2011 Fantasy Baseball: 10 Injury-Prone Players You Should Avoid in the Draft

Joey HnathCorrespondent IMarch 31, 2011

2011 Fantasy Baseball: 10 Injury-Prone Players You Should Avoid in the Draft

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    Injuries can kill a fantasy baseball season. Everyone knows this.

    Take Adam Wainwright, for example.

    If you’re in a keeper league that had to select keepers before Wainwright’s elbow injury, it really set your rotation back.

    In your fantasy draft, be sure to stay away from injury-prone players, or at least avoid overpaying for someone who is injury-prone.

    If you can find similar production in a player who is less of an injury risk, grab him instead.

    Here are 10 players that you shouldn’t overpay for due to injury concerns or should just avoid altogether in the draft.

10. Nelson Cruz

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    Cruz is one of the players you shouldn’t avoid in the draft, but just make sure you don’t overpay for him.

    When he is on the field, he has the potential to be a 30/30 player. But Cruz has battled injuries throughout his career and he has never played in more than 128 games in a season.

    It would be wise to select a player like Andrew McCutchen ahead of Cruz in the draft.

9. Jake Peavy

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    Shoulder injuries are very hard for pitchers to come back from, and in Peavy’s case, there isn’t a single instance in which a pitcher has successfully come back.

    Peavy has already had a setback this season, and he should be avoided until he proves he can stay healthy and productive for a fair amount of time.

8. Carlos Beltran

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    It looks like Father Time is starting to catch up to Beltran.

    Though he has said his knees are ready for Opening Day, it would be a miracle if they hold up all season long.

    Even if they do manage to hold up, Beltran has lost his speed to these problems. 

    It’s time to close the book on Beltran in fantasy baseball.

7. Chase Utley

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    Utley has had injury issues in the past, and 2011 isn’t getting off to a good start.

    His knee injury has already landed him on the DL, and it’s starting to look like an optimistic goal for him is to be back before the All-Star break.

    Second base has plenty of depth, so look elsewhere, because Utley will be out for a while.

6. Carl Pavano

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    Pavano bounced back nicely in 2010 from several injury-riddled seasons, most notably with the Yankees.

    Now that he has a nice, new contract, he could regress and get struck down with yet another injury.

    One healthy season has not convinced me to take a chance on Pavano in 2011.

5. Brandon Webb

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    This one is obvious.

    Webb’s shoulder problems have caused the former Cy Young winner to miss the past two seasons, and he is already slated to miss all of April.

    Wait this one out and see if he can pitch effectively before taking a chance on him.

4. Chipper Jones

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    Instead of retiring, Jones decided to come back and play in 2011.

    At age 38, it’s tough to figure out how his body will respond to a torn ACL that he sustained in August last season.

    He could return healthy, but his legs hinder him due to his age and previous injuries.

3. Josh Hamilton

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    Hamilton is another player you shouldn’t avoid altogether on draft day, but one you shouldn’t pick too high.

    The 2010 MVP missed the better part of last September with broken ribs.

    Hamilton has only played the entire season once in his career, and doctors are unable to predict how well his body will hold up due to his prior drug and alcohol abuse.

    When healthy, he’s as good as anybody. Come draft day, Matt Holliday will give you similar production with less of an injury risk.

2. Justin Morneau

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    Morneau sustained his second career concussion last year, which caused him to miss about half of the season.

    This spring, the Twins have been cautious with Morneau because he has recently been affected by post-concussion syndrome.

    First base is very deep, so don’t draft Morneau as your primary first baseman.

1. Grady Sizemore

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    What once was a promising young career has taken a turn for the worse very quickly.

    Injuries have hurt Sizemore the past two seasons, and he will miss the first week of the season due to his prior knee microfracture surgery.

    The Indians will ease Sizemore back into action once he gets off the DL. 

    Steer clear of Sizemore come draft day, as he has a knack for disappointing fantasy owners.