The Five Most Overrated Fantasy Baseball Players for 2008
This is not a list of bad players, but for one reason or another each player here will be drafted earlier than he should be.
Some have started to decline, others have been trumpeted as top prospects, others suffer from the winner’s curse.
When you’re preparing your 2008 fantasy team, beware of jumping the gun on these five players:
Eric Byrnes, LF, Arizona Diamondbacks .286/21HR/83RBI/103R/50SB
Who doesn’t want Eric Byrnes on their fantasy team? He hustles at all times, flips as he throws the ball in from left and even brings his dog out into McCovey Cove with him. Just don’t let his antics trick you into drafting him before the fifth or sixth round.
Even if we set aside the question of whether, at 32, he can replicate a 2007 season that saw him establish career highs in four of the five fantasy categories, we know that Byrnes’ playing style will tempt owners into picking him while more proven or promising players (like Abreu, Markakis, Rios or Hart) remain on the board.
Manny Ramirez, LF, Boston Red Sox .296/20HR/88RBI/84R/0SB
The last time that Manny had fewer HR and RBI? 1994. It’s been a great run for ManRam, but he’s no longer the first or second rounder he once was. In fact you shouldn’t pick Manny in the first 10 rounds. He’s another guy who’s a lot of fun to root for, but you need production from an early pick, and Manny—who did play in 133 games last year—can’t offer that anymore.
He’ll be 36 years old and there’s no reason to believe he’ll top 30 HR or 100 RBI. Guys like Andruw Jones and Torii Hunter offer more upside and they can help you in more categories.
Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati Reds .319/26HR/89RBI/87R/8SB between A+ and AAA
The 20-year-old super-prospect is, in the opinions of many, the best prospect in the game. This does not mean that he’s going to go Ryan Braun on us and take the league by storm. It is possible that, with only part of a season played above A ball, he’ll struggle.
Last year, Alex Gordon was similarly hyped, but, without experience above AA, had trouble adjusting. I’m not saying that Bruce doesn’t have .300/ 30/ 100 potential- even for 2008- but it would be foolish to expect it from him. I’d rather miss out on Bruce and have someone else overbid than invest in him as anything more than a fourth outfielder.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston Red Sox .317/8HR/50RBI/86R/7SB
Ironic that Pedroia, a guy who’s anything but a flashy attention seeker who puts up big numbers, would end up on this list. I guess that’s what happens when you win Rookie of the year and the World Series in your first season, coming through with clutch hits throughout the playoffs.
Still, look at his numbers and compare them to other second basemen’s stats. There are at least 10 guys I’d rather have on my fantasy team (Utley, Phillips, Upton, Uggla, Roberts, Cano, Polanco, Kinsler, Weeks, Kendrick, and Kent come to mind).
Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies .291 /24HR /99RBI /104R /7SB
Tulowitzki’s a phenomenal player who’s only going to improve. Not many guys can do what he did after just 517 minor league at bats. From May 25th on, he hit .305/.367/.525 with 22 of his 24 homers.
So why is he overrated? Well, like Pedroia, he played in the World Series and was among his league’s best rookies. His defense was also sensational, as he led the league with a .987 fielding percentage and 561 assists. (Q: how many times has Omar Vizquel collected 500+ assists? A: zero).
His defense makes him incredibly valuable to Colorado, but not to you. So let someone overbid and take him in the third round while you settle for Jeter, Carlos Guillen, or Michael Young.
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