By Adam McGill
Every fantasy season there are hundreds of articles about sleepers to grab, but there are not many written about guys to avoid. It is just as important to know whom not to grab, as it is to know whom to target. Below is my latest fantasy baseball article on guys to let the other guys grab:
10. OF Ryan Ludwick, CIN – Ludwick will be playing for his fourth team in the last four seasons in 2012. He batted a miserable .237 between San Diego and Pittsburgh last year, quickly killing any fantasy value that he had. However, despite his rapidly declining numbers, Ludwick is still being drafted in the top 50 at the position. Ludwick is not the hitter that he once was and at this point should be fantasy afterthought.
9. 3B Ian Stewart, CHC – Many fantasy owners are hoping that the change of scenery will help the once highly coveted hot corner prospect. Stewart crushed 25 home runs in 2009, but since then has seemed to have completely lost his swing as he only batted .156 last season. He has gone between the majors and the minors for two years now, and looks worse with each appearance. He does not have many chances left and with the Cubs grooming youngster Josh Vitters, Stewart could end up working at a grocery store by the end of the season.
8. OF Corey Hart, MIL – Hart recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery, which will cause him to miss the next 4-5 weeks. This is a huge blow to Hart’s fantasy value, as he now has to rehab for the first month, before he can go through an extensive rehabilitation. Hart will have very little time to go through the minors before he is called back up, which could cause him to struggle early in the year. He is a true home run hitter with 57 dingers in the last two years alone, but missing this much time could easily affect his home run production over the course of the whole year.
7. 1B Paul Konerko, CHW – Konerko has been phenomenal in the last three years with a combined 98 home runs and 304 RBI. The 36-year old has continued to play strong over the last couple years and has anchored many fantasy teams. However, under closer inspection it appears that his numbers have already begun to decline drastically. In the second half of last year he batted a rather ordinary .286 with only 10 home runs and 44 RBI. The end appears to be in sight for the “Chicago Crusher” and this is one season to pass on him for a younger option like Eric Hosmer or Mike Morse.
6. SS J. J. Hardy, BAL – Hardy blasted a career high 30 homers last year and quickly learned how to utilize the short porch in right field. Hardy has always been a great hitter, but that is all that he offers. He is never going to hit over .280 or steal 20 bases, so if he does not hit any long balls that week then fantasy owners are left looking at a big goose egg next to his name. There are several younger options at the position this year, so do not be afraid to take a shot on a more unproven shortstop.