MLB: Chicago White Sox at Washington Nationals
Tommy Gilligan / USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday! Like sleepers and breakouts, there are different types of busts. You can't just lump them all into one category. I think the two most popular ways to look at a bust in Fantasy baseball are as overvalued or with bottom-out potential. As you'll learn below, Chris Towers thinks both Eloy Jimenez and Bo Bichette are busts, but it has nothing to do with their talent and everything to do with their draft-day cost. We dedicated today's entire podcast to look at those players you should avoid based on current average draft position.

In the little bit where we didn't talk about busts, we focused on news and notes from the weekend. Jake Odorizzi signed a two-year deal with the Houston Astros. What does that mean for his Fantasy value? We also had a few very intriguing velocity readings for pitchers, focusing mainly on Patrick Corbin, John Means and Jameson Taillon

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Busts to avoid!


We missed having Chris on the show at the end of last week, so we let him kick things off with the player he is avoiding in all drafts -- it's someone he wants no part of at his current ADP.

  • Eloy Jimenez: ADP 35.6 (per Fantasy Pros)

Chris: "I just can't bring myself to pay a premium for a guy who projects even in an optimistic scenario to be a three-category contributor. In a H2H, I don't think the outlook projects much better. He has a relatively high strikeout rate -- right around 25% through the first two seasons of his career -- with a very low walk rate below 6% for his career. I just think you can get similar production elsewhere given the fact that he hasn't stolen a base since 2017.

Jimenez isn't the only player Towers is avoiding at his current ADP. In fact, he even has a player being drafted on average higher than Jimenez. Towers broke down 10 potential busts who are currently being overdrafted that you'll want to avoid falling into the trap on.

For Scott, the one bust he's definitely avoiding is a player who took a huge step forward in a shortened 2020 season.

Scott: "He took a huge step forward in a very short season last year, and that's the crux of the issue. As good as his numbers were, it's not like the profile changed. His plate discipline was still horrendous. He just hit the ball really hard for two months and it looks to me like a hot streak. Given there weren't widespread changes to his profile, and he was a fourth outfielder type before 2020, I do not have a lot of faith."

Want more busts from Scott? You can find them in his Busts 2.0.

For my No. 1 bust to avoid, I'm going to the other side with a pitcher who has too many red flags for me.

Scherzer is now 37 years old and he is my SP14 in my rankings, so I don't think I'm going to have any shares. He has dealt with recurring neck and back injuries. He had a 3.74 ERA and 1.38 WHIP with over 3 BB/9 last season -- his highest since 2010. Both his average exit velocity against and hard-hit rates were his highest since Statcast began tracking data back in 2015. Both Scherzer's BABIP and batting average against have been on the rise in each of his past two seasons.

Chris has Scherzer ranked as his SP4 and believes that a potential injury is the only red flag -- and Scott is not willing to make the case for Scherzer as a bust either -- so I'm on an island with this one! That's OK -- that's how I like it. I've got a lot more busts for you, too.

News and notes

  • Jake Odorizzi signed a two-year deal with the Astros. Odorizzi barely pitched in 2020 due to injury but was awesome back in 2019 when he finished with a 3.51 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP, with 10 K/9 across 159 innings pitched. Scott is not banking on that continuing in Houston. The ADP for Odorizzi is 342 but that could be on the move and it's something to keep an eye on.
  • Framber Valdez update: He's still holding out hope that he can avoid season-ending finger surgery for his fractured finger, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
  • Pitching prospect Forrest Whitley (Astros) apparently needs Tommy John surgery but is seeking a second opinion.
  • Alex Bregman, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, feels about 90%. Bregman and the team are being cautious with the injury.
  • Cody Bellinger played three innings of defense in an intrasquad game Sunday and is on pace to play in an actual game sometime around March 15.
  • Franmil Reyes and Jose Ramirez both violated team COVID protocols and will be away for a few days.

Velocity readings to keep an eye on

MLB: NLCS-Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals
Jeff Curry / USA TODAY Sports

If you remember back to last week, Chris broke down what actually matters in spring baseball before the regular season opener. One of those key things to keep an eye on is velocity readings from pitchers.

  • Patrick Corbin threw 14 fastballs Saturday. According to Baseball Savant, he averaged 89.9 MPH on the pitch. Last year that was 90.8 MPH, 92.2 MPH in 2019. Scott said he's not encouraged by what he's seen this spring from Corbin and he is staying away until further notice.
  • John Means reached 92.2 MPH on Saturday after reaching 94.2 MPH last season. Means was one of Scott's favorite sleepers, but now he is hesitating a bit more than usual to take him. Of course, it's still early in spring training, but if that's what his velocity is at the beginning of the season, Scott won't feel so great about him anymore.
  • Jameson Taillon averaged 92.4 MPH on his four-seam fastballs on Saturday. The last time we saw him in 2019, he was averaging 95.2 MPH on that pitch. Taillon is of course working his way back from his second Tommy John surgery.

More busts!

Scott gets us rolling again with Walker Buehler: "He's the one I'm least likely to draft because he's being drafted amid aces who I expect to dominate and eat a lot of innings. I expect Walker Buehler to do one of those things -- I don't expect him to eat a lot of innings. The Dodgers have always built him up very slowly. Given their history of how they've coddled him, and after a year where he didn't even throw 60 innings, is this the year where he takes on an ace workload? I sincerely doubt it."

Chris throws out Bo Bichette: "He has a really good track record in the minors, but he's had trouble staying healthy in the majors. I can't justify spending a late second/early third-round pick for a guy who might perform like Javy Baez who is going 50-60 picks later."

I'm throwing another bust out there in Cody Bellinger who popped his shoulder out in the postseason last year, had surgery in November, and he hasn't appeared in a spring training game yet. While there are varying degrees of shoulder surgery, they have been known to sap power. That just adds an extra layer of risk I'd rather avoid with one of my first two picks.

For the rest of our busts, you'll have to dive into the entire podcast!

Is Ohtani back to break Fantasy?

Chris is very close to jumping back on the Shohei Ohtani bandwagon. Only this time, it's a lot cheaper to jump back on. Ohtani has an ADP of 183 right now even after reminding us with a moon shot of a homer run why he was such an exciting prospect to begin with. However, Ohtani's bomb isn't the reason Chris is excited. What has him amped up about Ohtani is what we saw last Friday during his first time on the mound this spring. He broke down exactly why Ohtani's start was so exciting and how you should now approach him in your coming drafts. 

So which Fantasy baseball sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued first baseman can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Will Smith's huge breakout last season, and find out.