Call it the fantasy baseball hit list or whatever else you want, but chances are if you owned any of these guys on your team this year 2012 you definitely had some head-scratching moments. If you owned more than one of these guys on the same team then we will award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.
10. Heath Bell, RP, MIA (now on ARI)
Bell was one of the big offseason signings by the Miami Marlins. Winning occurs on the field, however, and not on paper. Bell imploded this year — 4-5, 19 saves, 5.09 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, .282 BA — and was recently traded to Arizona in a salary-dump move. He’s likely a setup man next season, so his value is basically non-existent.
9. Alex Avila, C, DET
Avila and Miguel Montero were guys who could get you decent production around pick 100-110 last season. Unfortunately if you went for Avila you got hosed and probably had to scramble to replace him with someone like Wilin Rosario (not a bad thing by the way). Was his 2011 a fluke or is 2012 his real baseline?
8. Jemile Weeks, 2B, OAK/Dee Gordon, SS, LAD
Weeks and Gordon were middle infielders that were popular sleepers heading into 2012. Neither justified that moniker, as Gordon was sent down at a point in the season and Weeks must have suffered from the same family ailment that plagued older brother Rickie. They are lucky they played on winning teams otherwise they would have been mightily chastised outside of fantasy land.
7. Red Sox Pitching Staff
Clay Buchholz, Alfredo Aceves, Jon Lester and Josh Beckett all sucked for most of 2012. Felix “Flippin’” Doubront was more reliable in spurts than either of the top arms in Boston. I give more of a pass to Aceves as he was pressed into closer duty once Andrew Bailey got hurt (surprise). He was somewhat useful, provided he didn’t explode in the ninth. As a colleague says — no more pilsner and Popeye’s in Boston.
6. Ricky Romero, SP, TOR
I thought Romero would ascend to be among the top 15 pitchers in fantasy land, but man did he kick my thoughts in the teeth. The Blue Jays’ supposed ace was 9-14 with a 5.77 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. His performance certainly didn’t help a team that lost Kyle Drabek, Brandon Morrow and Drew Hutchison all at once. He can rebound, however, if he post numbers like he did the previous two years — sub 3.75 ERA, sub 1.30 WHIP, with less than 85 BBs.
5. Dan Haren, SP, LAA
I thought I could pass on Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez and land Haren in the fifth round as my ace. Boy was I wrong. In 30 starts, Haren was 12-13, had a 4.33 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, .275 BAA while giving up 28 homers. When healthy, he is good for 16-17 wins, a sub 3.30 ERA and a sub 1.20 WHIP, but it’s become more of when (not if) he gets hurt. I believe he will be better in 2013, but his declining velocity is worrisome.
4. Tim Lincecum, SP, SF
Another guy who usually gets coupled in with Verlander, Hernandez and Halladay, Lincecum had a baffling 2012. He walked more batters than usual and lost a little on his fastball. His 2012 numbers were anything but Lincecum-esque: 10-15, 190 Ks, 90 BBs, 107 ER, 5.18 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, .257 BAA. Despite his downfall, the Giants still managed to make the World Series, and I have to think he’s really going to improve in the offseason.
3. Eric Hosmer, 1B, KC
Much like waiting on a catcher, Hosmer was the guy you hoped to land if you missed out in the first couple rounds on one of the elite guys. If that’s the strategy you employed, he also hosed you, posting 14 HR, 60 RBI and a .230 average in 535 at-bats. He’s still young, so he can rebound, but he isn’t as trustworthy yet as his teammate, and possibly most underrated player in baseball, Billy Butler.
2. Justin Upton, OF, ARI
Upton finished with 171 hits, 31 HR, 88 RBIs, and 21 SB…in 2011. He was routinely drafted in the first or second round in most leagues and probably made you scratch the hair off your head if you wasted a top-20 pick on him in 2012. Upton ended the season hitting .280 and scoring over 100 runs, but he also struck out 107 times and only hit 17 homers. Owners will think twice before spending a top-20 pick on him next year.
1. Dan Uggla, 2B, ATL
Just like the hot girl across the office, Uggla was a big tease in 2012. He was able to rebound to post a respectable 2011 campaign after a monumental slump, but this year he couldn’t save himself. He finished with the lowest total of homers, RBIs and batting average of his career. He was so atrocious that he lost his job to Martin Prado and others, but will likely open the season as the starter. I have always liked the power, but in 2013, I’m staying away.