The word “bust” is generally a bit harsh for most of the big name players on this list since they still have fantasy value. That being said, we will simply define a “bust” as a player that will under-perform their average draft position (ADP) so temper your expectations and rank them accordingly on your cheat sheet.
We’re certainly not calling Mauer a bust, but he could be one of the most overvalued players in this year’s draft as we have seen him go as early as the fourth overall pick. While many owners will argue that last year’s league-leader in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage should be a first-round pick, we think this is a risky move. Catchers are the most likely to get injured and they get the least at bats out of all the positions. Mauer is undoubtedly the top fantasy catcher, but owners paying a high price for a repeat of 2009 are taking a big risk.
Last season, Molina set a career high in HR’s last year with 20, and he added 80 RBI’s as well. That’s the good news, the bad news is his average was the worst he has had since 2002, his strikeout rate was up, and Buster Posey, one of the league’s top prospects, is trying to steal his job. We don’t think the 35 year old Molina is worth drafting this year unless you are desperate in the later rounds.
Carpenter had an amazing year last year, posting a 2.24 ERA with a 17-4 record. This was arguably Carpenter’s best year of his career, but we are not expecting a repeat performance. Carpenter has been one of the most injury-plagued players in the past decade, and unless he slips in your draft we say let someone else take the gamble.
Jenks didn’t have a great season last year and we aren’t sure he will be able to keep his job. With Matt Thornton and J.J. Putz right behind him in the bullpen, we expect Jenks to be on a short leash. So far, Jenks has been going fairly early in drafts and we don’t think the risk is worth the reward.
Vazquez had an amazing year last year, but we would be shocked if he has a repeat performance this year. Last year was the first time he has posted an ERA below 3. His career ERA is 4.19, he’ll likely have less strikeouts switching from the NL to the AL, and we expect a higher ERA at the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. That being said, last year’s numbers have fluke written all over it.
If you are thinking about drafting Strasburg, just think back to Matt Weiters last year. Even if he does get called up early into the season, there is no guarantee he has instant success. There are plenty of other young pitching talents that you can draft late that are actually going to start the year in the majors.
There is no doubt in our minds that Hamilton is a talented baseball player, but he has still only had one half of a good season. He missed a good portion of last year due a variety of injuries including a strained rib cage, groin, neck and back problems. He has already been battling a pre-season shoulder injury, but barring any setbacks should be ready for opening day. With a 2010 average draft position around 55, this is way too early for an injury-prone outfielder who has yet to prove he can be a consistent fantasy player.
Reynolds found his power stroke last year, hitting 44 HR’s with 102 RBI’s. While we do like Reynolds upside and think he could put up similar numbers, we just don’t like where he is going in drafts. His ADP is right around 20 and he is going before a lot of big name players. We say let someone else take Reynolds that early.
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