So today marks the first of my two fantasy baseball money league drafts and I have been preparing big time like usual. Looking through all the players and scenarios, I am trying to prepare myself to any and all possibilities while weighing which players are worth pursuing and which are too risky. With that in mind, I wanted to construct what I think is a list of the perennially overrated and underrated players in fantasy baseball. The players who always seem to get drafted higher than they should along with those who always seem to get picked lower than their stats portray. I am not looking at new kids on the block like a Jose Bautista here. These are guys who for at least two seasons or more fall into these categories. So without delay lets see what I cam up with. Let me know if you agree of disagree.
Joe Mauer: This one is easy. Mauer is almost always the top catcher off the board and he has found himself drafted on average in the fourth round the last five years. That’s crazy high for any catcher as other than pitcher, the position is a major injury risk as we have seen in Mauer with his recurring knee issues. Mauer’s 2009 bonanza was clearly an outlier and his overall stat while while very good, pales in comparison to other players who are selected in the round he is picked in, leaving the owner shorthanded.
Brian McCann: McCann is another one. Yes he is a very good hitting catcher but his average has been in decline the last three seasons and his power has not broken out from the 20 range like many expected. He also has had vision problems which is not what you want from any catcher.
Adam Dunn: Dunn is a monster with the home run ball. There is no debating that. The problem however is the terrible averages he puts up which eats into the value Dunn provides in home runs and RBI. He really is a 2.5 category guy for a high draft slot who will hurt you in average.
Ian Kinsler: Kinsler continues to get drafted high every season and he continues to spend an inordinate amount of time on the DL each season. The talent is undeniable but the lost games destroy his bottom line. Since you need a second or third round pick to get him, the value is almost always never there.
Alexei Ramirez: People keep drafting him high waiting for a breakout that wont come. His plate approach is a joke and while 15 home runs and 15 steals is nice, you can do much better at where he is being selected.
Jacoby Ellsbury: Stolen base specialists are a terrible spot to invest in a high draft pick due to the plethora of speed guys available at the end of drafts almost every season. Those who picked Ellsbury early on last season understand this.
Chone Figgins: See above.
Curtis Granderson: Grandy always gets love on draft day but he is a very flawed player. He cant hit lefties, his average is mediocre, and his steals have never been as good as they should be.
BJ Upton: The poster boy for this list. How many times are we going to make excuses for the guy and burn high draft picks on this average drain with a bad attitude?
Josh Beckett: This might finally be the season that the fantasy baseball community realizes that Beckett gives up a ton of flyballs, has seen a spike in walk rate, and pitches in The Beast.
Chad Billingsly: Another guy who failed to make the jump. Still walks too many batters and doesn’t win enough games.
Stephen Drew: Keep waiting for that breakout. We area still waiting on his brother’s.
Mark Reynolds: What a joke this guy is at the dish.
Mike Napoli: Yeah his average stinks but Napoli has huge power at a position that doesn’t supply it much. Always has great draft value every season.
Kurt Suzuki: The epitome of the guy you draft when you punt catcher. Bats cleanup and will have counting stats that most catchers don’t approach.
Adrian Gonzalez: This will be the last time Gonzalez is on this list but for the last five years people have held Petco Park against him which is wrong. He still was a 35 home guy there.
Paul Konerko: Another underrated first baseman who will see a price jump this season. The last time he failed to supply positive draft value, Bill Clinton was in office.
Adam LaRoche: You look up and he has 25 home runs every season.
Dan Uggla: As consistent as they come and the poor average holds back his draft value.
Hunter Pence: I don’t get this. Guy hits 25 home runs each season last three years and yet he is not drafted as a top ten guy for his position.
Ryan Dempster: Durable innings eater who puts up a mid-3.00 ERA and 200 K’s. Yet he will be lucky to approach top 25 pitchers.
Ted Lilly: Look at the guy’s WHIP’s the last few seasons. Go take a look.
Shin-Soo Choo: So what if he doesn’t excel in one category, he is very good in all of them. Fantasy baseball owners can be so weird to me when it comes to certain guys every season.
Torii Hunter: Can you remember every feeling letdown by Hunter before last season? Didn’t think so.
Cole Hamels: People rally have to get over his 2009 season. You see that 2008 workload? Watch out Mat Latos owners.
There you have it. This is how I see it. Let me know if you agree of disagree.