Fantasy Team Advice

Top 10 Fantasy Baseball Busts of 2013 so far – Hitters

Think you know who the biggest busts of the year so far are?  Looking for some of the top buy low names in the game?  Here are my top 10 draft day busts for 2013 fantasy baseball.  There is still plenty of season left, so you can pick and choose which guys you think are bounceback candidates!

I specifically left out many of the injured stars, as I felt that the biggest draft day busts were those guys who are actually playing and just not performing.  Here is a quick list of my all injured bust team : Hanley Ramirez, David Freese, Michael Bourn, Aaron Hill, Brett Lawrie, Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Zimmerman, Jason Heyward, Jose Reyes, Giancarlo Stanton

Top 10 draft day busts from fantasy baseball 2013

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HONORABLE MENTION AVG HR RBI SB
Albert Pujols LAA 2013 0.237 5 19 0
Honorable mention: So Pujols almost made my list, at #11, earning him the prestigious honorable mention award.  2013 hasn’t been quite as bad as 2012 for Albert, but through May 6th he is hitting just .237 with 5 HR and 19 RBI.  To be fair it hasn’t been all his fault as he attempts to deal with plantar fascitis.

(Yahoo preseason roto ranking – #9 / In Season ranking – #214)

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NUMBER 10 AVG HR RBI SB
Matt Kemp LAD 2013 0.265 1 14 4
Before the 2012 season got underway, Matt Kemp gave an interview where he stated that he would become baseball’s first 50/50 player (50 HR/ 50 SB) and with a torrid start to the season he looked like he may have had a chance to do just that.  A bad hamstring and one year later, and fantasy owners are wondering what they have gotten themselves into.  Gone is Matt Kemp’s swagger, his incredible power, and the raw speed that made him a roto darling.  With nearly 20% of the season behind him, Matt Kemp’s line stands at .265/1/14 with just 4 SB’s which clearly will not do for a first round pick this season.  Hopefully Kemp finds that power stroke soon, because it doesn’t look like his owners will be getting any first (or even third) round value if they put his name on the block now.

(Yahoo preseason roto rankings – #5 / In Season ranking #223)

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NUMBER 9 AVG HR RBI SB
Matt Wieters BAL 2013 0.223 4 15 0
Owners just couldn’t wait to jump on the Matt Wieters bandwagon in 2013 as he was expected to be one of the premier power hitting catchers this season.  The power has yet to materialize for Matt as evidenced by his current .223/4/15 line.  While the Orioles continue to play solid baseball, Matt Wieters continues to hover around the Mendoza line.

(Yahoo preseason roto ranking – #101 / In Season ranking – #328)

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NUMBER 8 AVG HR RBI SB
Jay Bruce CIN 2013 0.246 1 16 0
For the past three seasons, Jay Bruce has been one of the more reliable power hitters in the OF as he cranked out 25 HR in 2010, 32 in 2011, and 34 a season ago.  Suddenly, in 2013, Bruce’s K% has gone from the mid to low 20% to over 33%, while the Isolate Power (Slugging-Average) has dropped from a steady .200 to just .099.  The average is right where Bruce’s fantasy owners expect at .246 but the power has yet to materialize as Bruce has just 1 HR to his credit.  On the plus side, he has still driven in 16 RBI, and everyone knows once the weather warms up in Cincy, the ball starts carrying much better.  Don’t hit the panic button yet Bruce owners, he has been a big time bust, but there is still plenty of season remaining.

(Yahoo preseason roto ranking – #38 / In Season ranking – #296)

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NUMBER 7 AVG HR RBI SB
Paul Konerko CWS 2013 0.225 4 15 0
It is typically hard to label a guy drafted in the 9th round or later in standard leagues a bust, but for Konerko supporters that considered him mid-round gold, that is what he has turned out to be thus far.  Just how good has Konerko been in recent years?  This is a guy who has hit 20 or more HR’s every year since 1999 (with the exception of 2003 when he hit 18), and posted a .300+ average each of the last 3 seasons.  For owners that wanted to wait on a first baseman, Konerko seemed like the obvious choice, but it looks like age may be catching up with the veteran infielder.  Thus far in 2013, Paul is hitting a meager .225 with 4 HR and 15 RBI.  Hopefully the summer sun will warm those aching joins that have played over 15 years of professional ball, but it is starting to look like Konerko may be ready to hang ‘em up.

(Yahoo preseason roto ranking – #91 / In Season ranking – #373)

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NUMBER 6 AVG HR RBI SB
Jimmy Rollins PHI 2013 0.236 1 8 3
Speaking of old men, Jimmy Rollins joins our list at #6.  Entering the season, owners thought the only thing they had to worry about with Rollins was the injury bug, but with his power and speed outage this year, the list of concerns is growing with Jimmy.  For a guy that has stolen 30 bases each of the last 2 seasons, Rollins has some serious work to do, as he only swiped 3 bags, while getting caught once so far in the season.  That would be excusable if he was hitting for average, or powering up for HR’s in the hitter friendly Citizen’s Bank park, but with a .236 average and just 1 HR that is clearly not the case.  His BABIP currently stands at .284, so we can’t say he has been unlucky… no; the real problem is an increasing K% which currently stands at 18% for a hitter that struck out just 9% of the time two seasons ago.  Jimmy needs to stop chasing outside the zone, and in the dirt, and get back to doing what he does so well – setting the table for the power hitters behind him in the lineup

(Yahoo preseason roto ranking – #63 / In Season ranking – #619)

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NUMBER 5 AVG HR RBI SB
Eric Hosmer KC 2013 0.258 0 9 2
2 years ago Eric Hosmer stampeded onto the fantasy baseball scene as the next can’t miss prospect, and proved his value by hitting .293 with 19 HR and 78 RBI over 128 games.  Fantasy owners couldn’t wait to get their hands on the young slugging 1B in 2012, but he took a big step back by hitting only 14 HR and driving in 60 RBI, which isn’t even enough production to call him an average first baseman!  2013, we were looking for a bounceback season, after all, we can all forgive the sophomore slump right?  Well, here we are coming up on the middle of May, still waiting on the Royals cleanup hitter to take a ball out of the park (0 HR/ 9 RBI).  More bad news comes in the form of a .258 batting average, and that is with an insanely high BABIP of .342!!  Not sure if Hosmer needs to hit the weight room, or visit some friends who run a clinic down there in Florida, but it is very strange to see a guy with such a power stroke in his rookie season suddenly unable to drive the ball out of the yard

(Yahoo preseason roto ranking – #93 / In season ranking – #699)

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NUMBER 4 AVG HR RBI SB
Ike Davis NYM 2013 0.172 4 8 0
Ok, I’ll admit it, I’ve never been much of an Ike Davis fan, but hey, when a guy strikes out 25% of the time at AA, what do you expect when he makes it to the bigs?  Maybe the Mets were looking for the next Adam Dunn, and were willing to overlook the strikeouts in favor of the longball, which certainly worked out in 2012, as Ike hammered 32 balls out of the yard (accompanied by a .227 batting average), and 2013 the numbers have turned even more extreme, as Ike is hitting a frosty .172, but has still managed to crank out 4 HR.  Davis has become the Dan Uggla of first basemen, and is hitting a large number of waiver wires as fantasy owners turn to guys like Brandon Moss who can muster a solid .235 average!

(Yahoo preseason roto ranking – #85 / In season ranking – #758)

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#3 - Victor Martinez - DET

#3 – Victor Martinez – DET

NUMBER 3 AVG HR RBI SB
Victor Martinez DET 2013 0.220 1 14 0
Look who got caught with their hand in the cookie jar… fantasy owners were looking for that rare catcher eligible player that doesn’t actually play catcher, and here was Victor Martinez returning for the Tigers and looking like one of the best values in the draft.  We knew he wouldn’t hit for much power, what with those 12 HR’s in 2011, but that can be overlooked at the formerly shallow position of catcher, where V-Mart hit .330 just 2 seasons ago.  Going inside the numbers, we see that V-Mart typically has a high BABIP (right around .320), but so far in 2013 it stands at just .236.  That is what happens when you don’t drive the ball with as much authority as you used to!  Victor’s flyball percentage is currently at a career high (44.9%), which is the last thing fantasy owners want to see out of a high average hitter.  Hopefully Victor gets his swing straightened out and goes back to line drives and scorching hits back up the middle.

(Yahoo preseason roto ranking – #84 / In season ranking – #817)

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#2 - Josh Hamilton - LAA

#2 – Josh Hamilton – LAA

NUMBER 2 AVG HR RBI SB
Josh Hamilton LAA 2013 0.208 2 9 1
Admit it, most readers came through the rankings just to find Josh Hamilton at #1, right?  Well he is actually our second biggest bust of the season, and what a bust it has been.  Hamilton stands at .208 with 2 HR, 9 RBI, 1 SB, and a whole boatload of Head and Shoulder’s commercials, and fantasy owners everywhere are furiously trying to unload the slugger for anyone of value!  (And by value I don’t mean Andy Dirks…)  So is there any change in the wind?  Time to buy low on the former Ranger’s slugger?  I wish I had good news for you, but all the signs point to Hamilton staying in a rut.  The K% is up to 28.4%, the HR/FB ratio is an atrocious 5%, and the BABIP isn’t all that unreasonable at .267.  What does this all mean?  Basically, Hamilton is making less contact than ever before, when he does make contact, and gets the ball in the air, he doesn’t hit it for power, and he certainly hasn’t been all that unlucky.  Overall, it looks like the 32 year old slugger may be finding the ballpark in Anaheim a little bit harder to hit in, and while I still see him getting to 25 HR’s this season, the 35-40 HR’s that some optimists were expecting seem way out of the question now.

(Yahoo preseason roto ranking – #24 / In season ranking – #766)

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#1 - B.J. Upton - ATL

#1 – B.J. Upton – ATL

NUMBER 1 AVG HR RBI SB
B.J. Upton ATL  2013 0.148 3 5 3
And the biggest bust of the season is…. drumroll please…. Bossman Junior Upton!  I’m beginning to think that luring BJ to Atlanta was part of an elaborate scheme to bring in the better Upton brother… but either way you won’t find a projected top 50 player being dropped quicker than Upton this season.  Maybe fantasy owners chose to ignore the batting average the last 4 seasons (.241, .237, .243, .246), and maybe that K% looked ok to them over that same time frame? (24.3%, 26.9%, 25.2%, 26.7%).  Well that can’t be it, because those numbers are terrible…was it the HR?  (11, 18, 23, 28)  Well, the HR numbers had been improving, but as we all know, it was the SB that made the older Upton attractive (42, 42, 36, 31), but we come back to that old adage, you can’t steal first.  With an average currently standing at just .153, BJ has only managed to swipe 3 bags and hit 3 HR’s for the streaking Braves.  Now that Brian McCann is back, is it unreasonable to think that BJ could sit in favor of Evan Gattis once a week or so?  A healthy Justin Upton and Jason Heyward will certainly find their way into the lineup, and manager Fredi Gonzalez will be looking for ways to drive in more runs.  We have already seen BJ hitting out of the bottom of the lineup on a number of occasions this season, and while the SB’s may come, it doesn’t look likely that fantasy owners will see top 50 value out of their pick this season.  He is currently stirking out an incredible 33.3% of the time, and for a guy that many viewed as a leadoff threat, it has been an absolutely terrible beginning to the 2013 season.  Will BJ end up the worst pick of the 2013 fantasy baseball season?  Only time will tell.

(Yahoo preseason ranking – #40 / In season ranking – #929)

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K J

K J

Lead Writer and Editor of FantasyTeamAdvice.com. Our website allows fantasy sports fans and writers the opportunity to dish out their own unique brand of fantasy advice to over 1,500,000 readers per year (and still growing!). You can find me in the forums on a regular basis interacting with one of the fastest growing fantasy sports communities on the web today.

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One Comment

  1. Chris B

    May 8, 2013 at 14:57

    I love this list! A few guys on that list I was disappointed not getting on draft day but relieved I don’t have them on the roster. Unfortunately, I do own a couple on the injured list! :(