This article takes a look ahead through the 2015 Fantasy Baseball season, and we ask which players we’re all going to be kick ourselves as the season progresses?
You mean, besides Yu Darvish? Or Marcus Stroman? Or Cliff Lee?
Yes, besides the first player to likely fall victim to Tommy John Surgery, and several other early season injuries.
Let’s take a look at five potential players that will make us kick ourselves by the All-Star break.
Stop hitting yourself, though — it’s not that time yet.
5 Players You’ll Want a Do-Over On
Obviously the irony of this article is clear. If I could actually predict the five players that would make me kick myself in June, they would not be on the list. Instead, I propose five names that have a high probability of making us truly regret one of two decisions:
- Not drafting them when we had the chance.
- Or drafting them far too early.
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1. Mookie Betts & 2. Rusney Castillo, OFs, Boston Red Sox
These two combine to form one, as they currently are in a “battle” for the starting center-fielder gig in Boston.
Considering it’s a joke that perhaps the two best all-around outfielders in Boston (defense plus hitting) are “battling” for one spot — notice, I put battle in quotations.
Nevertheless, as it stands now, Betts and Castillo do not have a guaranteed starting job, and while Shane Victorino seems all but guaranteed a trip to the disabled list, he is currently healthy while Castillo continues to battle an oblique injury.
Despite the position battle, Betts and Castillo each currently have an average ADP in the top 140 and rising, per Fantasypros.com, ranking ahead of fellow outfielders A.J. Pollock, Ben Revere, Gregory Polanco, Yasmany Tomas, and Melky Cabrera, among others, all of which I see as much safer options this season.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 9, 2015
While I think Betts and Castillo are both capable of posting solid numbers this year, I fear neither will receive the ultimate opportunity until 2016, leaving several owners frustrated by inconsistency throughout the year.
3. Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox
Abreu is an interesting case given how high he is going in drafts, despite his lackluster finish in 2014.
Abreu will probably have an exceptional year, however, the fact that we are all ignoring just how “average” his second half was, is why I think he could have everyone kicking themselves.
There’s no denying Abreu’s potential and ability, he made that obvious by batting .292 with 29 home runs and 73 RBI in his first 322 MLB at-bats in the first half of the 2014 season. However, in 63 games post All-Star break, Abreu hit just 7 HR with 34 RBI and 31 runs scored.
Yes, Abreu also hit .350 in the second half, finishing behind only Buster Posey among players with over 200 second-half at-bats, and by no means is that “average” as I mentioned earlier.
However, how much was his .350 average a result of him focusing more on getting on base than hitting for power? Or was it more the fact that his batting average on balls in play (BAbip) jumped from a relatively average .304 in the first half, to an obscure .419 in the second half.
The one argument for Abreu is that even if he is more toward the second-half player than the first, that’s still a solid player. While that’s true — that does not make him a good top-10 pick.
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) March 11, 2015
4. Shelby Miller, SP, Atlanta Braves
In a year where everyone wants to find the next Corey Kluber, it somewhat astonishes me how far some young pitchers have fallen despite their pedigree, including Danny Salazar, James Paxton and Taijuan Walker to name a few others.
While I do not think Miller will be the next Kluber (his strikeout potential may fall short, and win total will be low with the Atlanta Braves offense), I do think a lot of people will regret drafting the likes of Matt Shoemaker, Rick Porcello and Chris Tillman, among others, instead of the former top prospect.
The former first-round pick had an 11.1 K/9 rate through his minor-league career, and despite ranking as a top-40 prospect according to BaseballProspectus.com from 2010-2013, he seemed to fall out of favor in St. Louis from Day 1.
Dan Haren anyone?
Both of which went on to have fairly successful seasons quickly after leaving the Cardinals. With a big home ballpark, a new team, a new manager (granted, even if it is Fredi Gonzalez) and a new pitching coach, I like Miller’s chances of finishing well above his current average ADP, which is outside the top 250.
— Call to the Pen (@CalltothePen) February 18, 2015
5. Chris Owings, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks
Owings has fallen victim to PHS — post-hype syndrome.
A year ago at this time, Owings was one of the hot up-and-comers at the middle infield position.
The thought being, if only he could win the everyday job from Didi Gregorious, he could be a 15-15 shortstop.
Unfortunantely, Owings did not quite live up to the hype, and he suffered a lingering shoulder injury midway through the season that effectively ended the hype.
So, while one could look at the upcoming year as a fresh start, a year of major-league experience under his feet, and a secured starting role at shortstop with Gregorious in the Bronx, it instead appears Owings has nearly been forgotten about, considering his average ADP — outside the top 300.
Owings is still only 23 years old, and he remains the same player that hit .330 with 12 home runs and 20 stolen bases for Triple-A Reno in 2013. By no means is Owings a sure bet, and he still seems to be battling shoulder issues, but if he’s being drafted after the likes of Scooter Gennett and Brandon Crawford, etc., he could definitely have a lot of people kicking themselves at the All-Star break.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) March 8, 2015
Are there any players you think we’ll be kicking ourselves over in a couple months?
Mookie Betts/David Ortiz Photo Credit: Keith Allison