The Buddies Buddies: our fantasy baseball All-Bust team. If you came out of your draft fielding this team, you would have been more than happy. If you looked at your team today and saw these players; well, you’d almost think you were fielding a team of drag queens. One of them may actually be a woman, I’m pretty sure Pablo Sandoval has a pair of titties. My guess is B cups. Make the jump to see fantasy baseball’s biggest disappointments.
Catcher – Matt Wieters .249 AVG, 37 Runs, 11 HR, 55 RBI, 0 SB
Boy Wonder, the Golden Child and the Chosen One were just a few of the labels slapped onto the super prospect. O-Ranked fourth at the position behind Joe Mauer, Victor Martinez and Brian McCann; Matt Wieters finished the season ranked 18th among all catchers in the Yahoo! game. That means the player who was supposed to save the game of the baseball was worse than John Jaso, Yadier Molina, Rod Barajas and Ramón Hernández. Oh the humanity. The only good news here is that he cut down on his Strikeout Percentage (24% in 2009, 21% in 2010) and increased his Walk Percentage (7% to 9%). Everything else was bad.
O-Rank 102, ADP 98.1, Rank 940
1st Base – Lance Berkman .248 AVG, 48 Runs, 14 HR, 58 RBI, 3 SB
Berkman came into the season with a bum knee after a disappointing 2009 season, but was still a top 100 selection. Those who were unsatisfied by his 25 HR, 80 RBI, .907 OPS season in ’09 were wise to stay away this year. Berkman is old (34), injury prone and he can’t hit Lefties anymore (.171 AVG vs LHP this year). Not even the move to the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium could reignite his bat. Berkman hit one single Home Run in 106 At Bats after being traded. This looks like the cliff season for Sir Lance-a-little.
O-Rank 83, ADP 98.5, Rank 451
2nd Base – Aaron Hill .205 AVG, 70 Runs, 26 HR, 68 RBI, 2 SB
Chase Utley, Ian Kinsler, Dustin Pedroia and Brian Roberts could have named here, but we have to go with the guy who wasn’t injured. Aaron Hill was labeled as a potential bust by many as we entered the draft season. It was going to be difficult to repeat his 2009 season (36 HR, 108 RBI, .286 AVG), but I don’t think anyone predicted the Mendoza-like Batting Average. He did himself no favors with his 10.6% Line Drive Percentage, worst in all of baseball. I went all the way back to 2002 (the first year Fangraphs started keeping track of the stat) and couldn’t find a worse LD%. That is pathetic and how you get your spot reserved on the All-Bust team.
O-Rank 42, ADP 49.0, Rank 350
Shortstop – Jimmy Rollins .243 AVG, 48 Runs, 8 HR, 41 RBI, 17 SB
J-Roll was a pain in the ass for his owners this year. Foot and hamstring injuries limited his playing time after missing chunks of the season in April, May and June. All-in-all, Rollins only suited up for 87 games. His streak of six straight seasons of 30 or more Stolen Bases has ended and he has hit .250 over the past two seasons. J-Roll isn’t getting any younger, he is 32 going on 40. The only good news here is that he started running more often in the second half and was caught only once during the entire season. Plus, he might be related to Henry Rollins. Honorable mention goes to Ben Zobrist.
O-Rank 27, ADP 31.0, Rank 506
3rd Base – Pablo Sandoval .268 AVG, 61 Runs, 13 HR, 63 RBI, 3 SB
You know it’s bad when you wish you had drafted the injured Kevin Youkilis. The Kentucky Fried Panda was a massive disappointment (and I stress the word massive). We should have seen this coming (inflated BABIP and HR/FB% from 2009), but the hype was like a runaway train. Brian Sabean was talking about moving him back to Catcher and the Frisco trainers were talking about the new diet and work ethic. Every day there seemed to be news breakers announcing the new and improved Panda. It was all good. And then the season started. Pablo’s OPS dropped from .943 in 2009, down to .732 in 2010. Throw a wig on him and he’s essentially the captain of a women’s softball team.
O-Rank 28, ADP 32.7, Rank 294
Outfield – Justin Upton .273 AVG, 73 Runs, 17 HR, 69 RBI, 18 SB
The draft day hype was strong with Justin Upton. The young Outfielder finished 44th among all players in 2009 and was a Round Two pick heading into the 2010 draft season. In some (most competitive) leagues, Upton was a late Rd 1 pick. Bossman Junior’s baby brother was supposed to make strides and become a star, but it didn’t work out that way. His Strikeout Percentage jumped back up to 30% (from 26% in ’09) and he wasn’t launching Fly Balls over the fence like he did the year before. To top it all off, Upton’s season ended with a strained shoulder. It sounds like surgery will be avoided, but any visit to Dr. James Andrews raises all sorts of red flags.
O-Rank 18, ADP 20.0, Rank 124
Outfield – Adam Lind .237 AVG, 57 Runs, 23 HR, 72 RBI, 0 SB
Lind was another Blue Jay destined to disappoint. I didn’t see any way for him to repeat the .305-35-114 line he posted in ’09. His HR/FB% made an uncommon jump from 11% to 19.8%. Alas, he let down all his owners by clubbing only 23 round trippers. Lind’s Batting Average was hindered by a drop in BABIP and a spike in Strikeouts. His Strikeout Percentage rose 7%, up to 25%. Lind needs to be more selective and consistent with his strike zone. A 34.5% O-Swing% is not good.
O-Rank 56, ADP 61.9, Rank 327
Outfield – Jason Bay .259 AVG, 48 Runs, 6 HR, 47 RBI, 10 SB
J-Bay left owners disarrayed, dismayed and put their shame on full display. After hitting 36 HR in Boston the year before, Bay sent 6 balls over the fence for the Mets. Bay wasn’t able to play after July 25th because of the concussion he sustained, but he was on pace for only 9 or 10 HR anyway. His 14.6% drop in HR/FB% is the biggest drop off I think I’ve ever seen. In ’09 19.7% of his Fly Balls cleared the fence, in ’10 only 5.1% traveled the distance. Some of that is bad luck, some of it is the ballpark change and some of that is Bay getting older (32).
O-Rank 54, ADP 58.3, Rank 512
Utility – Carlos Lee .246 AVG, 67 Runs, 24 HR, 89 RBI, 3 SB
Carlos was supposed to be automatic, Carlos was supposed to be bust-proof. Four straight seasons of .300 hitting or better with an average of 107 RBI during the past three. First impressions are everything and Carlos hit .183 in April (with no HR) and .223 in May, driving his owners to the brink of insanity. There were only two months during the season in which Lee hit better than .250. He’s getting up there in age (34) and the downward trend in HR (32, 28, 26, 24) makes this a feel bad story.
O-Rank 64, ADP 74.2, Rank 194
Honorable Mentions Jacoby Ellsbury, Grady Sizemore, Curtis Granderson, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Nate McLouth, Chris Coghlan and Julio Borbón
Starting Pitcher – Zack Greinke 220 IP, 10 Wins, 181 K, 4.17 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
The 2009 Cy Young Award winner didn’t have that bad of a season, but he did not live up to the lofty expectations. Greinke was third on most draft day boards behind Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay after posting a 9.50 K/9 and 1.07 WHIP in ’09. He had allowed more than 3 Earned Runs in only 5 of his 33 starts. This year, that happened 11 times. What was the difference between this year and the last? Hitters were able to make more contact against the Zack Attack, inside and outside the strike zone. It looks like he lost some horizontal movement on most of his offerings. Hopefully he gets out of KC sometime soon, I would love to see him pitching for a NL contender. I believe he has two years left with the hapless Royals.
O-Rank 29, ADP 28.1, Rank 250
Starting Pitcher – Dan Haren 235 IP, 12 Wins, 216 K, 3.91 ERA, 1.27 WHIP
Here’s another All-Bust nomination for simply disappointing everyone. Haren wasn’t a complete bust, but he failed to live up to expectations. Haren really didn’t pitch as poorly as his surface numbers suggest, he was a victim of bad luck. His BABIP was 20 points above his career norm even though he allowed less Line Drives than he usually does. He was striking out fools, limiting walks, but was getting beat up as he went along. No good deed goes unpunished, as they say. In May hitters smacked 10 HR off Haren, his HR/FB% was 18.5% that month or nearly double his usual. There is some good news that came with the first half beating; Dan Haren’s post all-star break numbers were finally better than his pre all-star break numbers. Yeah!
O-Rank 48, ADP 50.4, Rank 173
Starting Pitcher – Yovani Gallardo 185 IP, 14 Wins, 200 K, 3.84 ERA, 1.37 WHIP
Yovani, Myvani, Ourvani broke my heart. The punch out king was supposed to break on through to the other side, but ended up posting a Burnett-esque WHIP. The walks came down, like I expected, but the hits went up. Some may say he was unlucky with his .340 BABIP (.313 career average), but he did himself no favors with that 24% Line Drive Percentage. Yovani made strides with his control (BB/9 down to 3.65 from 4.56 in ’09 and his F-Strike% rose 9% to 61.8%), but batters were hitting too many frozen ropes.
O-Rank 55, ADP 63.8, Rank 191
Starting Pitcher – Javier Vázquez 157.1 IP, 10 Wins, 121 K, 5.32 ERA, 1.40 WHIP
I think everyone knew that Javier was a potential bust as he left the National League to pitch for the Skankees. The million dollar question was, “how much regression should we expect and what would you be willing to pay for his services?”. Those who answered by saying, “I won’t pay anything for that loser” obviously took home the million dollar prize. Vázquez posted his worst K/9 since 2004, the last time he played for the Yankees. He also posted the worst BB/9 of his career. Vázquez lost a little over 2 mph on Fastball, which should probably be named a Fatball now that it is slower and has less horizontal movement. All four of his offerings were had a negative value in 2010. To sum it all up, Javier Vázquez sucks.
O-Rank 77, ADP 81.3, Rank 989
Starting Pitcher – Josh Beckett 127.2 IP, 6 Wins, 116 K, 5.78 ERA, 1.54 WHIP
Beckett is the poster child for bad luck, deserved or not. His ERA is usually higher than his xFIP because his HR/FB% is slightly higher than the league average. This year was bad, as 14.2% of Fly Balls allowed cleared the fence. Beckett lost a little zip on his pitches, lost some of that trademark control and mixed in a little bad luck to go along with his slide. No one should have to deal with a .349 BABIP when posting a 19% LD%. The only pitcher that deserves that kind of bad luck is Javier Vázquez. Beckett did miss some starts because of a lower back strain, but that was probably a good thing for anyone who owned him.
O-Rank 85, ADP 78.4, Rank 1126
Relief Pitchers – Jonathan Broxton, Chad Qualls and Trevor Hoffman
Jonathan Broxton, the 294 lb closer, fell apart in June and never recovered. From June 27th on, JB posted a 7.58 ERA and a 2.06 WHIP. He lost the closing gig to Hong-Chih Kuo and never regained Torre’s trust. Fatboy was a 6th Round pick and the biggest bust (literally) among all Closers.
Chad Qualls was by far and away the most annoying Closer to own, of all time. He was walking nearly 3x as many people as he did the year before and everyone was getting a hit off him. To make matters worse, Arizona didn’t have anyone who was capable of taking the job from him so we had to hold onto him if we wanted Saves. Ugh, the painful memories.
Trevor Hoffman may be the greatest Closer of all time, but it isn’t 1996 anymore. Hoffman lost arm velocity and was used and abused by anyone who stood in the box against him. His .268 Batting Average Against was the worst mark of his career. The few sympathy Saves he got were just for show as the Brewers helped him reach 600 Saves. At least we knew Hoffman was done and didn’t have to roster him like we did with Qualls.
sabre stats provided by Fangraphs.com
ADP data provided by Yahoo Draft Analysis