Much space was designated in yesterday’s current top 50 players ranking to talk about this season’s overachievers.
So if Casey McGehee and Jaime Garcia are top 50, where are all of our fantasy all-stars? They’re out there in varying degrees of good and bad. Some are a good game or two away from making the top 50. A few are a few bad games from being cut by owners — cough, Jose Reyes, cough.
Let’s focus on the preseason top 50 players who haven’t lived up to expectations.
This list is a little different than yesterday’s top 50, instead of listing them based on their current rank, this exercise is a little more fun if we look at it based on position. You’ll get my drift with the first list:
Joe Mauer — So, picking Mauer gives you an advantage over every other opponent in your league because he’s a 30-homer catcher who can hit .340? He is hitting .336 but his power has not returned. He’s the second-highest ranked catcher, right after Rod Barajas and right before Miguel Olivo and John Buck. Where were Barajas, Olivo and Buck picked in your draft?
Victor Martinez — Hitting .255 with six homers. Belch. I didn’t even think about drafting him this year.
Brian McCann — Hitting .261 with 5 homers. The one catcher out of the big three I considered drafting because he was the least overvalued. Luckily, I didn’t pull the trigger. Besides the guys already mentioned, Ivan Rodriguez and Russell Martin have been better than McCann.
Prince Fielder — It took a long time before Fielder hit his first homer. He didn’t hit .280 until after June 4 last season. He’ll hit at least 30 homers in June, July, August and September. Count it.
Mark Teixeira — His slow starts are legendary.
Adrian Gonzalez — Concern over his ballpark and inability to replicate last season’s numbers allowed him to fall in many drafts. However, he has nine homers — the fifth-highest total among first baseman. But he’s hitting just .286.
Ian Kinsler — Kinsler hasn’t lived up to fantasy owners’ expectations, but blame his injury. He’s got a homer, two steals and is hitting .324. In a couple weeks, he’ll be ranked closer to where he belongs. He has half as many at-bats as a lot of the players on this list.
Dustin Pedroia — Got stuck with Pedroia at a value while price-enforcing at an auction. It’s not that I hate Pedroia, it’s that his price tag was too high. After a decent April, he’s struggled all May.
Ben Zobrist — His best month last season was June. He hit eight homers, scored 22 runs and drove in 20. If he does that again he’ll be right where you expected when you drafted him.
Brandon Phillips — When you roster Brandon Phillips you suffer through the bad times to partake in the good. He’s going to be bad for stretches.
Aaron Hill — Struggling out of the gate is not an Aaron Hill thing. He could be a bust, making one of our preseason second base targets look foolish.
Brian Roberts — Making the disabled list his second home. If you read any of our preseason stuff, you stayed far away from Roberts in your drafts. Smart ninjas.
David Wright — Here’s what I said about him in an 8 stars to stay away from post: “A player can’t just lose 23 homers and 52 RBIs, gain 12 stolen bases and strike out 20 more times in 100 less at-bats than the year before and bounce back to form the next season.” Wright hasn’t been bad, but he’s been far from a second-round talent.
Ryan Zimmerman — A personal favorite, and someone I targeted in drafts because of his value, just hasn’t done enough. Like everyone on this list, he’s one hot streak away from performing up to expectations. Unlike some of the guys on this list however, I’d call Zimmerman’s hot streak imminent.
Pablo Sandoval — “Even though he’s still developing at age 24, Pablo Sandoval’s 25-homer power from 2009 just doesn’t seem legit. And if Pablo doesn’t hit .330 again — his batting average on balls in play seems a little lucky, which can be an indicator that the AVG will drop — he won’t be worth a pick as the sixth best third baseman in 2010.” That’s what I said in March. He’s hitting just .288 with three homers.
Aramis Ramirez — Already told you about how unlucky he’s been. Ramirez has been dealing with a sore left thumb for about 10 days. It is reportedly a bruise between his thumb and index finger. Ramirez has sat out two consecutive games with the injury. His luck won’t change while he’s on the bench.
Hanley Ramirez — Owners haven’t been happy with his performance so far, then he got benched a game for being lazy.
Troy Tulowitzki — Anybody trying to pick a top end shortstop to get an edge at the position over opponents overpaid so far in 2010. Tulowitzki’s hitting .305 but has only three homers and two stolen bases.
Derek Jeter — He’s been the fourth-best shortstop — better than Tulowitzki — but he hasn’t produced like himself. The discouraging part is his .273 average. His best months are July, August and September, but his average is always around .300.
Jimmy Rollins — When he’s played, Rollins has been fantastic — 2 homers, 2 steals, .341 in 41 at-bats. Problem is he hasn’t played.
Jose Reyes — Many fantasy owners, myself included, considered him a player that would change the game once he got back. We were wrong. I was wrong. His only value right now are his nine steals. He doesn’t deserve to be on fantasy rosters right now.
Justin Upton — He’s only just outisde of the top-50, but unfortunately, sky-high expectations pushed his draft cost through the roof. He hasn’t come close to playing like the third-best outfielder in 2010. He’s a fantastic talent, but this should be a lesson about expecting too much, too soon.
Ichiro Suzuki — He’s hitting .345 with 11 steals and 20 runs. Those numbers are very Ichiro — 40-steal, 80-run pace. I’ve said it and I’ll keep saying it, he is a better real baseball player than fantasy baseball player. He’s always overvalued.
Matt Holliday — In the preseason, I often considered him the third-best outfielder and even picked him ahead of Upton in one league. He hasn’t lived up to that expectation. He’s playing at a 15-homer, 12-steal pace. He’ll pick it up, but I can’t recommend him as a buy low right now.
Jacoby Ellsbury — I spent much of the preseason telling you to skip Ellsbury. Among the warnings: “I think Ichiro Suzuki is overrated, but I’d pick him before Ellsbury in 2010.” His downgrade has been fueled by broken ribs, but if you read us in the preseason, you’ve avoided that disaster.
Grady Sizemore — I’m beginning to think we’ll only ever see a shadow of the talent Sizemore once exhibited. We’ll know soon enough. He’s on the DL now, but June is historically his best month.
B.J. Upton — He’s brought back the power stroke (five homers puts him on pace for 18), while keeping the high steal rate (his 13 are sixth-best among outfielders) but he’s hitting only .224.
Zack Greinke — Blame his team. Despite a 2.72 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP, Greinke has just one win.
C.C. Sabathia — Like Greinke, Sabathia’s K rate is down. What’s keeping him from the top 50 is an ERA and WHIP that he’ll probably finish the season with (3.43 and 1.11) as opposed to one that was fueled by an early hot start.
Felix Hernandez — May is not month for Hernandez. With a career 5.48 ERA, 1.62 WHIP and .302 batting average against, it is by far his worst month. He’ll be fine.
Dan Haren — If Dan Haren has a 4.79 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP in the first half, will he finally have a good second half? I have my fingers crossed, but I’m not putting any money on it.
Friday’s performances changed the top 50 a bit since yesterday’s post:
- Hitters who moved in: Shin-Soo Choo, Torii Hunter and Jose Guillen
- Hitters who dropped out: James Loney, Ty Wigginton, Carlos Gonzalez
- Pitchers who moved in: Jonathan Broxton
- Pitchers who moved out: Barry Zito.
Which of these underachievers will not finish the season in the top 50 in 2010? Let us know in the comments