9 Failing MLB Superstars Most Desperately Needing a May Turnaround
The MLB season started a month ago, but some superstars didn't get the memo. These players have gotten off to terrible starts and have left their fantasy owners gravely disappointed. Here are nine superstars who desperately need a May turnaround.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Miami Marlins
Average Draft Position (ADP): 14
Season Stats: .243 BA, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R, .776 OPS
It looks like Stanton's turnaround has come at the end of April. He belted two homers in Sunday's win against the Cubs, and he now has three home runs in the last two days.
Fantasy owners who drafted Stanton desperately need more of this. He was selected as a late first-rounder or early second-round pick, and his numbers have been awful so far. It's an encouraging sign to see his recent surge, but he has the potential to single-handedly sink a fantasy squad if this trend doesn't continue.
Josh Hamilton, OF, Los Angeles Angels
Season Stats: .219 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 10 R, .590 OPS
Hamilton was one of the biggest free-agent signings in the offseason, but he hasn't gotten off to a good start with his new club. This certainly wasn't the start Hamilton and the Angels organization looked and hoped for.
The start is especially alarming because of the way he finished last season. Hamilton recorded just 23 hits in his final 94 at-bats of the 2012 regular season, giving him a .245 average during the months of September and October. Plate discipline continues to be a problem, as he's struck out a whopping 29 times while drawing just five walks.
Hamilton was definitely one of the biggest duds in the first month of the season. As a second-round pick, he's already done a lot of destruction.
David Price, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
Season Stats: 38 IP, 1 W, 5.21 ERA, 35 K, 1.37 WHIP
Price has been much better in his last two outings, but he's still trying to recover from the two times he was shelled against the Indians and Orioles.
Last season, Price allowed eight or more hits just six times in 31 starts. This season he's already given up at least eight hits in three of his six starts. That's why his bloated WHIP sits at 1.37.
On average, Price was the fifth starting pitcher taken. With a selection that high, fantasy owners didn't expect numbers like the ones you see above. He'll try to have a big May on the strength of two solid starts to close out April.
Matt Cain, SP, San Francisco Giants
Season Stats: 28.2 IP, 0 W, 6.59 ERA, 26 K, 1.26 WHIP
Cain turned in great numbers last season. He went 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. It's because of those numbers that he was highly sought after in 2013 drafts, but he hasn't delivered a nice follow-up season yet.
Cain is still winless through five starts and owns an ERA just south of seven. Since throwing six shutout innings in his first start, he has allowed 21 earned runs in his last 22.2 innings. Cain didn't allow his 21st earned run until late May last season, 64.1 innings in.
He was drafted as a top-10 pitcher but surely hasn't pitched like one so far. Cain owners wait desperately for him to regain form.
B.J. Upton, OF, Atlanta Braves
Season Stats: .151 BA, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R, 3 SB, .520 OPS
Too bad younger brother Justin Upton couldn't share the wealth with B.J. While Justin got off to a torrid start in Hot-lanta, B.J. has gotten off to a start he'd like to forget.
The batting average has been bad for years with Upton, but .151 is intolerable. You could shrug off a .240 average because he has a rare blend of power and speed, but you can't start him right now, hitting 49 points under .200.
The last time Upton hit under .200 in April was in 2009. He finished that year with a .241 average and just 11 homers. Owners definitely overvalued Upton on draft day, and now they suffer because of it.
Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians
Season Stats: .180 BA, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, 4 SB, .480 OPS
Kipnis took the league by storm in the first half of last season. Relatively unknown, he hit .277 with 11 homers and 20 stolen bases before the All-Star game. Then he struggled in the second half, hitting just .233 and belting only three home runs.
That sluggish second half has carried over into 2013. Owners drafted Kipnis as the fifth second baseman, but he's been outperformed by players like Daniel Murphy, Michael Young and Chase Utley, all drafted significantly later.
Kipnis' upside looked incredible, but it's hard to keep him in the lineup right now. It's pretty crazy to think that Shin-Soo Choo's OBP is 12 points higher than Kipnis' OPS.
Victor Martinez, C, Detroit Tigers
Season Stats: .207 BA, 0 HR, 9 RBI, 5 R, .536 OPS
Martinez's long-awaited return hasn't gone as expected. After missing all of the 2012 season, V-Mart has shown signs of rust.
In 2011, Martinez's home run total took a huge dip, but he hit .330 and drove in 103 runs. Most expected him to join an already potent lineup this year and add to the firework display. Unfortunately for V-Mart's owners, everybody else in the Tigers lineup is thriving.
Since he has catcher eligibility in most formats, that's where he gets the majority of starts. That doesn't make the sting so bad, but it's hard to overlook the fact that he's getting vastly out-produced by Evan Gattis, John Buck and J.P. Arencibia, three guys who went undrafted in some leagues.
Brandon Morrow, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
Season Stats: 27.1 IP, 0 W, 5.27 ERA, 19 K, 1.54 WHIP
Morrow got off to a great start in 2012. He was 10-7 with a 2.96 ERA and 1.12 WHIP through 21 starts. Then he got injured and missed the rest of the season.
It looked as if Morrow finally turned the page. Instead of being a guy with "potential," he finally delivered results. Whatever he found last year, though, it seems like he's lost it in 2013.
Obviously the ERA and WHIP are ugly, but the biggest red flag is his opponent's batting average. Opponents have hit .292 off Morrow this season, and that's much higher than normal. The highest BAA he's ever posted is .248.
It's also alarming that his K/9 rate has dwindled to a 6.26 clip. This is a guy who posted K/9 rates higher than 10 in both 2010 and 2011.
Jarrod Parker, SP, Oakland A's
Season Stats: 23.1 IP, 0 W, 8.10 ERA, 14 K, 2.14 WHIP
Parker impressed everybody last season with a 13-8 record and a 3.47 ERA. This season, however, has been a much different story.
There's no way to describe Parker's game this year other than atrocious. He has surrendered the third-most earned runs and eighth-most hits this season. He has also failed to get through seven innings in any start.
Without looking at the obvious stats, the biggest difference has been his control. Last season his BB/9 was 3.13, but this season he sits at 5.01.
Parker has been a staff-killer so far, and it would be wise to keep him on your bench until he proves that he can get it back together.
(ADP numbers were taken from Yahoo!)
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