Monday, on the Mastersball Hotpage, I started my list of 15 players who make me nervous going into 2014.
So, to keep the fun going, he is the completion of that group. Note that in identifying the players noted below, in general by listing the athletes, I mean it more as a guideline not to spend too much or draft too early. Or, as logic would dictate, let your opponents take the risk.
Can't buy big on Stanton
Ryan Raburn (IF/OF, Cleveland Indians): You have heard of Saberhagen-metrics? Those would be one-good-year, one-bad-year stats that some players seem to attract. I fear that Raburn has fallen into that pattern, following a few good years as a part-timer in Detroit, then a down 2012 (.171-1-12) and now a pretty good 2013 (.285-16-53) with the Tribe. Raburn is really only a part-timer, and as a fifth outfielder or reserve pick, at age 32, he is fine. Just don't expect him to get any better, and don't be surprised if he gets worse.
Mike Moustakas (3B, Kansas City Royals): Better than Brandon Wood, but not as good as ... Jordan Pacheco? Actually, like Wood, "Moose" tantalized us with a big 2010 (.322-36-124) spread across two levels at age 21 but like Wood just cannot control himself at the dish in the majors. But to stress the point, last year Moustakas walked 39 times while whiffing 124 (.296 OBP). To his credit, the third-sacker cut his whiffs for 2013 to just 73 yet could not increase his walks, scoring 30 and an anemic .288 on-base percentage. True, Moose is still just 24, but after 363 games, he should show he belongs, and he hasn't. And, for what it is worth, Pacheco did at least log a .300 season as a full-timer.
Giancarlo Stanton (OF, Miami Marlins): The Danny Amendola of the National League.
Jimmy Rollins (SS, Philadelphia Phillies): Great player, great career, dead skills. It is hard to write these, too, and as with many of the other players on this list, I am not saying don't pick the guy. Just don't spend much. In fact, Rollins reminds me a lot of Cal Ripken Jr., his last season, when I got him for $1 in Tout Wars. And for that I got .239-14-68 totals. So, for up to $5 or so, Rollins is likewise a steal. Otherwise, he is your opponent's gamble.
Adam LaRoche (1B, Washington Nationals): LaRoche has made so many underrated lists for me over the past decade that it not only makes me sad to see his career slowing down, but I hope I am wrong. But at age 33, the first-sacker experienced a 33-point drop in his batting average and 97-point fall for his slugging, producing a pretty lame .741 OPS, not good for a power/corner guy.
Nate Schierholtz (OF, Chicago Cubs): Being a Bay Area human, I have seen a lot of the Cubs right-fielder, and I guess I could have told Theo Epstein he was a platoon player. He did hit .262-19-62 against right-handers this year, but just .184-1-3 over 49 at-bats versus southpaws. Or, he had a .809 OPS versus right-handers and just a .593 number against lefties. Schierholtz does play a great right field, but really he is sort of the perfect NL complement to Josh Reddick.
Jay Bruce (OF, Cincinnati Reds): Every time I say that Bruce is the Reds' new Adam Dunn, whoever is listening has a cow. But the truth is Dunn was .247-270-646 with a .380 OBP over 1087 games with the Reds, while Bruce is .257-163-469 over 817 games with a .330 OBP. True, Bruce does add some speed to his game and is a much better defender, but for straight roto ball, that is negligible. The truth is I think Dunn was underrated, but right now, I think Bruce is thusly overrated.
About Lawr Michaels, MastersBall.com
Lawr Michaels has been a player in the fantasy baseball industry since he began writing for John Benson in 1993. He has written for STATS, Inc, was the first fantasy columnist for CBS Sportsline, and has appeared in numerous journals and on websites. In 1996, he founded CREATiVESPORTS, a staple for serious fantasy players, which he merged into Mastersball in 2010.
Over the years, Lawr has participated in a wide variety of playing formats and won numerous titles, including AL Tout Wars crowns in 2001 and 2009. Along with his Mastersball duties, Lawr works for MLB.com as a statistician.
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