Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fantasy Baseball Help: Don’t Draft These Players!


Anthony Cavalcante
@AntCav_Fantasy


In every draft, there are players that get drafted fairly high, but eventually they get dropped from the team because they really aren’t that good. For whatever reason, people think these players are good when they are not. I’m going to go through the top players that are being drafted in leagues that are going to perform worse than the average player at their position.

Note: These rankings are based off a CBS Head-To-Head fantasy league.

Catcher

Travis D’Arnaud (Average Draft Position 195.09)
Coming into the season last year, D’Arnaud was one of the top catching prospects in all of baseball. He could end up being a very good fantasy player someday. However, that day will most likely be sometime in the future. He doesn’t have enough MLB experience to be a consistently good fantasy player for the 2014 season. I think D’Arnaud will hit .243 with 15 home runs with 66 runs scored and 68 RBI. According to my rankings, that will be 28.21 points less than the average catcher and therefore, you should pass on D’Arnaud on draft day.

First Base

Adrian Gonzalez (ADP 74.79)
Years ago, Gonzalez used to be a player that was undervalued. He used to hit a ton of home runs which means he would score a lot of fantasy points. However, Gonzalez is a totally different player now. His batting average is higher, but his home run total is much lower. In fact, I’m expecting him to only hit 20 home runs this season, and at first base, that isn’t enough to be drafted.

Second Base

Jedd Gyorko (ADP 128.99)
Gyorko surprised a lot of people with his power outburst last season. I expect him to slug 28 homers this season. I also expect him to strike out 150 times, which would put him in the top 5 in strikeouts amongst second basemen according to my projections. I also have him hitting just .248 and stealing only 1 base. Gyorko should score 12.53 less points than the average second basemen. Stay away from him.

Third Base

Manny Machado (ADP 124.46)
Machado was a doubles machine last year. I expect him to hit 41 of them this season. However, doubles are worth 2 points, as opposed to a home run, which is worth 4 points. Also, unlike home runs, he isn’t guaranteed to score or knock in any runs if he hits a double. Machado should hit only 15 home runs this season. Although he should be one of the best doubles hitters this season, he still shouldn’t be drafted in fantasy leagues this year.

Shortstop

Starlin Castro (ADP 166.42)
Castro isn’t as good as good as people think he is. I project him to hit .279 with 10 homers and 31 stolen bases. Those aren’t terrible numbers, but they aren’t great either. There are plenty of other shortstops that should outperform Castro. Although he’s only 7.31 points worse than the average fantasy shortstop, he still is worse and therefore should go undrafted.

Outfielders

Mark Trumbo (ADP 76.12)
Trumbo has been a very good power hitter ever since he got to the majors. However, his batting average is another story. He is also now playing in the National League, so expect his stats to go down from how they’ve been in the past. I expect Trumbo to hit .239 with 31 homers. Outfield is a very deep position, and I have him as 35.33 points less than the average outfielder.

Josh Hamilton (ADP 93.00)
Josh Hamilton was once a first pick in fantasy baseball drafts. However, I no longer see him as a player that should be drafted. Ever since he left the Angels, Hamilton hasn’t been the same. I’m expecting him to hit .250 with 20 home runs. Sadly, Hamilton isn’t the player he once was. Don’t expect him to bounce back.

Jason Heyward (ADP 99.45)
Jason Heyward is being drafted before the 100th pick. Although I think he’s only going to be 1.33 points away from the average player, he’s still going to score below average. I have Heyward hitting .253 with 23 home runs. Those aren’t terrible numbers, but there are plenty of outfielders that you should draft instead of Heyward.

Starting Pitchers

Jeff Samardzija (ADP 115.31)
For some strange reason, people think Jeff Samardzija is much better than he is. First of all, he plays for a terrible team, which means his win-loss record won’t be good. Secondly, his ERA isn’t that good either. I expect him to go 9-13 with a 4.10 ERA. He just isn’t that good and doesn’t belong on a fantasy baseball roster.

Alex Wood (ADP 132.63)
I expect Wood to go 13-10 with 157 strikeouts and a 3.53 ERA. Although those numbers sound fairly good, he still shouldn’t be drafted. He doesn’t pitch a lot of innings. I have him only pitching 163 innings in 32 starts. If he can pitch later into games, then maybe he can be a decent fantasy player. But for now, he should score 56.58 points less than the average fantasy baseball pitcher.

Taijuan Walker (ADP 141.53)
Walker is one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball. However, he barely has any MLB experience. You don’t know how he is going to fare against MLB hitters. Also, the Mariners aren’t that good of a team, which will affect his win-loss record. I have Walker going 11-11 with a 4.11 ERA. That would put him 74.02 points below average. You’d be better off taking one of the safer bets.

Zack Wheeler (ADP 142.41)
Everyone expected Wheeler to follow in Harvey’s footsteps as the next great Mets young pitcher. Wheeler was pretty good, but he was no Harvey. I expect Wheeler to go 10-11 with a 3.45 ERA. These are pretty good numbers for a young pitcher, but still 26.87 below the average starting pitcher. There are better pitchers to have.

Tim Lincecum (ADP 149.87)
Tim Lincecum used to be easily the best pitcher in baseball. However, in recent years, he’s been pretty bad. I think he could go 10-10 with a 4.04 ERA and 197 strikeouts. That would put him at 2.55 points beneath the average. He is no longer the pitcher he once was, but he could be better than he was in recent years. Either way, he should perform worse than the average fantasy starting pitcher and should go undrafted because of this.

Closers

Joe Nathan (ADP 111.73)
Nathan used to be known as one of the best closers in the MLB. Since then, his value has dropped, and then been brought back up again. I have Nathan saving 38 games with a 2.11 ERA. Although the Tigers are a great team, they didn’t give their closer that many save opportunities last season. He should be 19.77 points below the average. There are better closers out there.

Glen Perkins (ADP 139.09)
I have Glen Perkins saving 38 games and having a 2.39 ERA. The Twins didn’t give their closer that many save opportunities either and he also doesn’t strike out players at too high of a rate. There are better closers than him available as well.



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