Fantasy Baseball 2014: Overvalued Players
You ever scroll through a site’s rankings and a player stands out? Everything looks in order until you see that one player’s position that strikes you as odd. That one player that raises your eyebrow. That one player that makes you say …
It’s not that the player is bad. It’s not that at all. However, you feel as if they are being held to a higher standard than you feel they should be. And because the definition of a “bust” is someone who will not match their ADP, I guess you can call the following players busts.
Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
He crushes like a grape.
No one, and I mean no one, is doubting the elite power Davis possesses. And let’s be honest. You don’t hit 53 home runs without having some semblance of skill. He’s always been a vastly powerful hitter, but 53 is a ton of homers. Only 16 players have hit more in one season in the history of the game. And Davis improved, too, hitting 17 of his dingers on breaking stuff (curves, sliders). So, after all of this praise, why am I not 100 percent sold on Davis in 2014?
I think fantasy owners will select Davis in the first round, which is valid, but will be automatically assuming first round value in return. That isn’t a guarantee, as 2013 was a breakout year for Davis, and some regression may be expected. He killed it in the first half, sporting a .315 batting average with a home run in every 9.3 plate appearances. But, after the All-Star break, he batted a more reasonable .245, belting a homer once every 15.1 at-bats. Davis has never really been a high batting average guy, so to say that he’ll sport the likes of a .300 mark isn’t wise. I have him just outside by top-10 overall players, and would be more than okay with the likes of Prince Fielder over him.
Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers
Puig took baseball by storm last season, batting .436 with seven home runs and 16 RBI during his inaugural month in the majors. He went on to finish the year with a .319 average, 19 homers, 42 RBI and 11 steals. With a handful of exciting former top prospects taking the leap to superstardom, it makes sense that fantasy owners are drooling over Puig. I mean, we are humans, and we like new toys. But I think people are really going to overpay for him on draft day, automatically assuming that his games will remain smooth sailing.
Not so fast.
Puig is a very free-swinging, reckless player. Combine that with the fact that he is still very young, and there is reason for concern. He is an undisciplined, impatient hitter. I mean, listen to this stat, via the Sultan of Stat, Tristan Cockroft. When Puig sees three or more pitches in an at-bat, his average drops to an alarming .224 in his career. If opposing pitchers see that number, they could use it to their advantage. He also swung at a rather ugly 38.9 percent of pitches landing outside of the strike zone last season. And finally, he won’t see an insanely fortunate .389 BABIP in 2014. I’m not saying Puig is going to be bad. The guy is an immense talent. However, I’m not going to jump ship on proven guys for him.
Jean Segura, Milwaukee Brewers
Segura was one of the best shortstops in fantasy last year, finishing with a strong .294 average to go along with 12 home runs and an impressive 44 steals. However, it was a tail of two halves for Segura, who was absolutely brutal after the All-Star break. In fact, after the break, Segura batted just .241 with 17 stolen bases and an ugly one home run. During the slump, Segura’s plate discipline took a hit, as he chased more pitches when behind the count and he truly regressed to the mean in the power department. I mean, I’m not convinced that he is at all a power hitter, as he is averaging just 10 home runs per 162 games played throughout his career.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.
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