Fantasy Baseball: 15 Biggest Busts of the 2012 Season
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As the fantasy playoffs are in full swing, it's time to take a look back to some draft day decisions.
Ultimately, choosing the wrong player could have derailed your season and be the very reason why you're not in the playoffs.
Here's a list of the 15 biggest busts of the 2012 season. These players had high expectations but left managers frustrated and scratching their heads for most of the season.
Mike Napoli, C/1B, Texas Rangers
Napoli hasn't lived up to expectations.
Projected Stats Before Season: .280 BA, 30 HR, 80 RBI, 75 R, 5 SB
ADP in Yahoo!: 48.9 overall, second C taken
2012 Stats: .223 BA, 17 HR, 40 RBI, 45 R, 1 SB
Players Drafted after Napoli who had Great Seasons: David Price, Buster Posey, Adam Jones.
Mike Napoli had a career year in 2011. He hit .320 with 30 homers and a 1.045 OPS. Owners who tried to catch the same player in 2012 were deeply disappointed.
Napoli could never get it going and, to make matters worse, landed on the DL on August 11. Managers who drafted Napoli were looking for a top catcher, but they got a very mediocre one in 2012.
Tim Lincecum, SP, San Francisco Giants
Lincecum's 5-plus ERA has been very diappointing.
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Projected Stats Before Season: 16 W, 3.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 220 K
ADP in Yahoo!: 27.8 overall, fifth SP taken
2012 Stats: 9 W, 5.09 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 177 K
Players Drafted After Lincecum who had Great Seasons: Andrew McCutchen, Cole Hamels, Matt Cain
Tim Lincecum was being targeted way too high for my liking at the beginning of the season, but nobody could have expected this big of a drop.
Lincecum's five-plus ERA has certainly ruined a lot of managers' teams. With a top-30 pick, you expect an ace to bolster your staff; but Lincecum never got out of his rut.
Jon Lester, SP, Boston Red Sox
Lester and the Red Sox were huge busts this season.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Projected Stats Before Season: 15 W, 3.60 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 200 K
ADP in Yahoo!: 62.7 overall, 15th SP taken
2012 Stats: 9 W, 4.99 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 150 K
Players Drafted After Lester who had Great Seasons: Gio Gonzalez, Mat Latos, Michael Bourn.
From 2008-2011, Jon Lester averaged 16.25 wins with 196 strikeouts and a 3.33 ERA. It's easy to see why fantasy owners were quick to take Lester in 2012.
Lester failed to back those numbers up, though, leaving managers scratching their heads. Lester could never find his groove. His ERA jumped above 4.00 on May 25, and it's never been below 4.33 since.
Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Boston Red Sox
Ellsbury's season has been nothing like 2011.
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Projected Stats Before Season: .315 BA, 20 HR, 70 RBI, 100 R, 45 SB
ADP in Yahoo!: 13.6 overall, sixth OF taken
2012 Stats: .267 BA, 3 HR, 20 RBI, 38 R, 13 SB
Players Drafted After Ellsbury who had Great Seasons: Ryan Braun, Giancarlo Stanton, Felix Hernandez
How has Jacoby Ellsbury backed up his monster 2011 season? Well, it's not what Ellsbury owners anticipated. He's played in just 62 games and will finish with very underwhelming stats.
Ellsbury got off to a slow start and then got injured on April 13. He missed the next two months and hasn't lived up to the power numbers he posted a year ago. Ellsbury was a fringe first-rounder, so his production this season has been a team killer.
Lance Berkman, 1B/OF, St. Louis Cardinals
Injuries plagued Berkman's 2012 season.
Jeff Curry/Getty Images
Projected Stats Before Season: .285 BA, 25 HR, 85 RBI, 90 R, 5 SB
ADP in Yahoo!: 82.4 overall, 18th 1B taken
2012 Stats: .263 BA, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 12 R, 2 SB
Players Drafted After Berkman who had Great Seasons: Carlos Beltran, Andre Ethier, Billy Butler
Lane Berkman resurrected his career with a great 2011 campaign. He failed miserably at doing the same thing in 2012. Berkman played in just 31 games and his career is most likely over.
Berkman owners had high hopes after the veteran slugger hit .301 with 31 homers last season, but it didn't happen. Berkman had more DL stints (3) than home runs (2).
Logan Morrison, 1B/OF, Miami Marlins
Morrison was supposed to have a breakout '12 year.
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Projected Stats Before Season: .270 BA, 20 HR, 80 RBI, 80 R
ADP in Yahoo!: 138.6 overall, 27th 1B taken
2012 Stats: .230 BA, 11 HR, 36 RBI, 30 R
Players Drafted After Morrison who had Great Seasons: Nick Swisher, Johnny Cueto, Josh Reddick
Logan Morrison hit 23 long balls in 2011, and many thought he would progress into a more complete hitter in 2012. That's why he was taken, on average, in the 12th round. Well, he hasn't performed like a 12th-rounder.
LoMo was plagued with injuries or body issues since the preseason. Whatever the reason, Morrison had a hard time getting comfortable at the plate. He was hitting just .230 when he went on the DL on July 28.
Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies
Tulowitzki was hampered by injuries again this season.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Projected Stats Before Season: .300 BA, 30 HR, 105 RBI, 95 R
ADP in Yahoo!: 5.4 overall, first SS taken
2012 Stats: .287 BA, 8 HR, 27 RBI, 33 R
Players Drafted After Tulowitzki who had Great Seasons: Carlos Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Beltre
Troy Tulowitzki was a consensus first-round pick. And why not? He's a shortstop who has the potential to hit .300 or better with 30-plus home runs. He's also been riddled with injures, and that's what got him again in 2012.
The injury-prone label has been placed on Tulo' for quite some time now, but that didn't stop managers from snagging him fifth overall. Those high hopes have gotten owners just 181 at-bats this season.
Dee Gordon, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
Gordon fell way short of his preseason expectations.
Harry How/Getty Images
Projected Stats Before Season: .300 BA, 0 HR, 50 RBI, 75 R, 50 SB
ADP in Yahoo!: 111.0 overall, 10th SS taken
2012 Stats: .229 BA, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 36 R, 30 SB
Players Drafted After Gordon who had Great Seasons: Paul Goldschmidt, Mark Trumbo, Martin Prado
Dee Gordon dazzled fantasy owners with his 2011 call-up last season, hitting .304 and stealing 24 bags in 56 games. That performance was clearly a tease.
Gordon was awful in 2012 and hurt fantasy teams all over. The young speedster was hitting under .230 with an OBP of .280 at the time he went on the DL. His only saving grace was his stolen bases, but it's pretty hard to steal first base.
Ricky Romero, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
Romero has been a disaster in 2012.
Brad White/Getty Images
Projected Stats Before Season: 14 W, 3.60 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 170 K
ADP in Yahoo!: 117.9 overall, 31st SP taken
2012 Stats: 8 W, 5.87 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 113 K
Players Drafted After Romero who had Great Seasons: Jordan Zimmermann, Max Scherzer, Chris Sale
Ricky Romero was being overvalued on draft day, but a regression this bad was impossible to forecast. It's unbelievable to look at Romero's stats this season compared to last (when he went 15-11 with a 2.92 ERA).
Romero hasn't won a game since June 22, and there's no way you can start him and expect anything good. It's surprising that he's owned in 42.6 percent of ESPN leagues and 52 percent in Yahoo! leagues.
Heath Bell, RP, Miami Marlins
Bell flopped in his move to Miami.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Projected Stats Before Season: 35 SV, 3.00 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 60 K
ADP in Yahoo!: 100.1 overall, sixth RP taken
2012 Stats: 19 SV, 5.53 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 55 K
Players Drafted After Bell who had Great Seasons: Joel Hanrahan, Rafael Betancourt, Fernando Rodney
The Miami Marlins were supposed to make a big splash in 2012 and Heath Bell was supposed to be an integral part of that—but the Marlins and Bell both had dismal seasons.
Bell's 5.53 ERA and 1.61 WHIP are ugly, and they are two reasons why the Marlins are 26.5 games out of first place. Bell is among the leaders in two categories, though: earned runs for a reliever (35) and blown saves (7).
Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Cleveland Indians
Jimenez failed to recapture his form in 2012.
Jason Miller/Getty Images
Projected Stats Before Season: 10 W, 3.65 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 190 K
ADP in Yahoo!: 151.6 overall, 40th SP taken
2012 Stats: 9 W, 5.52 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 138 K
Players Drafted After Jimenez who had Great Seasons: Hiroki Kuroda, Edwin Jackson, Ryan Vogelsong
Remember when Ubaldo Jimenez was a dominant pitcher? Well, it seems like he's completely lost his edge. From 2008-2010, Jimenez averaged 15.33 wins, 194.67 strikeouts and a 3.43 ERA.
Jimenez was supposed to have a rebound year in 2012, but he got even worse. His 3.67 FIP last year suggested that he was unlucky and would put up solid numbers this season, but he's been just downright awful.
Jordan Walden, RP, Los Angeles Angels
Walden lost his job early in the season.
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Projected Stats Before Season: 30 SV, 3.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 70 K
ADP in Yahoo!: 136.4 overall, 14th RP taken
2012 Stats: 1 SV, 3.63 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 45 K
Players Drafted After Walden who had Great Seasons: Jim Johnson, Kenley Jansen, Joe Nathan
In 2011, Jordan Walden stole the closer's role from Fernando Rodney pretty early in the season. Well, Walden was the victim this time, losing his job very early in 2012.
After allowing four earned runs in his first 4.1 innings, Walden was demoted from his closer job. Walden was a fantasy darling last year but a big bust in 2012.
Pablo Sandoval, 1B/3B, San Francisco Giants
Kung Fu Panda hasn't shown much energy this year.
Tony Medina/Getty Images
Projected Stats Before Season: .300 BA, 25 HR, 90 RBI, 85 R
ADP in Yahoo!: 42.2 overall, eighth 3B taken
2012 Stats: .276 BA, 8 HR, 50 RBI, 51 R
Players Drafted After Sandoval who had Great Seasons: Edwin Encarnacion, Aramis Ramirez,Jay Bruce
Pablo Sandoval had a chance to solidify himself has a consistent, elite fantasy option, but now he just seems like a streaky player.
He had a great 2009 season but followed that up with a terrible 2010 campaign. Then he rebounded very nicely in 2011 before struggling again in 2012. He's been bothered by injuries this year, and he hasn't produced anything close to what owners expected.
Jemile Weeks, 2B, Oakland A's
Weeks didn't offer owners what he did in 2011.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Projected Stats Before Season: .285 BA, 5 HR, 50 RBI, 80 R, 30 SB
ADP in Yahoo!: 160.9 overall, 15th 2B taken
2012 Stats: .220 BA, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 54 R, 15 SB
Players Drafted After Weeks who had Great Seasons: Jason Kipnis, Allen Craig, Jose Altuve
In 97 games last season, Jemile Weeks made an immediate fantasy impact. The rookie second baseman hit .303 with 22 stolen bases. Fantasy owners got excited thinking about what Weeks could do in a full season.
But those hopes were dashed very early in the 2012 season. The highest Weeks' batting average reached was .231, and that was on the third game of the season. Weeks was supposed to be a valuable steal threat at a shallow 2B position, but he never got it going.
Michael Young, 1B/2B/3B, Texas Rangers
Young had an unusually bad year.
Cooper Neill/Getty Images
Projected Stats Before Season: .315 BA, 15 HR, 100 RBI, 90 R, 5 SB
ADP in Yahoo!: 57.3 overall, sixth 2B taken
2012 Stats: .265 BA, 7 HR, 60 RBI, 67 R, 2 SB
Players Drafted After Young who had Great Seasons: Brandon Phillips, Neil Walker, B.J. Upton
Michael Young was Mr. Consistent. He hit at least .284 in each of the last nine years and averaged 96.89 runs and 89.56 RBI over that nine-year span.
At the age of 35, Young seems to have hit a wall. He is hitting .269 with just seven homers. Playing for a powerful Rangers offense, those who drafted Young expected to get the same steady player they have seen over the last decade. Instead, they used a high pick on a very mediocre player.