2017 Fantasy Baseball Busts

billy hamilton 2

Trying to pick fantasy busts is always tough because generally players aren’t being drafted so high that they can’t at least return some of the price they cost. However, there are always those few guys who the hype is too high on and either the talent or the opportunity isn’t there for them to be able return their value. I already wrote about my feelings on Schwarber and how I feel he is odds on to bust. In this article I have picked three guys who are being picked at such a position that only if they perform at their very best can they return their draft day value and that is always the biggest indicator of a bust for me.

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Billy Hamilton | OF | Cincinnati Reds

ADP: 69

I don’t think I have ever not sighed when Billy Hamilton was taken off the board in a draft. I get that speed is a precious commodity in roto leagues but is the 7th round really the right place to be so desperate for steals you are willing to sacrifice every other category? I mean if you’ve stocked up on power and average guys and got a nice RBI total from your first 6 picks then I can see why you might be tempted. But chances are you aren’t loaded in those three categories and by drafting Hamilton you aren’t giving yourself anything worth having in power or RBI and you are actually giving yourself a negative at batting average.

Runs aren’t even necessarily a guarantee from Hamilton given that Cincinnati is one of the worst offences in the league entering 2017 and that he has competition from Jose Peraza for that number 1 spot in the line-up. Peraza is exactly the reason I am not taking Hamilton at his price and fear he won’t achieve that level of value. If Hamilton starts slowly he could easily find himself 8th or 9th in the line-up which will severely hamper his ability to put up counting stats. The Reds don’t need to blindly stick with Hamilton because they have Peraza who is a better guy when it comes to contact and has similar speed upside. Oh and fantasy players you can get Peraza at least 20 picks later if not more. My fear here is we are talking about Hamilton as a minimum 40 steal guy like he is some kind of fantasy diamond. However, if that comes with nothing else then he is going to have busted big time and chances are he has been so bad at everything else you haven’t been able to start him and missed some of those steals.

Nam Y. Huh - Associated Press

Nam Y. Huh – Associated Press

Javier Baez | 2B/3B/SS | Chicago Cubs

ADP – 153

What two Cubs I am down on?! No I don’t hate the Cubs, I think they will be great again; I just hate drafting players who have shaky playing time at best. I mean I think Baez is a ton of fun to watch defensively and is an exciting hitter but he is kind of wasted in Chicago. If he was playing every day then he easily has 20+ home run potential and will also bring a similar number of steals to the table. Unfortunately, he is pretty much being drafted like that is exactly what he is going to do and he isn’t safe enough to be going off the board in round 13.

The concern is not how many games he will play (he played 142 last year) but how many PA’s he will have. In 142 games 450 PAs should be the minimum, especially in a team as offensively powered as the Cubs, but that is exactly what Baez had last year and it because he is often used a late innings defensive substitution and therefore may get 1 PA a game (2 would be a bonus!). My concern is we have a similar situation this year where when you go to set your line-up Baez is inactive and you end up leaving him out of your line-up only to see him swipe a bag or hit a long ball in an off-the-bench appearance. If you draft Baez this year and pay this price you have to be willing to start him every day and just take the rough with the smooth. However, by the end of May, injuries aside, I can assure you that if he hasn’t got an everyday spot by then you will be debating replacing him. That is fine if he is your 20th pick but as your 13th or 14th you have passed up an opportunity for an everyday fantasy player in the hope an injury or defensive incompetence opens the door for Baez.

The bonus is that literally an injury anywhere other than catcher or center field means Baez is in the line-up every day but I hate drafting hoping for injury. If I had to guess I’d say it’s a 60% chance we are talking of him as a bust come the end of the year and probably a less than 10% chance we are saying what a steal he was and that isn’t a smart way to draft your team.

Rays Brad Miller

WILL VRAGOVIC – Times

Brad Miller | 1B/3B | Tampa Bay Rays

ADP – 158

Look I won’t lie, I have been burned by Miller in the past and am therefore highly skeptical of him a fantasy player, but this bust selection isn’t personal, its common sense. Just looking at his four year major league career leaves me scratching his head about what he will provide. Yes the power boost coincided with getting out of Seattle into a marginally better park for power but can he really repeat a season in which his ISO jumped from 0.144 to 0.239? Add in that HR/FB also doubled in 2016 from his previous career average of 10% and both of those two things just scream regression for me.

Yes he is SS eligible, has the flexibility of first base and may gain second base and I love all that but he is another player who I don’t see any upside in his draft position. Even if he hits 30 homers he will do it at a 0.240 average with limited counting stats (150ish combined) and he will provide eye-clawing frustration levels for his owners because he will have some really awful streaks. I think a more realistic expectation is 20-25 home runs and hope the average is a little better than that 0.240 mark but that I not going to be value for where he is drafted. Even if there isn’t massive regression I cannot see a realistic path to Miller earning a 13th round pick and his downside could see him dropped by the end of April.

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