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 NathanAfter 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.

  1. chata says:

    well , i was pretty happy about giving up on carlos pena , before the
    season began .
    and avoiding all twins and giants players was an easy decision for me .

    but , over-valued dan uggla ,
    and , dayan viciedo … though ozzie’s a complete jerk and
    was complicitous in that whole deal .
    i look for both players to have better 2012’s .

  2. Chuckles Tiddlesworth says:

    I love me some Razzball — Grey, Rudy, Al, the whole lot. But when was this written? Makes it sound like the regular season’s not yet over. How ’bout a wee bit of editing, guys?

  3. @chata:

    Definitely a good call on Carlos – i thought in the right leagues (with OPS), he’d be worth a decent amount – he sort of was but only against righties…the rest of his career could be a hybrid of Matt Stairs (lefty pinch hitter) and Doug mientkiewicz because he is a very good defender.

    Shame on Uggla, we’ll see where he goes next year, but 6th round could provide nice value.

    I wonder if Viceido would have been a better DH than Dunn — give Dayan cant play the field the Dunn signing is looking worse and worse.

  4. @Chuckles Tiddlesworth:

    Yeah – Chuckles – I turned them in before the season was over — since we only post once a day it was kind of up in the air when this series would finish getting published.

    I should have gone back and changed the tenses and added final numbers but I didnt think of it and was somewhat lazy.

    i appreciate your kind words about the staff here and thanks for calling me out. Just cause the season is over doesnt mean I should take my foot off the accelerator.

  5. Hey all – this is the third in the series of lookign at my and popular sleepers/busts and seeing who was right/wrong.

    I think I can out ok – i hit on some big ones but didnt do so well on my “deeper” sleepers. Also i believed in Dice-K which is just silly.

    Anyway, who let you down the most? Who wasnt up to snuff? Who do you think will bounce back in 2012?

    Lastly, World Series predictions? I like the Rangers in 6 but I’m not overly confident — think these are two equal teams. I do worry about TLR dancing around a much more potent and deep Rangers line-up.

  6. Chuckles Tiddlesworth says:

    My season-opening NL infield was 1B Adam LaRoche, 2B Dan Uggla, SS Hanley Ramirez and 3B Ryan Zimmerman. Had Werth as one of my three OFs. Thought I would win going away. Ouch.

  7. Back To Minors says:

    a post dedicated to how bad your are…love it!!!

  8. @Back To Minors:

    You got to do it sometimes – glad you liked it. we all have blinders for certain players and it can be cathartic to get it out there. I will curse Daric barton to my grave, also Dice-K and Aviles.

  9. @Chuckles Tiddlesworth:

    The best laid plans….

    I love Zimmerman, but jeez, when will he stay healthy. Hanley that’s just a hidden injury which is frustrating. Uggla obviously torpedoed you at teh start, but hopefully you held him and he bounced back.

    One league i had Fielder/Uggla/Stephen Drew/Chase Headley….had Lawrie and Zobrist and traded for Rollins, so it turned out okay, but was a lot of work.

    I also had Ike Davis as my 1b in three different leagues.

  10. SwaggerJackers says:

    In one of my leagues I drafted David Wright in the second round, Adam Dunn in the 3rd and Liriano in the 8th. I hate them.

  11. SwaggerJackers says:

    Another pile of busts in a different draft: Choo, Rios, Josh Johnson, Heyward.

  12. Albert Lang

    Albert says:


    As someone who relied on DWright and thought decently of Liriano, i’m with you.

  13. Albert Lang

    Albert says:


    Yeah Choo- just didnt see that coming – the injuries + DUI created a perfect storm.

    JJ just cant be trusted at this point

  14. Keith says:

    Obviously Jose Lopez stunk in the beginning of the year, but he was outstanding in AAA and excellent in limited time after being called up. He’s only 27. Do you think he’ll find a starting job at 2B or 3B (or anywhere) next season? I think if he does, he can have a pretty nice year.

  15. Albert Lang

    Albert says:


    Man Lopez anchored my NL-only team down the stretch – you are dead right about how well he played.

    Of course, it’s a small sample and not exactly against the toughest competition. As a late round flier in NL-only leagues, he’s worth a look. I just cant imagine any team given him clear playing time out of the gate. He is an incredibly limited hitter (all power, no OBP), which is nice for fantasy but not as good in real life….

    he’ll probably end up on some of my deeper teams and I’m guessing I’ll cut him quickly. But he’s a definite cheap lottery ticket.

  16. Cheeeeeze says:

    Gardner absolutely killed me this year… I was so high on him that I thought he was the cheaper ellsburry, boy was I wrong! and missed out on ellsburry in nearly every league. How could I be so off? what did we all miss there?

  17. Buster's Broken Leg says:

    Posey, Rios, Dunn, Krispie, Youk, Alvarez; sleeper was Belt.


  18. Albert Lang

    Albert says:


    He was a tad unlucky – hit a good amount of line drives, yet his babip was pretty low compared to last year. He walked less and Ked less. He wasn’t as good as 2010 but isnt as bad as 2011 (and he did steal more bases this year). I imagine he’ll be better next season.

  19. Albert Lang

    Albert says:

    @Buster’s Broken Leg:

    That sucks — Posey was just a fluke – but the rest were just evil – that will never happen to you again i imagine!

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