As promised in the sleepers and busts disclaimer, let’s review what went right and wrong with our fantasy busts in 2009.
Were they as bad as I suspected?
Matt Wieters — He only had 108 at-bats before the All-Star game. Avoiding him in your draft saved you a wasted pick. He was decent in the second half, and has the potential to move into the elite ranks in 2010. He’s a top-4 catcher if you’re taking an unsexy approach to drafting a catcher in 2010.
Matt Holliday — This is an interesting situation. He was on this list because he was moving into Oakland’s cavernous stadium and his pre-All-Star break numbers are an absolute win. However, his numbers jumped considerably after he joined the Cardinals. If the rules change in the middle of the game, it’s not fair to the winner or loser. I’m claiming this one as a win, but as a full-time Cardinal, Holliday’s not making this list in 2010.
Garrett Atkins — Check out Atkins stats. Home, away, early, late, you cannot find a redeeming quality anywhere. He’s not even with the Rockies any more. He’s wearing Orioles orange in 2010.
David Ortiz — The Red Sox hitter turned slugger turned in a 28-homer, 99-RBI campaign. Not bad, but as a DH he has limited roster appeal and, if you didn’t heed the warning hear at Chinstrap Ninjas, he destroyed your batting average (.238 in 2009). 2010? No. Just stay away.
Carlos Zambrano — While Zambrano was a decent play, helping owners in ERA (3.77) and strikeouts (152), he logged the least innings (169) of any season of his career since becoming a full-time starter. He pitched 100 innings and had 82 strikeouts in the first half of the season, but he’s trending downward. You don’t want that on your roster in 2010, do you?
So, the full tally is 5-for-5 so far.
Now, on to the mortifying stars. Just something to keep in mind, I never exactly told readers to avoid these players, just let them know that I was avoiding them for various reasons. As you’ll be able to tell in a moment, some of my teams weren’t too good in 2009.
Tim Lincecum, Evan Longoria, Jacoby Ellsbury and Josh Beckett all broke personal bests in several statistical categories. It’d be foolish to expect anything less in 2010.
Joe Nathan and Jonathan Papelbon held steady in the important categories, but in my defense my argument was that these closers would have to be drafted too high. They won’t represent much of a value in 2010 either because they are two of the best closers in baseball.
The only wins I can claim here are:
Vernon Wells — While youngster Adam Lind took off in 2009, Wells was grounded. He improved his steals considerably from the year before, matching a career high with 17. However, despite playing in 50 more games he saw a decrease in homers, RBI and batting average. His home runs and RBIs were the least he’s had in any season since becoming a full-time player in 2002.
Joba Chamberlain — My fear was that he was going to move back to the bullpen by the end of the season, but he started 31 of his 32 games in 2009. However, he was less than spectacular in those games. He had a 4.75 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP and struck out only 133 in 157 innings pitched after being a more-than-a-K-per-inning player before that.
So, 7-for-13 if you’re scoring at home. That’s not bad. How did we do with our sleeper picks? We’ll review that in a post tomorrow. But if you want a sneak preview, check out the 2009 breakout players post.