Thanks For Nothing!: Fantasy Baseball's Ten Biggest Busts of 2010

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Thanks For Nothing!:  Fantasy Baseball's Ten Biggest Busts of 2010
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Sex and the City 2 and Jonah Hex have not been the only flops this summer. Fantasy baseball has had its fair share as well.  

We are more than two months into the 2010 baseball season, so its not too early to label certain superstars as busts. Sure, they could turn things around. They could play phenomenally from here on out and salvage their seasons, but right now they are giving their fantasy owners ulcers every time they go 0-for-4, blow a save, or get torched for seven runs in four innings.   

Here are the ten biggest busts in fantasy baseball!

Jason Bay, New York Mets

The Mets needed to keep up with the Yankees in the big-ticket item department, plus they needed outfield pop because they knew Carlos Beltran was going to miss the first half of the season. So they inked Bay, who had hit 30-plus homers and driven in 100-plus runs in four of the last five seasons. Smart move, right?

Wrong. Even though Bay has dealt with intense media scrutiny before (in Boston) and hitting in a pitcher’s ballpark (in Pittsburgh) during his career, he has been swinging like a lost soul all season. 

With only four homers and 29 RBI at this point, his chances of another 30-HR, 100-RBI campaign are slimmer than a Slim Jim.  At least Bay has been kind enough to steal (10 SB) and walk (.378 OBP) in lieu of hitting homers.    


Aramis Ramirez, Chicago Cubs

The knock on Ramirez with fantasy owners has always been that he is injury-prone.  Getting 162 games out of him is harder than getting Mark Teixeira to take a day off. But at least when Ramirez was on the field he was as productive as any third baseman around, capable of hitting .300 with 30 homers and 100 RBI when 100 percent healthy.

Now Ramirez is injured AND hitting .162. He has actually increased his fantasy value by going on the disabled list. Here is a stat that should make you feel warm and fuzzy about him — in 47 games, Ramirez has been 0-for-3, 0-for-4, or 0-for-5 a grand total of 18 times. He also went 0-for-6 once, too. 

    

Trevor Hoffman, Milwaukee Brewers

Fantasy owners knew that sooner or later "Father Time" was going to throw Hoffman a curve of his own. What we didn’t know was that the curve was going to drop off the table like Barry Zito’s used to during his Oakland glory days.

Hoffman has gone from premier closer to premier failure in record time. After staving off old age with 37 saves and a 1.83 ERA in 2009, he has five saves, five blown saves, and a 9.00 ERA. He is now used in as many crucial late-game situations as Oliver Perez.

      

Chad Qualls, Arizona Diamondbacks

You know you are having trouble when Aaron Heilman is picked to save games over you.  Qualls made the transition from setup man to closer late last year and did quite well, but it looks like he was a one-hit wonder like The Baja Men.  

Qualls has an 8.87 ERA, a 2.27 WHIP, and more people after him than BP. He could very well get his closer job back eventually if he straightens out and Heilman falls to pieces, but for now it is nothing but non-save situations for him in the near future. 

   

Zack Greinke, Kansas City Royals

Greinke has gone from Cy Young to Anthony Young in less than one year. The poor guy had to post a 2.16 ERA last season just to win 16 games, so you knew there would be trouble for his win-loss record if he had the nerve to have a mortal 3.94 ERA.    

No run support, no defense, no miracles.  That has translated into a 2-8 record for Greinke, despite ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts numbers that should get him a winning record.  Figure this out — Chicago White Sox starter Freddy Garcia has a much worse ERA and WHIP, yet he is 8-3.


Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers

Fantasy baseball’s largest vegetarian is eating more lettuce than driving in runs these days. His 27 RBI do not even rank him in the top 100 in the category as he trails lightweights like Yuniesky Betancourt, Juan Uribe, and Clint Barmes.  Jonny Gomes has almost driven in twice as many runs. 

Yes, Jonny Gomes.  

Is it that Corey Hart keeps knocking in all of the runners on base before Fielder comes to bat, leaving the porky power hitter with no RBI opportunities? No, Fielder has just not come up as huge as he did in 2009 when he racked up 141 ribbies. An RBI streak could be on the way knowing him, but for now Fielder is putting up the kind of stats Gaby Sanchez owners would be happy with, not Fielder owners.    

   

Gordon Beckham, Chicago White Sox

Changing positions can sometimes be a bigger distraction than having Lady Gaga sitting in the stands.  hat seems to be the case with Beckham, who looked destined to win several batting titles throughout his career, but now will be lucky to stay in the majors throughout the year.   

The former first-rounder has been sidelined by a sophomore slump that has kept him around the Mendoza line all season long. Moving from third base to second base seems like it has done more harm for his bat than good for his glove. Fantasy owners can only hope that a batting coach, family friend, or rotisserie god from above can solve the Beckham riddle and get him back pasting line drives again.   

   

Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers

This was supposed to be the season Kinsler challenged Chase Utley to be the most valuable second baseman in fantasy baseball. But while Utley has left the door open for Kinsler to take the title, Kinsler has fumbled it worse than Adrian Peterson would.

Kinsler, coming off a 31HR/31SB superstar season, has one homer and six steals so far.  Some of this has to do with his early season injuries and some of this has to do with him not hitting for power and not attempting to steal much. Kinsler might not still be 100 percent healthy, and he might be still shaking off some spring rust, but it certainly would be nice if his name started appearing more often in the HR and SB sections of the Texas boxscores.  



Aaron Hill, Toronto Blue Jays
    

Here is another American League second baseman who went from being the next Jeff Kent to being the next Jeff Keppinger. Hill burst onto the fantasy scene last year with 35 homers, 108 RBI, and 103 runs. He was a feel good, Lifetime movie worthy story because of how he came back from a serious concussion that ruined his 2007 season.  

And now Hill is hitting .187.  

The power stroke is still kinda there (ten homers) and Hill has been kinda hitting better this month (.211 average in June). Still, .187 is .187. That will single handedly ruin a fantasy team’s batting average. You need a couple Joe Mauers in your lineup to even Hill’s average out. And you cannot rely on Hill’s track record to think he will bounce back because he has only had one great season in five-plus years.  

 

Nate McLouth, Atlanta Braves


Remember when Pittsburgh Pirates fans were rioting in the streets when McLouth was traded to Atlanta in the middle of last season?  You would have thought Sidney Crosby had been dealt to the Los Angeles Kings for a bunch of draft picks and pucks with the way people reacted.  

McLouth has hit like someone in serious need of glasses. He has a .176 batting average, and before he can turn things around and climb towards the .200 plateau, he first has to get off the disabled list. He is suffering from post-concussion symptoms after an outfield collision.  

McLouth is a 20-HR/20-SB guy when his mind and body are right.  The problem is we don’t know when both will be right again.  It may not be until 2011 (or ever) the way things are going.

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