All-Bust Team

Last week I wrote about the first-half fantasy all-stars. This week, let's take on the busts. The criteria are as follows: (1) Least production given the cost; and (2) Minimum 250 ABs for hitters (except for catchers) and either 80 IP or 30 appearances for pitchers.

C Geovany Soto - The player who last year had the league's highest OPS at the position has picked it up slightly of late, and eight homers isn't terrible in 238 at-bats. But we're past the halfway point, and Soto has just 23 RBI and 26 runs scored, no steals and a .235 batting average. He was a top-10 catcher on most boards and higher than that on mine.

C Victor Martinez - This might seem unfair, given he's hitting a robust .324 with 52 RBI, but Martinez has just six HR in 293 at-bats, despite the cushy job of DHing most days and has scored just 38 runs. Given his cost on draft day (he was almost universally a top-3 catcher), his production has been disappointing. (Joe Mauer and Busty Posey get let off the hook due to injuries).

1B Adam Dunn - Forget about the disappointing nine homers, 36 RBI and paltry 26 runs at this point in the year. They're horrible, to be sure, but it's the .160 average in 281 at-bats that's destroying your team beyond all repair. Dunn will probably bounce back to an extent in the second half - either that, or he's probably finished with baseball - but even if he hits .250 the rest of the way, you're looking at a .205 average in a full-season of at-bats.

2B Dan Uggla - A power surge has taken him out of Dunn territory, but Uggla still has only 35 RBI and is batting .189 in a whopping 350 at-bats.

3B Chone Figgins - Perhaps the only player in the majors having a worse season than Dunn, Figgins is hitting .183 and has been caught stealing on six of his 15 attempts. He also has the added virtue of having lost his job.

SS Hanley Ramirez - If you knew in advance your shortstop would have nine homers and 16 steals at this point, you would probably take that in a heartbeat. But if you were then told he was hitting .252 and you used the No. 2 overall pick on him, you might change your mind. By season's end, Ramirez's stats will probably be in the ballpark of what we projected, but so far, he's been a net liability for anyone who paid the steep price for him.

CI Casey McGehee - He cost you only a middle-round pick, but in 338 at-bats, he's hitting .225 with just five homers and 26 runs scored.

MI Derek Jeter - It's amazing he became the first player to have 3,000 hits for the Yankees, and he's deserving of the career accolades that are no doubt coming his way. That said, three homers and eight steals more than halfway through the season and a .268 average are far short of earning what he cost.

OF Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth, Ichiro, Alex Rios, Shin Soo Choo ? Outfield busts run deep this year with players like Juan Pierre, Colby Rasmus and Jason Bay also meriting consideration. But Crawford was typically a first-round pick, and his production was meager even before he got hurt. The other outfielder to sign a huge (most would argue overpriced) contract this past offseason, Werth has also been terrible, hitting just .213 with only 31 RBI. Ichiro is hitting just .262 in nearly 400 at-bats, making him a pricier version of Rajai Davis, only with more job security. Rios has just six HR and six steals and is batting .210. Last year, he had 21 HR, 34 steals and batted .284. Choo was hitting .244 with just five homers in 266 at-bats before getting hurt.

P Ubaldo Jimenez, Max Scherzer, Francisco Liriano, Edinson Volquez, Edwin Jackson, John Lackey, Matt Thornton, Carlos Marmol

I won't go over each pitcher's stats in detail except to say this list is most interesting on account of who's missing from it - virtually any consensus top-10 pitcher. Jimenez was borderline top-10, but his home park was a well-known handicap, and his peripherals are better than his cosmetic fantasy numbers. Otherwise Scherzer and Liriano were the only borderline top 20-25 ones, and aside from the closers (who routinely lose their jobs), there just haven't been a lot of top pitchers who have flopped. Justin Verlander, Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Tim Linecum, C.C. Sabathia, Dan Haren, Jered Weaver, Cole Hamels, Tommy Hanson and Cliff Lee - they're all more or less earning their draft-day prices.


By: Scott Pianowski
On: 7/18/2011 4:44:00 PM
Victor Martinez can't be the right catcher answer. I looked at three different "player ranking" tools based on what's happened thus far in the year and they all ranked Martinez as the No. 2 catcher in valued earned. You can't be the No. 2 player at your position and be a bust.

Mauer shouldn't get a pass. He's hitting .260 (paltry .315 slugging) with no homers and mediocre run production over 37 games (14 runs, 13 RBIs); your replacement probably added more value when Mauer was on the DL. Geovany Soto, Jorge Posada, John Jaso, and Hank Conger could all be considered, maybe Kurt Suzuki.

All of these players are helped by the overall suck of the position, which makes the acceptable baseline lower. Chris Iannetta's average stinks, but we see some homers and the production around him and we shrug and accept it.

Some struggling roto owner might mope in his barstool and complain about Joe Mauer. No one is doing the same thing over Victor Martinez. If V-Mart is your biggest bust, you're having a nice year.
By: Chris Liss
On: 7/18/2011 5:42:00 PM
For me, it came down to Carlos Santana or V-Mart, but Santana has 15 HR and was a little cheaper. Mauer and Posey missed too much time, so I let them slide. No one else was pricey enough to disappoint. Posada was borderline, but he was much cheaper and has 9 HR, Jaso, Conger, Suzuki were also cheap, especially in a mixed league. There were only 5-6 catchers eligible to be busts for the cost, and McCann and Wieters were better values, Santana I was on the fence about (but he's closer to expectations), and Soto has been worse.
By: Zenguerrilla
On: 7/19/2011 9:13:00 AM
Santana is #2 and Martinez is #3 right now in a points league standings at C. Posada is #18 so he definitely looks like the biggest non injury bust per buck. Anyways, injury should be factored into qualifying for a "bust" since in essence we are talking about "bad picks" per $ or when drafted.
By: seps
On: 7/19/2011 10:29:00 AM
I don't agree with the premise that injuries preclude Mauer or Posey from being a bust... I drafted Posey fairly early in a 2 catcher league and given the gaping hole his injury left in my lineup, I sure feel like he was a huge bust.
By: Chris Liss
On: 7/19/2011 10:44:00 AM
Of course, injuries are busts, but there's no point in listing guys who are out for the season - everyone knows the deal with that. The point of the exercise is finding who has underperformed the most despite being healthy. Otherwise, I might as well just have Figgins, Dunn and link to our injury page. As for V-Mart - again, healthy catchers more or less played to their slots, and those who underperformed were so cheap anyway, their cost was negligible. Sometimes, the mistake is that you invested an early pick in the position, period which is the case with Martinez - fine for a C, but not worth his likely overall draft slot.
By: Jacobdk
On: 7/19/2011 1:49:00 PM
You can't change the definition of what it means to be a "bust" just because there's no one who meets the criteria. Even his runs are in line with what he's done in the past. It's silly to have him there and I DEMAND a retraction!

Also, as a Jason Heyward owner I'd like a little recognition for what I've endured this season.
By: Chris Liss
On: 7/19/2011 2:18:00 PM
I just cannot call a player not drafted in the first 12 rounds of a 14-team mixed league a bust. So it had to be Martinez whose numbers for a third or fourth rounder are subpar (though better than Heyward's).
By: lvtdude
On: 7/19/2011 5:05:00 PM
Heyward, Longoria, Zimmerman, and Greinke have all way under-performed. Greinke may be striking out a ton, but a 5.04 ERA is a killer. Longoria hitting .237? Heyward? I kept him as one of 7 keepers and it has been an awful move so far. Ryan Zimmerman is hitting .255 with 5 homers. I know Chone has been terrible, but who really expected him to be a great 3B option?
By: Chris Liss
On: 7/19/2011 6:10:00 PM
Greinke might be leading the majors in Ks had he not missed that first month, too. So I thought about him but left him off. Longoria/Zimmerman were close, but their injuries got them off the hook. Figgins was still a top-10 3B on most boards, and he's been awful beyond belief.
By: Zenguerrilla
On: 7/19/2011 10:03:00 PM
"I just cannot call a player not drafted in the first 12 rounds of a 14-team mixed league a bust." Figgens, E. Jackson, Lackey, Volquez all want to know who was foolish enough to draft them before that? Boom goes the dynamite! Listing a guy hitting .324 at all star break as a first half bust is pretty funny. He isn't a power guy and how much control does he have for runs and rbi's? lmao Hell, I thought your 5 posts about Mauer learning a new skill "power" was nutty....Nobody beats a dead horse in a losing battle like ole Liss. :)
By: kennethcoleman
On: 7/27/2011 11:19:00 PM
ou can't change the definition of what it means to be a "bust" just because there's no one who meets the criteria. Even his runs are in line with what he's done in the past. It's silly to have him there and I DEMAND a retraction![URL[=]Nicklaus Misiti[/URL] | Nicklaus Misiti | Nicklaus Misiti | ttps://]Nicklaus Misiti | Nicklaus Misiti | Nicklaus Misiti | Nicklaus Misiti | Nicklaus Misiti | Nicklaus Misiti | Nicklaus Misiti
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