Our 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit is finally here and although it's dirt cheap, 99 cents, we felt our fans would want a sneak peak at some of the great content that the guide boasts. Not only did our writers rank players at every position, the guide also contains a mock draft with round by round and team analysis, sleepers, busts, closer report and more!
Here's a sneak at the 2011 Busts from our fantasy pro, Jesse Mendelson...
Let me preface this list by saying that players’ inclusion on this list does not mean they will have bad years. It doesn’t even mean that they won’t have very good years. What it does mean is that given where I expect these players to be drafted, or how much I expect them to cost, their production will not be worth it.
1B - Paul Konerko, Chicago AL
My award for the biggest bust of the year goes to, drum roll please, Paul Konerko. Coming off a great 2010, where he hit 39 bombs and drove in 111 runs while batting .312 with an OPS of .977, Konerko is primed to be chosen in the top six rounds this year.
He’s being touted near the bottom of the top tier of first basemen (behind Adam Dunn, ahead of Billy Butler), but I think if you choose him as your starting 1B in a Mixed league, or spend $30 on him in an AL-only league, you’re in trouble. Why? Because 2010 was a contract year for Mr. Konerko—he was 34 when the season began, and had been in decline for four years running. He was a monster from 2004-2006, when he was in his prime—ages 28, 29, and 30 but prior to 2010, the last time he hit 35 homers was 2006; last time over 100 RBI? 2006.
Last time he hit .300 – 2006. Last time he had 170 hits? 2006. Last time he scored 89 runs? Yep, 2006. Last time he had an OPS over .900? You guessed it, 2006. He’ll be 35 when the season starts, and is probably on his last contract (good for three years and $37.5 mil). He’s a good source of power—he averages 32 per 162 games—but given his brand new contract, advanced age, and decline prior to 2010, I just don’t think he’s found the fountain of youth.
OF - Angel Pagan, New York NL
Coming in to 2010, Pagan wasn’t on anyone’s radar. He had played half a season for the Mets in 2009, and didn’t do anything worth writing home about—six homers, 32 RBI, 14 steals with seven times caught, twice as many Ks as walks—all adding up to a mediocre 4th OF in Mixed leagues. But in 2010, he exploded for 37 steals, 11 homers, 69 RBI and 80 runs scored (and considering he had no one driving in any runs behind him, that’s an impressive number).
I think Pagan will have a good season, but not the kind that warrants him a top 30 OF spot, which is where he’s being drafted based on the steals. He has shown the ability in the minors to run, but he’s not young (he’ll be 30 this July) and hasn’t stolen close to that many bases since 2005. In a 12-team league, I don’t pick him before the 12th round. Let the deranged Mets fan (and aren’t they all deranged at this point?) reach for him earlier than that.
OF - Curtis Granderson - New York AL
I admit—I was very high on Granderson last year, expecting him to do tremendous things as a Yankee. And like Kelly Johnson, while his full-year numbers were decent (24 homers, 67 RBI and 12 steals), he made it abundantly clear that he is not the player he flashed in 2007 with the Tigers. His steals have been a roller-coaster – 26 then 12 then 20 then 12.
His homers have been fairly constant—19-23-22-30-24—but it is very clear that he is hitting home runs at the expense of his batting average (which has plummeted from .302 in 2007 to .247 in 2010) and his runs scored (which topped out at 122 in 2007 and hit a career-low of 76 last year). And its obvious why—he isn’t hitting leadoff anymore, largely because while his SLG has remained high, his OBP has fallen from .365 to .324 in the past three years. The big asterisk with Curtis is that you’re free to draft him ASSUMING you know what you’re getting—NOT a 30/30 threat, and not a guy with a good batting average or runs scored.
SP - Cliff Lee, Philadelphia
Again, I think Clifton will have an excellent year, and is one of the better pitchers in the NL, if not all of baseball. But, when you look at his stats, they aren’t tremendous. He’s 32, and has just been diagnosed with an abdominal strain—the same one that caused him to miss the beginning of the 2007 and 2010 seasons. He hasn’t won more than 14 games since 2008, his ERA with the Rangers over his last 15 starts was a normal 3.98, and he is going to a ballpark that is as tough on pitchers as Arlington.
He gets a lot of attention for his postseason success (until he crapped it up in the World Series last year), and for the fact that he just simply does not walk people (a ridiculous 10/1 K/BB ratio), but I can name 10 pitchers I’d rather have instead of him, and I’ve generally seen him in the top five. Not for that price, thankyouverymuch.
Written exclusively for www.thefantasyfix.com by Jesse Mendelson
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