Written by Daniel Paulling
Published: 26 June 2008
This week, we’ll be taking a look at the nine biggest fantasy busts. These were players drafted in the first few rounds of your league but haven’t produced yet.
SS Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies – If you’re looking at someone who has disappointed, look no further than last year’s National League Most Valuable Player. Rollins, a 20-20-20-20 man last season, now has only six homers and one triple. His legs are there, as he’s stolen 17 bases, but he’s falling short in the power department.
1B/3B Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers – Cabrera, thought to be the panacea for what ailed the Tigers last season, has fallen off a cliff recently. His problems can’t be blamed on his hitter-unfriendly home ballpark, as he spent his entire career in Dolphins Stadium. Cabrera is on pace for only about 25 home runs, which would be a career low. Combine that with a paltry .275 batting average, and you’ve certainly have a bust.
1B David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox – Even before the tendon injury, Ortiz was looking putrid at the plate. He has .252 this season with only a .354 on-base percentage. There was something definitely wrong with him at the plate, and it may be the result of off-season knee surgery. Ortiz was scheduled to hit off a tee yesterday, which may mean he’s mending rapidly.
OF Adam Dunn, Cincinnati Reds – We all know that Dunn is going to put up a low batting average, but he recently went through an 8-for-66 (.121) slump. He struck out 29 times over that stretch. On the positive side, the home runs are still there, but he’s probably hurting your batting average too much to do any good.
2B Robinson Cano, New York Yankees – Cano was expected to be the No. 1 or 2 second baseman in fantasy baseball this year, but he hasn’t really looked the part just yet. His batting average sits at an uncomfortable .235 mark, which is nearly 70 points worse than his career average. The power isn’t there either, as he’s on pace for about 10 homers; Cano had 19 last season.
SS Edgar Renteria, Detroit Tigers – How can a hitter go from a .332/.390/.470 line to .265/.317/.350 over one season? That’s the question we should be asking Renteria. It may be that Renteria, like Cabrera, is having trouble adjusting to American League pitchers. Or it may be that last season was a fluke for Renteria. It is certainly looking like the latter, sadly for owners who thought Renteria would score 110-120 runs sitting near the top of that powerful lineup.
C Victor Martinez, Cleveland Indians – It’s hard to kick a guy down while he is on the disabled list, but Martinez 54 games to hit his first home run of the season. And he didn’t do so. He was on pace for career lows in homers, RBI, and batting average. Oh, and he’s out until late July, at the earliest.
OF Eric Byrnes, Arizona Diamondbacks – It seemed as if Byrnes had found his home last season, putting up 50 stolen bases for the D-Backs and also finding his 20 home run power. It was his second consecutive 20-20 season. However, Byrnes played with two torn hamstrings this season, which killed his hitting. He’s expected back toward the middle of July, which should appease fantasy owners, if he’s healthy.
1B Carlos Pena, Tampa Bay Rays – Throughout his career, scouts just couldn’t figure out what was wrong with Pena. That can be shown by so many teams (Detroit, Boston, the Yankees, and Tampa Bay) taking chances on him. Pena displayed the ability to get on base and hit for power throughout his minor league career. Last season was his first good one at the major league level, as he hit .282/.411/.627. In other words, he was the cheap man’s David Ortiz. He’s the cheap man’s David Ortiz this year too, but that label isn’t good this year.