This week, we will focus on N.L. players who had disappointing seasons, and forecast whether they are a good buy-low candidate for 2009. 'Tis the season for bargain shopping, and fantasy baseball is no different. I am here to help you sort the best-buys from the pick-ups that will give you buyer's remorse.
Kosuke Fukudome, Cubs- It sure was fun when Cub fans chanted his name, but the reality is that his swing has a crater-sized hole, and MLB pitchers will continue to exploit it. He now projects as a fourth outfielder with limited fantasy value.
Jimmy Rollins, Phillies- Rollins actually had a decent season by normal shortstop standards, and his 47 steals certainly helped more than a few fantasy players win their leagues.
However, the .277 average and 11 homers disappointed those who were expecting numbers from his MVP season. If you are in a keeper league, temper your expectations and make a low-ball offer to his owner and see if he bites.
Brett Myers, Phillies- Okay, this is a tough one. Myers was terrible in the first part of the season, then decent in the second half. As with Rollins, if you can get him on the cheap he could be a source of wins and strikeouts. Of course, you could also put all of your money in cheap stocks, because they could go way up.
Rickie Weeks, Brewers- This guy has been a bigger tease than the cast of Baywatch. He has great skills, but has never been able to put it together. My best guess is he never does...Avoid him.
Jeff Francis, Rockies- Expected to be the ace of the Colorado staff, Francis was anything but with just four wins. He does have very good stuff, but needs to harness his command. Avoid him unless he is traded to a pitcher-friendly ballpark.
Aaron Harang, Reds- He gave up a whopping 35 home runs, so unless he gets traded and his new team moves the fence back another 100 feet: Stay away!
Manny Corpas, Rockies- Despite Corpas blowing twice as many saves as he earned, Clint Hurdle sounds determined to use him in the closer role in '09. He really isn't that bad. Get him if you need saves.
Kaz Matsui, Astros- Had an injury-plagued season, which is his usual MO, but will be better in 2009. He is a contact hitter who will post a good average, little power and 25-30 steals when healthy.
Matt Cain, Giants- Although his 8-14 record would indicate otherwise, Cain pitched pretty well in 2008. If he can cut down his walk rate and get a little support from his offense, he will be a very good fantasy pitcher next season.