A new Major League Baseball season is upon us, and that means it’s time to prepare for your fantasy baseball league’s draft.
Everyone is looking for sleepers — guys who will come out of nowhere and prove to be pivotal pieces in fantasy championships — but it’s equally important to identify the players likely to fall short of expectations.
Here are five potential busts to avoid drafting in 2017.
Wil Myers, 1B, San Diego Padres
Myers’ batting average dropped more than 100 points after the All-Star break. If that doesn’t strike fear into fantasy owners, I’m not sure what will. Petco Park isn’t the most hitter-friendly stadium, either. People fall for the hype surrounding Myers each spring. Don’t be one of those people.
Chris Carter, 1B, New York Yankees
Carter crushed 41 home runs last year, but he also struck out the second-most times (203) in the majors and finished with a lackluster .222 batting average. The 30-year-old veteran scored just 84 runs and drove in 94 runs despite ranking inside the top 10 in homers. The Yankees probably are going to score a ton of runs in 2017 and Carter likely will hit 25-plus homers, but his poor batting average and inability to drive in runs when he’s not going yard is a concern.
Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Toronto Blue Jays
Tulowitzki has been an exciting player and a fantasy All-Star in the past, but falling in love with past performances is one of the cardinal sins of fantasy sports. Tulo’s runs scored, hits, batting average, home runs and doubles totals all declined in 2016 compared to his 2015 figures. He also has an injury history and the last time he played more than 140 games in a single season was 2011. That’s not starting shortstop material on a successful fantasy team.
Khris Davis, LF, Oakland Athletics
What are the chances Davis hits 42 home runs again? Well, if he doesn’t, he might not provide much of anything else for your team. He collected just 137 hits and batted a disappointing .247 last season. His on-base percentage actually declined from 2015 and his 166 strikeouts ranked 11th in the majors. Davis also plays in a lineup with little protection and a ballpark not built to accommodate hitters. It would be wise to find a power hitter who brings other skills to the table.
Rich Hill, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Hill went 12-5 with a 2.12 ERA and 129 strikeouts between the A’s and Dodgers in 2016. But at 37 years old, how much longer can he produce like a fantasy stud? Four years ago, Hill posted a 6.28 ERA in 63 appearances for the Cleveland Indians, and while he’s resurrected his career since that disastrous season, his age still carries some risk for fantasy owners. He also hasn’t made more than 20 starts in a decade, so we still don’t know if he’s capable of putting up quality stats for a full season as a No. 3 starter on a contending team.
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