The following 10 players probably wish that 2012 never happened. Heck, they were probably rooting for the Mayans. Now that we know there’s a 2013 season in our near future (pitchers and catchers report soon!) here are the players who will be welcoming a fresh start come April.
10. Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, CLE
Jimenez’s rivalry last year with former teammate Troy Tulowitzki would be enough to force any player to wish for a new year. Unfortunately for Jimenez, he went from pitching in the worst park in MLB to being a part of one of the worst pitching staffs in the league. If he has any chance to reclaim former glory, life starts again in 2013.
9. Desmond Jennings, OF, TB
Last season, we had a question pertaining to two hyped youngsters, Jennings and Mike Trout — should we be on Team Trout or Team Jennings for the 2012 season? Well, it was no contest as Trout jumped on the scene and nearly won the AL MVP in his rookie campaign. Jennings had five-category potential but was hurt for a portion of the year. He needs to do better than 47 RBI and a .246 average.
8. Cameron Maybin, OF, SD
Maybin has been itching with potential since his days with the Marlins, but he hasn’t scratched it yet. Last year he stole 26 bases and only scored 67 runs. Those will be his money categories going forward, but the Padres’ offense wasn’t exactly the best. If Chase Headley can have an MVP-type season, however, the excuses aren’t acceptable.
7. Brennan Boesch, OF, DET
Boesch was a decent surprise in 2011 but had trouble against left-handers. He had power and offered good protection in the lineup for Miguel Cabrera. With the addition of Prince Fielder and a great season from Austin Jackson, Boesch should have also blossomed, right? Well, he wilted a bit, both physically and statistically. He’ll most likely be platooning with Torii Hunter this year unless he wakes up again.
6. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B/OF, LAD
Gonzo came and went from Boston in less than three years. He wasn’t the main problem in Boston, but his production dropped off drastically from 2011 to 2012. He still hit nearly .300 (.299) and drove in 108 runs, but he also hit just 18 homers and scored only 75 runs. He’s in another stacked lineup, so he can’t complain if his production drops even further. You can, though.
5. Josh Johnson, SP, TOR
Johnson is one of the best pitchers in the league — when healthy. That caveat is of the utmost importance for Johnson, who now finds himself pitching in Toronto. He can be the ace the Jays need, but first, he must stay healthy. Secondly, he must not crumble under the huge expectations that will fall on Toronto in 2013.
4. Dustin Ackley, 2B, SEA
Ackley was thought to be one of the few players from Seattle worth drafting last year. However, when the smoke cleared (smoke, not Smoak) he was outperformed by teammates Kyle Seager and Michael Saunders. If Ackley doesn’t hit above .270 with 15 or more homers and 80 or so RBI, he might lose his starting spot…in fantasy.
3. Brett Lawrie, 3B, TOR
Lawrie was another player surrounded with hype entering 2012. He did have flashes during 2011 and 2012, but they were brief flashes. He did miss some time with injuries, but he only hit 11 HR with 48 RBI on the year. With new additions Melky Cabrera, Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio in the lineup, Lawrie doesn’t have any excuses not to crush those numbers this year.
2. Jon Lester, SP, BOS
When it rained, it poured in Boston in 2012. After the Popeye’s and Pilsner fiasco the prior year, you figured Lester and Josh Beckett would be better in 2012. Boy, were we wrong. Lester is capable of being the staff ace with or without Beckett, but numbers like this — 9-14, 4.82 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and .273 BAA — don’t cut it for any MLB pitching staff let alone one in the competitive AL East.
This goes for everyone who was in any way affiliated with the Red Sox last season, be it Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Andrew Bailey, Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Gonzalez, Kelly Shoppach, Alfredo Aceves, Felix Doubront, Jacoby Ellsbury, or John Lackey.
1. Roy Halladay, SP, PHI
Doc Halladay had one of his worst seasons to date last year. He was 11-8 with a 4.49 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP and opposing batters hit .263 off of him. Of all the disappointments last year, Halladay is the one most likely to bounce back. He was probably one of the top three or four pitchers taken last year, so he might slip a little this year, but that just increases his value.