As we wind down the 2010 fantasy baseball season, most owners have lost their leagues as only 1 person can grab the winner’s trophy while the rest wonder where they went wrong. With that in mind, I thought it was about time to name the 2010 Roto Boss All Disappointment Team. The qualifications center on a player who fits the following criteria:
-a player who was a high draft pick and failed to live up to the expectations of the spot
-or a player who was targeted as a sleeper who put owners to sleep instead.
So without further adieu here is how I see it at each position along with a rotation and a closer.
C-Joe Mauer: After a 28 home run, .365 2009 season, many fans drooled over the idea of owning the next coming of Mike Piazza at one of the weakest positions in fantasy baseball. The advantage over every other team in your league would be immense at that position and so owners were drafting Mauer as early as the late first round and no later than the third. For all of that we got a 9 home run flame out. Now Mauer is still hitting a great .330 with 87 RBI but those weren’t the categories owners were looking at when they hit the DRAFT button. The drop in power was expected as I screamed out all spring training about how Mauer’s fly ball rate was abnormally high last season and how it would be almost impossible for him to reach that mark again. Unfortunately many owners didn’t listen and thus a ton of leagues were lost before the season even started. HONORABLE MENTION: Miguel Montero
1B-Derrek Lee-Lee has a monster 2009 with 35 home runs and 111 RBI and many assumed he was in line for a similar year while hitting into the jet stream in Wrigley. Ummmm no. Lee fell flat on his face and found himself traded to the Braves as he is hitting only .251 17 home runs and 68 RBI. Its clear that Lee has hit his cliff season and is no longer a starter in fantasy baseball’s deepest position.
HONORABLE MENTION: Justin Morneau
2B-Ian Kinsler: Kinsler was the only player in baseball to go 30/30 in 2009 and the fact it came at a shallow position like 2B made him a late first round or second round pick in most leagues. Well the injury bug struck once again and on two separate occasions and Kinsler thus was never able to get into any kind of rhythm as he has only 9 home runs with 13 steals with 2 months of games missed. Injuries are always a problem with Kinsler and they make him a very volatile stock to own in any season.
HONORABLE MENTION: Chase Utley, Gordan Beckham
SS-Ben Zobrist-This was a tough one as Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins both were under consideration. Reyes has over 500 at-bats and 30 steals so it hasn’t been a total washout but Rollins certainly deserves it due to two DL stints and a terrible average and declining rate stats. The winner though is Zobrist who most owners drafted for SS. After opening almost everyone’s eyes with a 27 homer/17 steal, .297 season, Zobrist fell flat on his face and found himself dropped in many leagues due to a .243 crapfest with 10 home runs and 24 steals. The steals are solid but everything else was a major drop from last season. Its clear that 2009 was an outlier season and he should be viewed as a plug in player for 2011.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jimmy Rollins
3B-Mark Reynolds-I told you so. Just like Joe Mauer, Mark Reynolds was another player I screamed all spring training long for you to avoid as there was no way he would come close to what he did in 2009. The power is still great as he has swatted 34 home runs. No one has ever questioned his power. His steals predictably fell off the map however from 24 to 7 and the average is a pathetic .207. Reynolds loses all of his value if the steals aren’t there and the average absolutely kills his owner’s cumulative average mark. That is a stat that is incredibly difficult to fix as you get deeper into the season so those who dealt with Reynolds all season probably lost a ton of points in that category. There is very little I like here and I can tell you I will never draft him as long as he is playing baseball. Neither should you.
HONORABLE MENTION: Pablo Sandoval
OF-Matt Kemp: This one hits close to home as I made Kemp my first round pick in a money keeper league whose 4 year cycle just began again this season. I stuck with him all year and he “rewarded” me and other owners with a .250 average with 21 home runs and 19 stolen bases. His RBI and runs are also in the high 70’s and wont sniff the 100 I expected in both categories. I have to admit I blew it big with him as I expected a 30/30 season or at least something close with a .290 average. Yes Kemp is prone to strikeout but he has been abnormally bad this season in that area. Part of the blame surely falls to Joe Torre who bounced him all around the lineup all season which affects a player no doubt. However Kemp is not the hardest worker and can be a bit of a primma donna. I am carrying Kemp over to next year as I cant just discard my first round pick but I am extremely troubled by what I have seen.
OF-Grady Sizemore: As bad as Kemp has been this season, he doesn’t hold a candle to Grady Sizemore. Sizemore no doubt takes the cake when it comes to OF busts as he hit a ridiculously bad .211 with no home runs…..that’s right none as in zero home runs…..along with 4 stolen bases. Is this the same guy who went 30/30 in 2008? This guy exploded a bomb on countless fantasy teams this season and there is no telling what happens next year. Grady is seen a huge increase in K’s the last two years along with a major rise in injuries. Some have whispered he was a steroids guy and the evidence is certainly strong. I wouldn’t touch him anymore until he proves he is back to being the guy he was from 06-08.
OF-Justin Upton: Its amazing how many OF’s busts there were out of the consensus top 10. Upton was looked at as being the 4th or 5th OF drafted and like Matt Kemp, there were visions of 30/30 for 2010 after his tremendous 2009 as a 22 year old. Well Upton has struggled to hit over .270 and has only 17 home runs and 17 steals. Yeah not what we expected. Also when owners have needed him the most, he has been sitting out games the last two weeks with injuries. Unlike Sizemore however, I still think Upton is going to be really good and he wouldn’t be the first person to suffer a setback in production early in his career. His brother BJ however has seen his progress stall and lets hope its not in the genes.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jayson Werth, Adam Lind, Curtis Granderson
SP-Zack Greinke: No one was better than Greinke in 2009 as he racked up an awesome 2.07 ERA with 240 strikeouts. To say that he was dominant is like saying Taylor Swift is hot. Unfortunately the good vibes didn’t carry over to 2010 as Greinke has seen a humongous drop in K’s as he currently has only 164 with an unacceptable 3.90 ERA. Yes he may be suffering from a lack of fire in pitching for the awful Royals but he can do much better than this. At least he stayed healthy.
SP-Josh Beckett: Once a dependable ace who could anchor fantasy staffs, Josh Beckett has now found himself unemployed in a good number of fantasy baseball leagues in 2010. Having an ERA over 5.00 this late in the season is a joke and it seems like he has lost some bite on his stuff. Beckett has once again had major issues with the gopher ball and his division is murder on pitchers. Avoid at all costs for 2011.
SP-Stephen Strasburg: What a shame with this kid. Fantasy baseball owners could fill a jug with all the drool dripped over his prospects and he more than lived up to the hype when he was promoted in June. However after only a handful of starts, TJ surgery beckons and now we wont see the kid until 2012. Very sad.
SP-Matt Garza: Garza hasn’t been horrible but he didn’t not take the step to ace status that many had predicted for this season. I was somewhat high on Garza going into the season and looked good when he dominated in April but the rest of the season has been filled with more rocks than a fish tank. The strikeout rate plummeted and the ERA is too high for his talent. Like Beckett his league is imposing and he might be as good as we have seen. Be sure not to reach too high for 2011.
SP-Tim Lincecum: Lincecum is not having a bad season as he has currently collected 208 strikeouts but the ERA and WHIP rose significantly to 3.60 and 1.30. Not terrible but not anywhere near where fantasy baseball owners expected him to be. They had visions of around a 2.30 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Clearly Lincecum was going through some sort of a dead arm period during July and August but he has been very good again as we have now moved into the last month of the regular season. He still is a top pitcher but has some competition with Roy Halladay and Josh Johnson.
RP-Chad Qualls: Qualls was a nice cheap source of saves with effective numbers in 2010 and many owners like myself opted to wait on saves and grabbed him late. Well Qualls was clearly the worst pitcher in baseball in April and May and soon found himself traded to the Rays. A bust of a season for sure and his days of closing are over for now.
So there you have it. What do you think of the list? Who did I leave out? Post answers below and lets talk.