Fantasy Baseball Busts – Players to Avoid Drafting in 2014

March 7 6:37pm
Nick Sharp
 
By Nicholas Sharp

It’s time for Part 3 of our MLB 2014 Preview Series (catch up on Part 1 & Part 2  here). We’ll be checking out some of the biggest potential fantasy baseball busts for 2014. If you draft any of the guys we list below and they wreck your team, don’t say we didn’t warn you first.

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Breakdown

OF Busts

One of the purest facts of life is that sometimes, no matter what you do, haters are in fact going to hate. As Yasiel Puig enters the 2nd year of his MLB career, this is a fact he should be awfully familiar with. Even while headlining our players to reach for list, Puig also received more votes than any other outfielder in our biggest fantasy baseball busts category. He’s a divisive player and people are split on whether or not they want him on their team. If you play on FanDuel, you can pick and choose your spots with him and not be forced to rely upon a full season of production from baseball’s biggest wildcard – just sayin’.

The outfield position received more total votes than any other position, as 21 players—a lot of them household names—received votes. It’s no surprise to see a bunch of older veterans that struggled last season pop up on this list. Guys like Matt Kemp, Josh Hamilton, Jose Bautista, Ryan Braun, and Ichiro Suzuki all received votes, no doubt the effect of each of them having sub-par years in 2013. Just a couple years ago, any one of those guys could’ve been a first-round pick and nobody would’ve blinked an eye. This year, drafters will actively look to avoid the big bust in the early rounds (especially if they had that player last season- Hell hath no fury like a fantasy baseball owner scorned).

Our panel also thinks that many big busts lie within the young prospects. Billy Hamilton has been a hot-topic leading into the 2014 MLB season, but if he doesn’t see the field it’ll be tough to live up to the hype. Bryce Harper and Jason Heyward both came up with a ton of fanfare, but neither have excelled into the MVP conversation like they were expected to.

Our voters also frowned upon a number of players that switched teams this offseason, including Jacoby Ellsbury, Curtis Granderson, Dexter Fowler, and Carlos Beltran at the OF position. New York Yankee fans especially hope our voters were off about that – except in Curtis Granderson’s case.

1B Busts

Chris Davis had an incredible breakout season in 2013. Our voters do not expect that to translate to MVP-level success in 2014. Davis tied with another AL infielder for the most votes received in the biggest fantasy baseball busts category. That doesn’t mean he’ll have a terrible season, but Davis will have to post another impressive season to live up to his newly-found 1st round draft status. Our voters don’t see it happening.

Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols, the two most disappointing first baseman of the 2013 season, both received votes to nobody’s surprise. If neither can turn it around in 2014, their teams’ fans (and owners’ wallets) will want to run them out of town.

Eric Hosmer has been consistent in his 3 seasons in the MLB, but he’ll likely be drafted higher than his production validates in hopes he makes a big jump this season. Be careful drafting players as stars before they make that jump on the field.

2B Busts

Sure, Matt Carpenter, Dan Uggla, Chase Utley, and Brandon Phillips all received votes as busts for the 2nd base position. But the difference between those guys and the top overall vote-getter is that they’re prospective plays. Missing on one of them won’t ruin your season by itself (if it does, we really need to find you a new hobby). But if you draft Robinson Cano and he struggles with his move to Seattle, you’re going to have a tough time recovering. Plenty of our voters made it known that they’re not willing to expose themselves to that risk. After 9 full seasons at hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium, Cano took the money – a lot of money- and ran all the way to Seattle. Are you willing to bet your season that he’ll produce numbers and play hard for 162 games on a team that may not contend? That’s a tough question. Luckily for FanDuel users, it’s one they never have to worry about.

3B Busts

Adrian Beltre has been playing major league baseball since 1998. That’s a long time. He’s been able to resurrect his career (for what feels like the 6th time) in Texas over the past few years and is now considered a borderline 1st round pick. If you’re going to pick Beltre early, just be aware that all those annoying High School kids you see hanging out at the movie theater were likely born after Beltre started is major league career.

Josh Donaldson isn’t as old as Beltre– he’s only 28- but he has exactly one solid MLB season under his belt. Atlanta’s Chris Johnson also has a very limited history of success. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see either player struggle to replicate their successful campaigns from a year ago.

Even after hours and hours of hard work, it only takes one bad bust or injury to ruin your team. Say goodbye to season-killers and hello to a new season every single day on FanDuel. Join today with the promo code MLBPREVIEW14 and we’ll match your first deposit 100% up to $200. Welcome to the good life.  

SS Busts

Jimmy Rollins’ name has been worth a lot more than his production this last few years. Despite playing 160 games last season, Rollins only posted 39 RBIs all season. Jean Segura’s first half numbers were phenomenal, but his second half let down may be more of an indicator of things to come.

And then there’s Troy Tulowitzki. We know the Colorado Rockies’ SS has the chops at the plate to succeed, but can he stay on the field enough to justify an early draft pick? If you’re a numbers guy – and if you’re playing fantasy baseball, you probably are—then the answer to that question is probably not. If Tulo can’t stay on the field, he’ll be labeled as one of the biggest fantasy baseball busts again in 2014.

Starting Pitcher Busts

Plenty of player received votes as fantasy baseball busts at the SP position, but only one guy ended up with more than one. Despite dropping 40 pounds this offseason, our voters don’t think CC Sabathia will get his top form back. It’s tough to expect a 33-year-old pitcher with a reported 88 MPH fastball in camp this year to all of a sudden turn things around. CC has only won 20 games once in his career, and allowed a career high 112 earned runs in 2013.

Sabathia’s new buddy on the New York rotation, Masahiro Tanaka, also received a vote. He’s a major wildcard and it’s near impossible to know whether or not his game will translate to the MLB level. Even Yu Darvish posted a 3.90 ERA in his 1st MLB season. Be careful not to overpay for the shiny new toy in the New York rotation.

Others include Zach Greinke, who is already facing an injury, Francisco Liriano, who had a magical comeback during his 2013 season after 4 straight seasons with single digit wins, and Cliff Lee, who’s turning 36 years old and on a team that’s not expected to contend this season.

Relief Pitcher Busts

Koji Uehara and Joe Nathan are both aging closers that were able to stave off Mother Nature during 2013. Will either be able to repeat that performance in 2014? Both play on good teams and should be in position for a lot of save opportunities, but whether or not their arms survive another stressful season is another story. Have we mentioned that FanDuel users never have to worry about the variance involved with Relief Pitchers? It makes life a lot easier.

Catcher Busts

Many people are high on Brian McCann as a New York Yankee this season, especially considering that magical short-porch in Right Field. That’s driving his draft position higher and higher, and a couple of our voters feel as though it’s looking too high. If you take McCann in the first few rounds, you better hope that he regains the power that made him one of the most lethal hitting catchers in the MLB. If not, he’ll be labeled as one of the biggest fantasy baseball busts of the season.

Yadier Molina is as consistent as they come, but does his boring consistency validate a high draft pick? Upside-chasers would say no. Willin Rosario’s stock looks to be trending up, but a continued drop in his power numbers is not what owners will want to see. Matt Wieters’ average has droped almost 15 points each of the last two seasons; another drop like that and the Mendoza Line will be in view for the once promising prospect.

And that’ll do it. Which of these guys will fall flat on their faces during the 2014 MLB Season? It’s tough to know, but figuring out who to avoid is just as important as figuring out who to actually pick. No matter how long it takes for you to realize that your season-long team is full of busts, we’ll be right here waiting for you on FanDuel. We’ll even match your first deposit 100% when you use the promo code MLBPREVIEW14. See you soon!

 

FanDuel’s MLB 2014 Preview Series

Part 1- Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings

Part 2- Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy

Part 3- Fantasy Baseball Busts

Part 4- Fantasy Baseball Sleepers
 
Part 5- Surprise MLB Teams
 
Part 6- Fantasy Baseball Bounce Back Players
 
Part 7- Fantasy Baseball Breakout Players
 
Part 8- World Series Predictions

 

**Exclusive Special**Sign up today with the promo code MLBPREVIEW14 and we’ll match your first deposit 100% up to $200. Sign up today!

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