I’m so freaking excited to be back and writing about baseball. After months of dealing with stupid, unpredictable football variances, we’re back at it with some much-needed fantasy baseball! This is the real fantasy sport and I can’t wait to get started. My first articles of the offseason are going to be deep-diving on potential busts. We actually did this last season and had pretty good results aside from one guy.

I actually had Christian Yelich as my Top 10 player to avoid last season and obviously, that was incredibly stupid. The other busts I had included Craig Kimbrel, Edwin Diaz, German Marquez, Lorenzo Cain, Javier Baez and Miguel Andjuar. The only other guy I got wrong was Baez but he still scares me to death with his horrendous plate discipline. I’m honestly not too disappointed with the Yelich one either because it’s hard to predict any Top 10 player to bust (according to me). We’re going to go with a similar approach here, so let’s get into some of our Top 50 busts!

 

Gerrit Cole (NYY) 

Ok, we need to get something out of the way. Bust is a term that is relatively overused in fantasy circles and it needs to be taken into context. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the guy is going to have a bad year. A bust is a player who doesn’t live up to his draft price. That’s the only reason Cole is in here because he should still be one of the 10 best pitchers in baseball. The thing is, he needs to be the best pitcher in baseball at this price tag. You’re probably paying a Top 6 pick to draft him this season and, honestly, how can you trust any guy who pitches in Yankee Stadium to do that?  

While I expect Cole to lead the league in strikeouts, it’s going to be a tough task for him to match his ridiculous 2.50 ERA and 0.89 WHIP from last season. Not only is Yankee Stadium one of the worst ballparks to pitch in, the rest of that division has nightmare ballparks as well. That’s why Steamer has him projected for a 3.15 FIP, 3.25 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. Those are superb numbers but it’s not worthy of a Top 5 pick with all of the other arms available later in the draft. We’re talking about a guy who had a 4.12 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in his final two years with Pittsburgh before joining Houston in 2018 and that scares me too. No one is doubting that Cole is a stud but is it really worth a Top 5 pick? For me, NO! 

Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD) 

I want to preface this by saying that I love Tatis as a player. This kid is exciting and great for baseball but his recklessness truly frightens me. The dude is just a wild child, flying around the basepaths and making ridiculous diving plays on defense. While it makes for great sightseeing, that’s the sort of thing that scares me to death in fantasy baseball and makes him one of the most likely busts in the first two rounds. Being on the field is arguably the most important factor when taking someone with a Top 20 pick and it would be hard for me to imagine Tatis getting through a full season without hitting the IL with his reckless abandon. That’s certainly been the case in the last two years, playing fewer than 90 games in each season. I mean, look at this!  

It’s not all about missing time either, as Tatis has some serious red flags at the plate too. The biggest being his discipline, posting a 29.6 percent K rate last season. That’s unfortunately on par with his minor league averages and it’s scary to think that his K rate could rise with pitchers figuring him out. What also worries me is the fact that he had a BABIP north of .350 in the minors and an ISO below .200.

That’s not a recipe for an elite hitter and one has to wonder if that 82-game sample size last season it a bit of a fluke, especially when you see his 32 percent HR/FB rate and .259 xBA. Not to mention, his 53-point difference between his wOBA and xwOBA was the biggest negative correlation among all regulars in MLB.  There’s just a lot of red flags and that’s the last thing I want to see from a player who’s projected to go 18th in drafts.   

Jose Altuve (HOU) 

Altuve is impossible not to like but he’s one of the easiest busts of the season. Seriously, how can you hate a 5’2” dude who just mashes baseballs? It’s hard to argue with what the little man did last season but there were some things that really scared me. The biggest thing is his speed. Injuries and age have limited his stolen bases over recent years and that was crystal clear last season. In fact, Altuve set a career-low with just six steals and that’s a trend that’s common for an aging player like this.  

Losing that speed is really tough when evaluating a player like this, as most of Altuve’s value has come through his ability to run and his consistent average. That brings up yet another point, his average. Altuve hit .298 last season which happened to be his lowest mark since 2013. That’s really no shock when you see that he set a career-high with a 15 percent K rate and it’s really distressing to see all of these numbers head in the wrong direction. The expected numbers back up the fact that he was fairly lucky last season too, generating a .282 xBA and .350 xwOBA. That’s still a good hitter but with the decline in speed, it’s certainly not worth a Top 30 pick like ADP says he is.  

We’ll be back next week to knock out some busts sitting between 50-100 in ADP. If you have any comments or questions, comment me here or reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel 

 
  1. Malicious Phenoms says:
    (link)

    I concur. Solid info Joey B.

    • The Real Joey Bart

      The Real Joey Bart says:
      (link)

      Thanks Malicious!

  2. Cram It says:
    (link)

    I don’t think you missed on Baez. He was getting drafted as, what, a Top 15/20 hitter, and he did not come close to that return. He basically put up Brett Gardner numbers.

    • The Real Joey Bart

      The Real Joey Bart says:
      (link)

      Yeah I guess, I was tempted to write him up again haha.

    • Andrew says:
      (link)

      Would you have the same concerns about Tatis if you were drafting him in the 24th round of a mixed league draft, where I can keep him this year?

      • The Real Joey Bart

        The Real Joey Bart says:
        (link)

        Oh no, you have to keep him in that scenario. I still love him as a player and he could be great, Im just not willing to pick him in the second round. If he fell to the fourth, he wouldnt even be in this article

  3. Jehu says:
    (link)

    Altuve will definitely stop off. May always be a good hitter but last year he was horrible to start the year and then all of a sudden started hitting bombs like he was Canseco. Hmmmm I will avoid at all costs

    • The Real Joey Bart

      The Real Joey Bart says:
      (link)

      exactkly. If he has less than 10-15 steals, I see it very hard for him to live up to this draft price. There could be a suspension looming too with all of this sign stealing atuff and him at the center of it

  4. Leo says:
    (link)

    Altuve is impossible not to like? Are you serious?

    • The Real Joey Bart

      The Real Joey Bart says:
      (link)

      You dont like him? Before all of this sign stealing atuff, I figured he was one of the most liked players around. Everyone loves seeing outliers succeed in sports and a 5’5″ guy is deff that lol

      • 183414 says:
        (link)

        But he CHEATED !!! You don’t buy that lame denouement that banging drums tipped off each and every batter, do you. If so, I have a bridge to sell you.
        A complex, well orchestrated plan to steal signs, based on electronic and technological information, and you have to ask yourself how did each of these batters know what was coming. My guess (I’d say it’s pretty obvious, if you watch Altuve in 2019, no less, make sur no one rip off his jersey) he, Bregman, and Springer made buzzer use a regular occurrence.
        Bonds and Clemens get excoriated for doing something that wasn’t even illegal at the time, and which everyone else did, and I’m supposed to like him ?
        They’ve been many people we loved (see: O.J. Simpson), who we quickly grew to hate when it was clearly established what they did. Luhnow and Hinch and Cora weren’t the direct beneficiaries of the cheating. It was the “stars” of the Astros !!!

        • The Real Joey Bart

          The Real Joey Bart says:
          (link)

          That’s fair, I did write this before all of the Altuve videos came out but he certainly is losing credibility among all baseball people. I for one sit on the side that believes Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens should be hall of famers. I think what Bonds did is unmatched despite his steroid use and he’s earned that spot. I feel the same about Pete Rose too

        • batflix says:
          (link)

          Comparing Altuve to OJ Simpson ???
          LMFAO

          You are off your rocker there bud
          Try taking a break from the internet for a couple of weeks

          • The Real Joey Bart

            The Real Joey Bart says:
            (link)

            yeah, that is a bit outlandish. This Astros thing has the baseball community acting nuts

  5. Leo says:
    (link)

    Altuve is impossible not to like? Are you serious?

  6. SallyCips says:
    (link)

    For me, where ever I’m positioned in round 1 I’m taking Cole if possible. Like it’s just Fantasy baseball so I’m willing to gamble for this year and potentially have the far and away best pitcher in baseball.

    • The Real Joey Bart

      The Real Joey Bart says:
      (link)

      thats fair man. Part of my draft strategy is to wait on pitcher so I’m sure that’s baked into my opinion. Like I said, I believe Cole will be amazing and proably lead the league in strikeputs but I just think his ERA and WHIP are due for some regression, especially in a place like Yankee Stadium. He’s not the sort of guy thats going to tuin your team or anything though.

      • The Real Joey Bart

        The Real Joey Bart says:
        (link)

        sorry about my grammar/spelling there haha responding on the phone is a bad idea

  7. Chris says:
    (link)

    I guess you have to take into account floor a bit too though, right? Tatis is risky, which is why I wouldnt use a 1st or 2nd round pick on him (3rd round…sure!). But also Tatis is very young, so we expect him to mature and potentially bust out a 30/30 season as soon as next year. Cole as top 5 ADP…probably not, I agreed, but given that even with some regression he is a top 3 pitcher, a back-half first round sounds fine. I would say your busts are more likely a value adjustment, you don’t want to pay for say Tatis in the second round if he seems more likely to give you 3rd/4th round value.

    • The Real Joey Bart

      The Real Joey Bart says:
      (link)

      Exactly! You couldnt have said it better Chris. Bust is just a term that we like to use to draw eyes but when we’re talking about players in the Top-50, its very unlikley that any of them will bust unless they get injured. This is more of an overvalued article, or players that I likely wont draft.

  8. Tatis truly is a big risk with his style of play, but the reward outweighs the risk for me. I think the players you identified last year carry over, except Yelich and Baez. Interesting stuff Joe B

    • The Real Joey Bart

      The Real Joey Bart says:
      (link)

      Thanks Smitty. Yeah Tatis is a fascinating one. I could totally see him being a Top-10 player if he plays 150-plus games but his plate discipline matched with his reckless abandon makes him a guy I want to fade. This is certainly one that could bite me in the ass though. That kid has all the talent in the world

  9. Snacks Zillion says:
    (link)

    Good to see you amigo! Btw, Piss on Kimbrel still, that puppy kicker ruiner of 2019 drafts, lol!!

    • The Real Joey Bart

      The Real Joey Bart says:
      (link)

      Yeah, thankfully we faded him! Good to see you too Zillion. Glad to be back to the baseball grind

  10. Deltron says:
    (link)

    Which keeper option do you like better: Gerrit Cole as a 2nd rder, or Rafael Devers as a 7th rder? 12-team points league, 4 keepers (kept at 70% of previous year’s round). Cole put up 620 pts in 2019, Devers had 544.

    • The Real Joey Bart

      The Real Joey Bart says:
      (link)

      wow thats a tough one. I guess Id go Cole because I feel like he’s more reliable

  11. keith o branstetter says:
    (link)

    These are all solid players, but I guess you have to go out on a limb to write one of these busts articles. We can agree to disagree about these choices.

    • The Real Joey Bart

      The Real Joey Bart says:
      (link)

      oh no doubt. This will proably have the lowest success rate of any article I write this offseason but its an important exercise. These are more of fades then busts because its not too often that any guy drafted this high will bust to be honest.

  12. Jolt In Flow says:
    (link)

    TRJB, it’s a pleasure! I’ve been reading Razzball for 2 years now. This is my first post. When you see King Ralph, please give him a baseball smack on the rear. He had the number one source for prospects that I’ve used, which propelled me to have the best prospects in my league. It was his article with the top 150 prospects. Great stuff. STILL relevant today. While you’re at it, give Gray and DT the same treatment. Awesomely entertaining writers AND informative. I’ve just started reading Itch’s prospect reports. So don’t give him the treatment. It’s too early in the relationship. One last piece; the last 3 podcasts I’ve listened to, posted by Ralph, were the first three I’ve listened to. It’s funny hearing the voices of Gray and Ralph. I didn’t think they’d sound like that. Good comeraderie. And NO, I will never recommend or listen to Olney moving forward. Clearly he doesn’t understand irony. Great for Gray for standing up for what’s right. There; 2 years of comments all in one!

    What propelled me to finally comment is your write-up on Cole. I’ve been searching all over the net for reasons not to go after Cole (at his current price point). I figured the new stadium would do it. BUT IT SEEMS that Yankee Stadium is actually a pitcher’s park. It had one of the lowest runs per stadium, based on calculations from other sites. Am I missing something? In my mind, it’s one of the worst pitcher’s parks, but reality says only Oracle Stadium in San Fran is a more pitcher friendly park. And those two are ahead of the pack by far. Please, any insights you can provide?

    Thanks for all your work!

    • The Real Joey Bart

      The Real Joey Bart says:
      (link)

      Will do!
      I think the Yankees bullpen has a lot to do with that low run output. I mean, the dimensions themselves make it one of the best hitter parks IMO. If you look at the ERAs of the starters last year, its certainly not pretty but many of the RPs have great numbers. Not one of their starters had an ERA below 3.80 last season and their FIPs werent any better. I thik when we look at the end of this year, Yankee Stadium will easily sit Top-10 in runs scored.

      • Jolt In Flow says:
        (link)

        Thanks for replying! That’s very cool. Another reason I love the Razzball site. The writers always seem to try their best to respond to all the comments.

        Keep up the awesome work.

        Fingers crossed you’re correct for 2020 Yankee Stadium stats.

  13. Harley Earl says:
    (link)

    Nice article JB. I like the subject matter as finding the guys who don’t live up to their draft stock is as critical as finding guys who surpass their draft value. Maybe you can do one of those articles too? I hope to see a couple more of these “bust” articles too just to know if you’re seeing certain players similar to me or if you see someone I don’t see.

    As for this piece, I’ll agree on Cole and Altuve. Cole can’t get any better than he already is so, really, he’s got nowhere to go but down and that’s going to happen in the AL East, and definitely in 15 starts at Yankee Stadium.

    As for Tatis, it reads like you’re playing the safe route here by avoiding him simply because of the injury potential and some, albeit legitimate, red flags with his batting profile. It even reads as if you’re safe-guarding your own prediction by saying he’s still a kickass player and could be a top 15 bat with his potential. Sounds like you’re not really convinced yourself that Tatis will bust. At least that’s how I interpret what you’re saying.

    I would not be afraid of Tatis as a second or third round pick. The upside definitely appears worth the risk to me. I don’t have to worry about that though, since I have Tatis as a 16th round keeper from last year. No matter what he does, I can afford a 16th round pick on him again. Ha!

    Good work. Look forward to your next piece.

    • The Real Joey Bart

      The Real Joey Bart says:
      (link)

      Yes sir, I have two more busts articles coming over the next two weeks!
      As for Tatis, Im not convined hes a bust as a player. Like he literally could be one of the bst players in baseball. Im calling him a bust for fantasy baseball because what we do here is different. Reliability is as important as on-field statistics for fantasy and I honestly cant say that Tatis is going to give me the games that I need to make him a second round pick. So, yeah, it is a safety thing. Whenevr I get a guy in the first second or third round, I dont want to be taking a risk like that.

  14. Blah blah says:
    (link)

    I disagree take Devers and run. Why pay close to market price for Cole?

Comments are closed.