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.


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