Every year I build a list of list of players I expect to disappoint. Some of these I avoid completely, while others I would only take at a deep discount. They are players that I’m actively not looking to draft. If there’s another player with similar numbers available, I’m more likely to take the other player than one of these guys. About 70% of the reason I’m avoiding these guys is strictly gut, which means there’s a 30% chance I’ll be wrong about them. I’d rather be wrong and miss out on them, then right and be stuck with underperforming or injured players. The price on these guys would have to drop dramatically before I drafted or purchased one of them.
- Dan Uggla, 2B,
Marlins – This rule 5 draft pick is stirring up a lot of talk this spring. Some people expect more of the same, while others think last year was a fluke. There are cases that can be made for both sides, but I think one thing is clear. No one expects him to improve on last year. Which means, best case scenario, it’s more of the same. There are a couple of warning signs that point to a “sophomore slump” for Uggla. He had a horrific September hitting .221 with 15 runs and 10 RBI in 122 At Bats. He also had a career high 611 at bats. While this could simply be that he wore down as the season went on, I think it was more of a case of his returning to the mean. I don’t think he’ll be horrible, but I do think he’ll be closer to average. Florida
- Jermaine Dye, OF
White Sox – Dye had a career year last year. While Dye has been relatively healthy for the past three years (averaging 143 games/year), and he’ll still be in a potent White Sox lineup, everything about last years line screams career year. Often there’s no where to go but down. He jumped dramatically in every category. One of the reasons he was so good for many teams last year was that he came cheap. He’s not going cheap this year, and, in fact, many people are paying for last years stats. For me, I think 2006 was an aberration, though an argument can be made that he’s been trending up for the past few seasons. The leap in 2006 was far too much though, and likelihood of him maintaining that is slim. Chicago Wells, OF Vernon Blue Jays – After two disappointing seasons in 2004 and 2005, Vernon Wells broke out in a big way last year. So big, it netted him a 7 year $126 million deal. Overall, his line for the season looks very good, but there are a couple things that have me worried (other than the huge deal). His home/road splits were ridiculous last year (28 HR at home, 8 on the road). That alone doesn’t necessarily scare me, but add in the fact that Wells fell off considerable in August and September (6 Homeruns in 2 months, .268 BA with a .357 Slugging) and I start seeing visions of the prior two years. As a late second round pick, there’s about half a dozen other OF without the warning signs that I’d rather have. Toronto
- David Bush, SP Milwaukee Brewers – Several things worry me about David Bush, and it’s hard for me to admit, since I rode him to a couple championships last year. The first thing that worries me is all the hype he’s getting as a “sleeper” candidate. That likely pushed him out of my price range anyways. He’s a control pitcher, not a power pitcher. That doesn’t mean he can’t strike guys out, he struck out plenty last year, it just means is margin of error is smaller. If his control isn’t on, it’s going to be harder for him to get through innings without any damage. Combine that with the fact that he’s not an extreme groundball pitcher (think Brandon Webb), and that he gave up 26 homeruns last year, and it leads me to believe last year was a “perfect storm” of a year. David Bush is still a very good pitcher, I just don’t think he’s as good as he was last year.
- Julio Lugo, SS Boston Red Sox – Another guy getting lots of “Sleeper” votes, simply by moving to
and becoming their starting shortstop. People are still projecting tons of SB for this guy, but frankly, I just don’t get it. He’s a career .277 hitter with an On Base Percentage of .340. The Red Sox don’t run. They run less than any team in the majors. Just ask Johnny Damon. Take away the stolen bases and you’re left with a mediocre shortstop that’ll likely score more runs than he has, and since he’ll be batting leadoff, even less RBI’s. On the field, he’ll probably help the BoSox. In fantasy, there are a lot of other options out there who will do just as well if not better and still provide you the 15 or so bags Boston will end up with. Lugo