the Nats have slipped in the postseason race, Harper has slashed .337/.440/.675 with seven homers as he enters the home stretch before reaching free agency.
Video: WSH@STL: Harper belts 30th homer off 98.6-mph pitch
Phillies: Nick Pivetta, SP
Yes, Pivetta's 3.68 ERA over five second-half starts isn't spectacular, and the Phillies have won just two of those games. Yet the right-hander also has struck out 40 and walked just four in 29 1/3 innings. Since the break, Pivetta ranks near the top of the NL in strikeout rate (35.4 percent), strikeout-to-walk ratio (10.0) and FIP (2.61).
Video: BOS@PHI: Pivetta K's 6 over 6 frames of 1-run ball
Brewers: Ryan Braun, OF
Milwaukee will hope that the rib cage injury Braun suffered Wednesday at Wrigley Field isn't serious, because the club has been getting some vintage Braun performances lately. That includes a two-homer outburst in Tuesday's win over the Cubs. After posting just a .711 first-half OPS, Braun has produced a .970 mark for the Crew since returning from the DL on July 21.
Video: MIL@CHC: Braun crushes 443-ft. blast in 2-homer game
Cardinals: Kolten Wong, 2B
Yes, Matt Carpenter has been scorching opponents, but that began way back in mid-May. While Wong gives St. Louis stellar defense at second base, he also was carrying a sub-.600 OPS as recently as June 24. Wong has picked things up since and is batting .347 with an .897 OPS following the break, with nearly as many walks (five) as strikeouts (six), helping lengthen the Cardinals' lineup.
Video: WSH@STL: Wong leads off the frame with a solo homer
Cubs: David Bote, 3B
It wasn't just the pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam against the Nationals on Sunday, although that certainly didn't hurt. The rookie has helped the Cubs make do without the injured Kris Bryant by going 14-for-39 (.359) with a 1.034 OPS since the break, after collecting just 53 big league plate appearances in the first half. Bote has backed it up with an elite hard-contact rate, according to Statcast™.
Video: WSH@CHC: Bote launches a walk-off grand slam in 9th
Pirates: Josh Bell, 1B
The Bucs first baseman slugged under .400 in the first half, but has shown more thump since, with a .296/.387/.519 slash line, including three doubles and three home runs in the second half. Pittsburgh could use more of that production in the middle of its lineup as it tries to make a run at the postseason.
Video: PIT@SF: Bell belts a 3-run home run to left
Reds: Luis Castillo, SP
Expectations were high for Castillo following a sensational 15-start debut in 2017, but the 25-year-old righty had trouble finding consistent success in the first half, compiling a 5.49 ERA. He still could finish the year on a high note, however. Castillo has allowed no more than two runs in three of his four second-half outings, and sports a 3.09 ERA and 24-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 23 1/3 innings.
Video: PHI@CIN: Castillo fans 9 over 7 scoreless innings
D-backs: Zack Godley, SP
The right-hander came out of nowhere to establish himself as a key piece of Arizona's rotation last year, when he had a 3.37 ERA. Godley wasn't finding the same success in 2018, as his ERA ballooned to 4.61 in the first half. He didn't turn things around immediately coming out of the break, but heads into Saturday's outing at San Diego having allowed just three earned runs in 21 innings over his past three starts, with a 23-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Video: PHI@ARI: Godley K's 7 over 7 1/3 frames vs. Phillies
Dodgers: Justin Turner, 3B
It's been a frustrating year for the third baseman, who carried a .259/.354/.398 line in just 50 games when he returned from his second DL stint of the season on Aug. 2. But the Turner who was a big part of the Dodgers' offense from 2014-17 has resurfaced this month, with the veteran going 18-for-44 (.409) with nine extra-base hits and a 1.217 OPS.
Video: SF@LAD: Turner hammers a solo home run to left field
Giants: Madison Bumgarner, SP
It's not that Bumgarner endured a bad first half, posting a 2.90 ERA. But he also logged just eight starts, only making his season debut on June 5, due to a fractured bone in his pitching hand. The Giants desperately need ace-level Bumgarner down the stretch as they try to stay in the race, and sure enough, the lefty has posted a 1.73 ERA in his past four outings -- all against fellow contenders (Brewers, D-backs, Astros and Dodgers).
Video: HOU@SF: Bumgarner K's 7 over 7 scoreless frames
Padres: Cory Spangenberg, 2B
Back in 2011, San Diego made Spangenberg the 10th overall pick in the Draft. It's never quite clicked at the big league level for the 27-year-old, who twice this season has been sent back to Triple-A. But Spangenberg returned July 22 and has started regularly at second base this month, where he has hit .406/.513/.688 across 40 plate appearances.
Video: LAA@SD: Spangenberg belts game-tying home run in 7th
Rockies: Carlos Gonzalez, OF
CarGo endured a mostly miserable 2017 season, but scorched the ball in September (1.250) as the Rockies grabbed a postseason berth. This year has been less extreme for the veteran, but a similar storyline could be playing out in Denver. Gonzalez actually got hot around July 1, batting .268/.319/.437 before that point and .326/.383/.589 since, with 19 extra-base hits in 33 starts for the contending Rockies.
Video: COL@MIL: Gonzalez mashes a 2-run home run in the 6th
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.
Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.