From season to season, players are faced with the task of repeating or increasing their previous season's statistics. However, fantasy baseball throws this same task at millions of fantasy owners.
Roaming through numerous mock drafts and expert opinions on draft day throws many players and stats in your face to try and decipher. When you are finally on the clock, the pressure is on.
Nobody ever wants to draft a bust, so here are four players that you should try to stay away from early in your fantasy draft.
The Rangers OF hit 33 home runs and batted in 76 runs in 2009, but upon further review, his numbers severely diminished in the second half of the season.
After the All-Star Break, Cruz hit only 11 home runs and had just 23 RBI. His average dipped almost 10 points, and his OPS also dropped by 26 points.
The numbers may be a little skewed because he only played 48 games in the second half of the season, but I don't see Cruz adding upon his 2009 totals or for that matter, hitting close to 33 home runs again.
Although he plays in a hitter friendly park with a great lineup, try not to grab Cruz too early in your fantasy drafts and don't rely on him to repeat his 2009 season.
Torii Hunter is going to be the victim of a diminished lineup with the loss of Chone Figgons going to the rival Mariners. He has battled injuries the past couple seasons, and had recent surgery for a sports hernia.
Hunter hit a career best .299 in 2009 with 22 home runs and 90 RBI, but he will turn 35 in July, which isn't promising for someone with injury problems. At the tail end of his prime, I don't see Hunter repeating his 2009 numbers.
Hunter is still one of the good players in the game today and is valuable to a team, but he may not be so valuable to your fantasy team.
Roberts will be hurt by the Oriole's poor lineup, but also the pitching depth of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays in the AL East.
Ever since his career year in 2005, Roberts' average dropped to .283 in 2009, but did post 16 home runs and a career-high 79 RBI.
In addition, he stole 30 bases, being caught only seven times, but as he hits 32 this year, I see Roberts' stolen base numbers begin to diminish.
A more pressing problem could be the herniated disk in his back that could damper his production this season. Stay away from Roberts early in the draft, for good second basemen are hard to come by, and picking Roberts could be a disaster.
It's hard to argue against a player that is featured in a lineup with the likes of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, but Raul Ibanez is poised for a subdued 2010 season.
Ibanez had a career year in 2009, hitting 34 home runs, batting in 93 runs, and posting a .899 OPS.
However, Ibanez's numbers significantly dropped in the second half of the season. After hitting .309 with 22 home runs 60 RBI before the All-Star Break, Ibanez struggled, hitting only .232 with 12 home runs, 33 RBI, and an OPS of .774
Be careful drafting Ibanez too early because he won't be able to repeat his 2009 numbers.