Although you didn’t know it at the time, scattered throughout your draft at the time when you were drafting were land mines in the form of players that would blow up later in the season. You didn’t know it yet, the players themselves didn’t know it yet; nobody did.
You can blame these players’ failures on ESPN, Little Bit O’ Luck, Canada, Lady Gaga, or whoever, but the truth is that not even I could see these meltdowns coming so there was virtually a zero percent chance you could. On a more serious note, players underperforming is simply a part of fantasy baseball, so get used to it (and join more than one league each year).
Using the same format as this article’s counterpart, The Best team hindsight can buy, here is a fantasy team composed of the worst players you could have taken in each round of a standard 12-team draft.
|Too much panda, not enough kung fu from Sandoval this year. (Icon/SMI)|
Catcher: Everyone (Round 0) – None of Joe Mauer, Victor Martinez, Brian McCann, Matt Wieters or Russell Martin—the catchers taken before round 12—have rewarded those who drafted them. Contrastingly the next three catchers taken—Jorge Posada, Mike Napoli and Kurt Suzuki—are all playing respectably. Go figure.
First Base: Mark Teixeira (1) – This hustling first baseman isn’t packing quite as much power to his punch as he did last year, when he blasted a smooth 39 home runs. This year he is on track to hit just 28 between him and that Yankee stadium right-field porch. Even though at times it has seemed like he was about to catch on fire, the true explosion has yet to come. Won’t it?
Second Base: Aaron Hill (4) – Our boy Hill had a solid 2007 season, an abysmal 2008, and next came his uber-spectacular 2009 season, and surprise surprise, Hill is struggling in 2010. The 11 homers aren’t bad, but you have to brown bag his .192 average to see what’s in it for you. Some players were just meant to have fantasy articles written about them, and I can already see the McFlurry of articles this offseason predicting a Hill bounce back, and next offseason about how he is overvalued. By 2013 we might have found something better than fantasy baseball to do so I’ll refrain from prognosticating any further.
Third Base: Pablo Sandoval (3) – Although owning Sandoval will never be as fun as in his catcher-eligibility days, coming into this season he seemed to have the right combination of batting average, power and body mass to make him a joy to own. Fast forward to the present, though, and his 30 R, 6 HR, 37 RBI, 2 SB, .273 AVG line is not inducing many smiles from his owners.
Shortstop Jason Bartlett (9) – Bartlett’s line consisting of a .227 average, one home run, and three steals is about as barren as the Marlins stadium looks during a replay that shows someone hitting a home run into the outfield bleachers and you see a fan a hundred rows away from where the ball landed scrambling toward it.
Outfield: Grady Sizemore (2) – In general I am trying to avoid putting players affected by injuries on this team, but Sizemore was playing terribly enough before he needed knee surgery to warrant inclusion. Comparing him to players with at least as many plate appearances as he had, his .255 wOBA ranks 13th worst, worse than superstars Jose Lopez and Garrett Atkins but at least better than Brandon Wood and Pedro Feliz.
Outfield: Adam Lind (5) – The Golden Boy of THT Fantasy last year, this year Lind is performing like he is embarrassed to have played so well. Ditto what I said about his Blue Jay teammate in terms of the acceptable home runs (9) but terrible accompanying average (.203). Oh, and he will probably be called undervalued next year, too.
Outfield: Carlos Lee (6) – Lee had been beating the effects of age better than most people expected up until this season and now he has crashed harder than most people thought he would. Currently batting .234 with 10 home runs, he should play better the rest of the season since as is the case with most of the other players on this team, bad luck has contributed to the poor numbers. However, I would not expect the .300 average of the past few seasons but instead something around .260 to .270.
Starting Pitcher: Josh Beckett (7) – If this season will be remembered as one of dominant pitchers, Beckett missed the memo. After eight starts he came away with a 7.29 ERA and a lower back strain that let him test the new health care laws along with the rest of the Red Sox organization.
Starting Pitcher: Wandy Rodriguez (8) – Somewhat quietly Wandy was one of the league’s best pitchers last year, finishing with a 3.02 ERA and 193 K’s in 205 innings. Maybe he was upset at the lack of recognition and figured he would be discussed more if he simply pitched terribly. Well, congrats Wandy, you are now being talked about for your 5.64 ERA and declining strikeout rate.
Relief Pitcher: No one (?) – No closer taken before round 13 has lost his job yet. Injured Huston Street (round 13), poor Chad Qualls (15), and painful-to-watch Trevor Hoffman (15) were the closers to avoid so far.
The scary part in looking at these players is how safe a lot of them were considered before the season started, especially the pitchers. We still are less than halfway through the season so there is time for some of these guys to turn things around.
The biggest snub from the team is definitely Aramis Ramirez and I’ll let you guys tell me who else should have been included from there.