The costly All-Scrubs of Fantasy baseball
The first-half Fantasy All-Stars have put owners on track for a championship season. Now it's time to honor the disappointing All-Scrubs keeping other owners from a title.
As we continue to wait for the announcement of the 2014 All-Star Game rosters, let's turn our attention from 2014's Fantasy heroes -- who Chris Towers gave the firework treatment on the Fourth of July -- to this season's goats.
As Chris did in his All-Star selection Friday, I'll be taking value into account when putting together my All-Scrubs roster. That $30 action dud is having a much bigger effect on disappointing seasons for Fantasy owners than the $1 flyer who didn't pan out, as the big-ticket dud provided a wasted opportunity to grab another highly-regarded player who didn't come up small.
One more note: injuries will be taken into account, but a season-ending injury to a slumping player early in the season doesn't make that player an automatic All-Scrub. A big underperformer who has been healthy most of the year has had much more of an opportunity to wreak havoc on Fantasy rosters.
Without further ado ...
C: Joe Mauer , Minnesota Twins
Right out of the gate, the catcher slot provides a tough choice on our All-Scrub selection, with several big names disappointing. While players like Carlos Santana and Brian McCann have produced expected power numbers along with poor batting averages, Mauer hasn't delivered the elite batting average we expected and hasn't seen an uptick in power production either. That's not going to fly for one of Fantasy's top draft picks at the position.
Dishonorable mention: Santana, Cleveland Indians ; McCann, New York Yankees ; Wilin Rosario , Colorado Rockies ; Jason Castro , Houston Astros .
1B: Joey Votto , Cincinnati Reds
Votto has been able to maintain an excellent batting eye, but owners in standard 5x5 formats have received a truly disappointing .259 batting average through July 4 to go along with just six home runs. Chris Davis owners certainly have a case, but the Baltimore slugger has finally managed to collect a solid number of home runs after a slow start.
Dishonorable mention: Davis, Baltimore Orioles ; Prince Fielder , Texas Rangers ; Eric Hosmer , Kansas City Royals .
2B: Jason Kipnis , Indians
Big things were expected from this high draft pick, but his power has been nonexistent since returning from an oblique injury in late May. His .249/.328/.356 line isn't the result of unlucky bounces (.303 BABIP), and his only redeeming Fantasy factor this far has been a handful of stolen bases.
Dishonorable mention: Aaron Hill , Arizona Diamondbacks ; Jedd Gyorko , San Diego Padres ; Ben Zobrist , Tampa Bay Rays .
3B: Ryan Zimmerman , Washington Nationals
Zimmerman is one guy on our list who dealt with a significant injury in the first half, playing just 10 games at the start of the season before hitting the disabled list until early June. His power has been lacking since his return, and he's managed to hit just .221/.297/.336 with one home run in 113 at-bats over June and July.
Dishonorable mention: Manny Machado , Orioles; David Wright , New York Mets ; Martin Prado , Diamondbacks.
SS: Jean Segura , Milwaukee Brewers
The speed hasn't been too far off 2013's 44-steal pace, with the shortstop delivering 15 steals in the first half. That's the best we can say about Segura, who owns a .240 batting average while smacking just four home runs in 313 at-bats.
Dishonorable mention: Zobrist, Rays; Everth Cabrera , Padres; J.J. Hardy , Orioles.
OF: Carlos Gonzalez , Rockies
On the disabled list after having a benign tumor surigcally removed from his finger, Gonzalez has been on the shelf for more than a month after hitting like a star with an injury early in the season. Normally a lock to post a quality batting average, the outfielder has hit just .255 with eight home runs in 196 at-bats.
OF: Matt Holliday , St. Louis Cardinals
Holliday is normally good for an excellent batting average and a solid bit of power, but that hasn't been the case this season, as the outfielder has hit just .265 with five home runs. The batting average would be the lowest of his career by a remarkable 25 points if it were to hold.
OF: Allen Craig , Cardinals
Handing out the third outfield spot on the All-Scrub team is difficult, with Jay Bruce picking up his offensive game in June and Shin-Soo Choo delivering a solid home run total while struggling to find hits and stolen bases. I'm giving it to Craig, who hit .307 or better in each of the past three seasons but has only managed a .252 batting average this season while slugging six home runs. He may deserve to be on this team more than Holliday depending on his draft/auction price in your league.
Dishonorable mention: Bruce, Reds; Choo, Rangers; Jason Heyward , Atlanta Braves ; Wil Myers , Rays.
SP: Justin Verlander , Detroit Tigers
Could it be anyone else? Verlander struggled through a very rough stretch beginning in mid-May, giving up five earned runs or more in six of his seven starts through June 16 before finally starting to turn things around. His 6.9 K/9 rate would be his worst since 2006, his 4.71 ERA would be his worst sicne 2008 and his 1.49 WHIP would be the worst of his career (minimum three starts). His positive three-start stretch gives hope that he'll have a very different second half.
Dishonorable mention: Matt Cain , San Francisco Giants ; Homer Bailey , Reds; Danny Salazar , Indians.
RP: Joe Nathan , Tigers
This position is a different breed of disappointment. Fantasy owners have no need to keep rolling out former closers who have lost their ninth-inning jobs, so while a guy like Jim Johnson has been disappointing based on preseason ADP, he only hurt Fantasy teams for a very short time. Nathan is still a go-to option in Fantasy lineups thanks to his continued presence as a closer, but he's been atrocious while delivering a 6.16 ERA and 1.53 WHIP to go with his 17 saves.
Dishonorable mention: Jason Grilli , Pittsburgh Pirates / Los Angeles Angels ; Grant Balfour , Rays; Ernesto Frieri , Angels/Pirates.
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