1. Prince Fielder
For lack of a better word, his season was: FAT. .288/109/50/119/2
The most surprising number there is the 2 steals. Was fielder’s indifference not scored properly? Love to hear from readers if they witnessed either of Prince’s steals. Anywho, the ladies love the long ball, so, by contractual obligation, they love Prince.
You wanted this to be Ryan Howard, you were assuming it would be at the very least Pujols. But surprise, surprise, it’s Carlos Pena. .282/99/46/121/1 were numbers you would had been very pleased with at the beginning of the season from your first round Pujols or Howard selection. From a guy you picked off of waivers? Depending on when you swiped him, you probably finished no worse than third in your league. This is the kind of player that wins leagues. You waste no draft choice and (Frank Voila!) you have 46 homers and 121 RBIs. Nice.
3. Ryan Howard
Eh, you got what you paid for. That is, if you had patience during his DL stint. Where you probably had to take him (1st round), he didn’t win or lose leagues. Sure, it would’ve been nice to get an extra ten home runs. Okay, .268 was a bit low, but you had to expect that with the way he strikes out and his lucky BABIP in ’06.
4. Albert Pujols
Isn’t he good for 130 runs? Wait, wasn’t this the year he was going to hit 50 homers? Barely cracking 100 RBIs? Pretty disappointing year from what was arguably the consensus 1st pick of every draft. Maybe he was trying to do too much and will be better next year? Maybe LaRussa will bat him eighth next year and the pitcher third? Maybe next year he’ll admit to really being 38 years old and this year will all make sense?
5. Lance Berkman
He came on strong towards the tail end of the season, but, wow, he was bad most of the year. Like Britney at the VMAs bad? No, like Britney as a mother bad.
6. Mark Teixeira
At some point you have to think his ’05 year might be his peak. The trade to the Braves didn’t seem to adversely effect (BTW, is it effect or affect here? Someone let me know, thanks.) his numbers, but this is the second year in a row that his entire first half of the year DID adversely a(e)ffect his numbers. These numbers are great from someone taken in the twelfth round. He went on average in the 3rd. And his last name is impossible to spell. Why is there an i before the x? Moving on…
7. Adrian Gonzalez
Here most people got value. Sure, he barely got over .280 thanks in part to a great start and great finish. And, you’re right, 100/30/100 seemed to be his floor not ceiling. But at least you got those numbers and he shouldn’t have came at a huge price. You didn’t take him in the fourth round, didja? You did? Well, shame on you.
8. Carlos Guillen
With 8 games played at 1st in ’06, you probably didn’t draft him to be your first baseman. Frankly, you might have only drafted him as your middle with his injury history. But with power numbers down across the board, Guillen could have been moved to 1st in the middle of the year and you wouldn’t have lost much.
9. Derrek Lee
What a bust. He helped for part of the year with his inflated average, but that came down to earth in the 2nd half of the year and you were left with Lyle Overbay numbers. If you passed picking up Pena because you had this guy manning 1st, you probably lost your league. How does a guy batting third for a division winning team finish with 82 RBIs? Oh, that’s right, Soriano’s OBP.
10. Victor Martinez
You drafted him as your catcher, so I gotta say this was a tremendous year. Everything you could’ve wanted. Frankly, his numbers look better than Derrek Lee. (The 6 steals are what barely puts Lee above.)
And, by the way, there were first basemen that were worse. Busts: Morneau, Delgado, Konerko, Hafner (depending on your eligibility requirements). Overall, a down year from 1st. A usually dependable position that solidifies the offense and bulks the power numbers saw a league-wide power shortage that really hurt 1st.