(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
I didn't do very well in fantasy baseball last season.
I don't remember exactly what happened or who would have won a Flounder last year. In fact, I very quickly forgot who most of my lineup regulars were. I remember only that I used a lot of stop-gap guys like Jerry Hairston Jr. and Jeff Keppinger.
The only player I remember getting excited about last year was Chris Davis.
I picked him up off the waiver wire when he got called up and started him, because what did I have to lose? He went on an absolute tear.
Even when I tried to avoid monitoring my fantasy teams for fear of seeing how poorly they were faring, I would check in multiple times a night just to see how many home runs Chris Davis had hit that game.
All the stars seemed to line up before this season; he earned a starting spot in the middle of perhaps the most stacked lineup in baseball with half his games in one of the league's smallest parks.
In 80 games last year, he posted an impressive .285 average while mashing 17 homers, 55 RBI, and 51 runs—the equivalent of 34/111/103 in a full season. That alone would be worth early-round consideration.
Sure, I'd rather he have a bit more plate discipline (which I expected he would develop over a full season), but the strikeouts weren't terribly bothersome since they are not included in the league scoring system. "Invest now in Davis," MLB.com wrote, "as he likely won't be attainable at a reasonable price for long."
Even if he made only marginal adjustments to his mechanics, given a full-time job and prime surroundings, he could realistically bump that up to .300/40/130/120. Throw in his additional eligibility at third base, and I had no qualms about seeking him out as early as the fourth round.
I was wrong. I was very wrong.
When Davis was sent down to the minors in July, he was on pace to break Mark Reynolds' single-season strikeout record. To be fair, Reynolds is also on course to surpass his own record, but unlike Davis, he also makes solid contact with the ball on a regular basis.
In just three fewer games than he played last year, Davis' statline had decreased by two home runs, 22 RBI, and 17 runs, and his average had plummeted 83 points.
Fifteen home runs in half a season is nothing to sneeze at, but with little value anywhere else, he has probably been my single most-frustrating player.