In the last installment of the grading process, we have to look at the bad – those guys I, Albert Lang, was totally wrong about. As always, in the comments, feel free to beat your chest about who you were high on relative to the rest of fantasy baseball players! Thanks for reading!
Joe Nathan – After doing some research and talking to some folks, I was pretty sure Nathan was healthy and undervalued. Well, that wasn’t the case. He stumbled out of the gates and has been bogged down by the suckitude of the rest of the Twins. His year would look better if the Twins were capable of doing anything, but 13 saves isn’t going to cut it. It’s the 31st most at the position and less than Kevin Gregg, Javy Guerra, Frank Francisco and Matt Capps.
Madison Bumgarner– I don’t think I was more off on a player than Bumgarner. I had him as the 76th best starting pitcher, while consensus had him around 37. I saw Bumgarner as an uninteresting 3.50 ERA pitcher with a WHIP around 1.25 and 130 Ks. I wasn’t totally off on the ERA (3.32) or WHIP (1.24), but man I didn’t think he’d pitch this many innings with this kind of K-rate. Bumgarner sits as the 30th best SP in fantasy this season. Whoops!
Jair Jurrjens – Like Bumgarner, I was pretty far off on Jurrjens. I had Jurrjens as 99 among starting pitchers, consensus had him around 50. I had him pegged for a 3.90 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 130 Ks. I was incredibly concerned about his durability. While I nailed his inability to rack up Ks for you (the Braves have shut him down and he has just 90 Ks), his ERA (2.96) and WHIP (1.22) more than make up for those shortcomings. In fact, Jurrjens is the 36th best pitcher in fantasy this year.
Pablo Sandoval – I didn’t differ with consensus much on Sandoval, but enough to make it really matter. The “royal we” had Sandoval as the 12th best 3b, I had him as 15. I said he was a .300 hitter (I was right there) but with moderate pop. His 23 HRs (while missing time with an injury) are the opposite of moderate. Sandoval is the 10th best 3b this season.
Tim Hudson – I was way off on Tim Hudson. While he wasn’t loved in the community (39th SP), I really hated on him (65th SP). I pegged Hudson to finish with a 3.40 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 140 Ks. Well, Hudson is the 18th best SP in 2011 with a 3.19 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 150 Ks. He’s beaten my projections pretty well. He keeps going out there and converting balls in play to outs. Congrats!
Daisuke Matsuzaka – Man, that was a bad call.
Brian Roberts – I don’t know which sleeper call was more laughable, Brian Roberts or Dice-K. Probably Dice-K, because when I wrote the Roberts section he was, supposedly, technically, healthy. God, why wouldn’t the Orioles trade him two years ago?
Logan Morrison – I thought Morrison would be an 80 run threat with a decent average and some moderate pop. Well, the pop has been anything other than moderate (23 HRs in 462 ABs), however he has scored just 54 runs and batted a disappointing .247. He’s gotten on base and the power is a great sign going forward, but he didn’t do what I expected this year.
Bobby Abreu – I had Abreu as a .265-.270 hitter with a .360 OBP, 90 runs, 18-20 HRs and 23-25 SBs. He hit .253 with just 54 runs, eight HRs, but has 21 SBs and a .353 OBP. I’d like to call this one a push, but it isn’t. I was wrong; Abreu is in full on decline now. What a great career, but the lights have clearly gone out.
James McDonald – It should come as no surprise that I love James McDonald. I had him down for an ERA in the 3.00s, a WHIP around 1.30 and 180 Ks. Well, he has 142 Ks, a 4.21 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. He has shown improvements, but that’s still a swing and a miss. That said, I did like him more than Carlos Carrasco, JA Happ, Mike Pelfrey, Randy Wells, Carl Pavano and Tim Stauffer. With the exception of Stauffer, I was dead on, making this just short of a clear push.
Brett Cecil – It just never came together for Brett Cecil the way I thought it could. I had him as the 62nd best SP before the year, whereas he went largely unranked/undrafted by the masses. I saw an ERA somewhere between 3.85-4.15, 140 Ks and a WHIP in the 1.30-1.35 range. Well, the ERA (4.73) and WHIP (he’s at 1.33) are far from great. However, he never got the innings I thought he would and is sitting at just 87 Ks. I believe in him long-term, but he didn’t provide much value to teams in 2011.
Ike Davis – I personally blame the medical staff who work for the New York Metropolitans – but, then again, I know they haven’t been too successful lately. Moving forward, Mets players should have a Red Letter attached to their name.
Mike Aviles – I missed badly on Aviles. I ranked him as the 12th best 2b and 9th best SS. I believed he was capable of putting up a .290 average, 10-15 HRs and double digit steals. I must have been drunk when making that assessment. Aviles is the 38th best 2b, behind such standouts as Robert Andino, Brent Lilibridge and Aaron Miles. He fared a bit better against the shortstop pool, coming in at 30th, although he is behind all glove, no-hit Brendan Ryan and Willie Bloomquist, who is all-nothing. He did have seven homers and 14 steals, but the .255 batting average and sporadic playing time made him worthless.
Jed Lowrie – It’s hard to say whether I was more incorrect about Lowrie or Aviles – it’s like comparing Bachman Turner Overdrive and Paul McCartney and Wings. I did couch my Lowrie prediction in a lot of qualifiers, but at the end of the day had him as a .274 hitter with 15 HRs and believed he was a likely top 25 player at the position. Sounds like a pretty flimsy projection. And yet, I still whiffed like Mark Reynolds does while batting/fielding. Lowrie, the 41st ranked SS at the moment, is batting .252 and has tallied just six homers. He can’t stay healthy. I must repeat that to myself.
Daric Barton – Another horrible call. I truly believed Barton’s plate discipline would result in a cheap and easy 85 runs. I also saw him as similar to Gaby Sanchez from a few years ago, with double digit power + upside. It was clearly a deep league play, but I did advocate for Barton over James Loney. As for the tale of the tape: Barton has a .212 average, 27 runs and zero homers and has logged just 236 at bats. While Loney has sort of sucked, he’s been way better than that.
Aaron Hill – While I ranked him lower than where he was going in most drafts, I also thought Hill could bat .260 with 25 HRs and 70 runs/RBIs. The only thing that made his numbers approach my expectations was a trade to the desert. Hill currently sits at .246 with just eight homers. He does have 61 runs and 61 RBIs, so my 70/70 wasn’t too far off. But, yikes, 2009 was a long, long, long time ago.
Mitch Moreland – I thought Moreland would easily hit 20 HR and drive in 80 RBIs and that he could finish top 15 at 1b. Wow, was that wrong. Moreland has 16 HRs and never showed enough skills to get the PT required to reach 80 RBIs (he has just 51). He is not only outside the top 15 1bs, he isn’t even in the top 30.
Brandon Allen – Allen never got the playing time and he was really just a stab in the dark for me. Still, when he has gotten into games, he has done nothing. He has a .200 average and just six homers in 175 ABs.
Juan Miranda – The thought of Miranda having 20+ HR potential is laughable now. Fighting off Xavier Nady and Russell Branyan wasn’t even possible for the slugger who has sluggishly batted just .213 with seven homers in 174 ABs.
Ryan Hanigan, Josh Thole, A.J. Ellis – These guys never got the at bats to do anything. They were decent gambles, but hit just 11 HRs combined.
Mark Ellis, Sean Rodriguez, Eric Young Jr. – Ultimately they didn’t come close to anything resembling a sleeper. Thankfully, you couldn’t have spent much on them. Young did steal some bases, despite having a really hard time actually getting to first base – so there’s that!
Jose Lopez, David Freese – I thought both guys would be cheap enough to make any contributions worthwhile. Freese hasn’t played much because he has been hurt (typical), whereas Lopez hasn’t played much because he sucks (typical). Both have shown signs down the stretch, but were basically worthless throughout the year.