The 10 Biggest Fantasy Baseball Disappointments Thus Far
Although it's extremely early, the 2010-2011 baseball regular season is well underway.
It's been a "New York, New York" beginning to this season, while the Yankees and Mets have gotten off to hot starts. The same can not be said for teams such as the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers, who've been struggling out of the gate.
Even though the season is young, some fantasy baseball owners are enjoying their time in first place, while others are shaking their heads in disbelief asking the question: Why did I waste a draft pick on this guy?
Many of these players will turn their season around, but in the meantime, here are the top 10 biggest fantasy disappointments who have started this season struggling to get out of the batter's box.
Zack Greinke, Pitcher, Kansas City Royals
To start the season, Zack Greinke has given fantasy owners the feeling of having heartburn, instead of thinking they're having a heart attack from drafting him in the first round.
Although the Royals ace threw seven shutout innings against the Seattle Mariners earlier this week, the 2009 Cy Young award winner has been struggling to begin the 2010 season. Last season, Greinke had the best ERA in baseball (2.16) in the tougher league, and finished with a record of 16-8.
However, this year is a different story, as Greinke is winless through five starts this season compiling a record of 0-2, a 2.56 ERA, along with 27 strikeouts.
Many people will say Greinke is going to be just fine, and I'm sure he will be. But if he can't get his fantasy owners any wins, his owners can be in trouble of earning a playoff berth when the season ends.
Mark Teixeira, First Basemen, New York Yankees
I didn't want to put Mark Teixeira here, but I couldn't resist.
He's always drafted in the top 10, but even though his April struggles continue, he's not feeling the heat because the Yankees are winning.
In two seasons with the Yankees during the month of April, Teixeira has played in 39 games, has 24 hits, five home runs, 19 RBIs, 32 walks, 20 strikeouts, and this year is batting a lousy .133.
All of Teixeira's owners know to be patient with him because they have no other choice. Whatever you do, don’t lose confidence in him, even though it's tough not to because you spent a first-round pick on him. He's too good, and he's bound to turn it around sooner or later.
At least you hope he does.
Aaron Hill, Second Baseman, Toronto Blue Jays
After finishing the 2009 season with 36 home runs, 108 RBI, a batting average of .286, and 37 doubles, Aaron Hill was awarded the 2009 AL Comeback Player of the Year.
Heading into the 2010 season, I had high hopes on Hill, but an early visit to the DL, especially for a guy looking to build on last year’s success, has Hill owners very frustrated. Hill hit a home run in his first game back from the disabled list, but has done nothing since. In nine games played this season, Hill has two RBI and an embarrassing .152 average.
I'm still expecting a solid year from Hill, but this is not the start his owners were hoping to see.
Ian Kinsler, Second Basemen, Texas Rangers
Any time you waste a first-round draft pick on a player who misses the first month of the season, you are not a happy fantasy owner. After being the only player in the bigs that had a 30/30 season in 2009, this was the year Ian Kinsler owners were hoping he would not make his annual trip to the disabled list.
But after suffering a high ankle sprain on March 12, those hopes were dashed, as Kinsler was placed on the DL to begin the season. Before joining the team, Kinsler went 2-for-4 with a stolen base at Class AA Frisco.
Kinsler made his season debut Friday night, and appears that he's back, but don't be surprised if you see him on the disabled list in the near future.
Carlos Lee, Left Fielder, Houston Astros
Fantasy owners are not happy with Carlos Lee, as he's gotten off to the worst start of his career by hitting zero home runs, driving in only five runs, and hitting just .177.
When teammate Lance Berkman was sidelined to begin the season due to a groin injury, Lee was the slugger who was supposed to carry the offense of the Houston Astros, but he has failed mightily. Lee is going to be turning 34 years old this season.
He's had three consecutive 100-RBI seasons since signing a six-year, $100 million contract with the Astros, but if Lee's bat doesn't start heating up soon, it's going to be a disappointing season for "El Caballo."
Grady Sizemore, Center Fielder, Cleveland Indians
Through 22 games this season, the Cleveland Indians are already 5.5 games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins. The Indians have not gotten off to the start they wanted, and neither has Grady Sizemore.
To begin the season, Sizemore has zero home runs, eight RBI, and is hitting just .182. Towards the end of last season, Sizemore elected to have elbow surgery, and surgery on his lower abdomen to repair a hernia that was related to the groin injury which forced him from the World Baseball Classic. Sizemore has had more than enough time to recuperate, and was poised to have a great 2010 season.
At 27, he's very capable of getting 30/30 numbers seeing that he accomplished this feat only two seasons ago. He was supposedly 100 percent recovered from both surgeries, but after his painful start, maybe he needs more time. This was not what his owners were hoping for when they drafted Sizemore.
Hanley Ramirez, Shortstop, Florida Marlins
Taken as the second overall pick in most leagues, Hanley Ramirez has fantasy owners waiting for the 2009 Ramirez to show up.
Ramirez has just two home runs, seven RBI, two stolen bases, 11 runs scored, four doubles, and zero triples. Although he has an OBP of .386, the Marlins are thrilled with that, but fantasy owners want to start seeing production from Ramirez.
Ramirez will most likely finish the season with 20-plus stolen bases and over 100 RBI, but if he doesn't get going fast, fantasy owners could be in trouble.
Adam Dunn, Left Fielder/First Baseman, Washington Nationals
Fantasy owners were expecting a big year from the big slugger Adam Dunn. Dunn has gotten off to a slow start, but last week Dunn finally did something by swatting two home runs, as this could be a harbinger of things to come.
Many owners might have given up on Dunn, as he's only hit four home runs and batted in nine runs, while ranking in the top 15 in the majors with 22 strikeouts. But if you you can find someone in your league who's ready to part with Dunn and you can get him at a discount, go for it now because he'll soon be coming around.
Jake Peavy, Pitcher, Chicago White Sox
There is no sugar-coating Jake Peavy's start to the 2010 season.
He has been downright awful with 15 BBs over 22 innings pitched, along with a having a record of 0-2, and a 7.85 ERA. Peavy is scheduled to make $15 million in 2010, $16 million in 2011, $17 million in 2012, and there's a $22 million team option for 2013.
The 2007 Cy Young award winner will not be returning to his pitching form when he pitched for the San Diego Padres, but Peavy has to improve, because he's been terrible. Fantasy owners are praying he doesn't pitch any worse, and if he does, it will be a long season.
Justin Upton, Right Fielder, Arizona Diamondbacks
After finishing the 2009 season with a .300 avg, no player had more hype heading into the 2010 season than Justin Upton.
Barely ranked in the top 50 a season ago, Upton was projected to drive in over 100 runs, hit 30-plus home runs, and finish the season with a .300 batting average.
At the age of 22, Upton was looking to build on last season's breakout year, but has disappointed his owners thus far.
Through 23 games, he has just three home runs, nine RBI, and a .214 avg.—and he's also leading the majors in strikeouts. Upton is certainly a star in the making, but so far during this 2010 season, he's been nothing but a bust.