Hardball High Week 7 – Fantasy baseball disappointments

Hardball High

Hardball High

It may seem merciless to keep you all in class over Memorial Day weekend but Fantasy Baseball takes no holidays. Well, not counting the offseason. And the All-Star break. In any case, if you’re reading this over the long weekend, it means you have some way to access the internet. So make good use of your extra days off, and invest some time and energy in your attention-deprived fantasy team.

Of course, there’s always the chance that you’re starting to lose some of your gusto over your Fantasy Baseball team. Nobody likes losing week after week, and if things don’t start to turn around, you might abandon ship on the squad altogether.

The worst possible thing that can happen in Fantasy Baseball is for your non-injured stars to underperform. These are the individuals you draft to be reliable sources of counting stats over the year. At least when they get injured they can’t HURT your team. This week, we take a look at the top five non-injury-related letdowns (if you drafted Jose Fernandez or Prince Fielder, we are truly sorry) of the season among player drafted on average in the top 100, and give advice on what to do with each miscreant on a case-by-case basis:

5. Matt Carpenter, STL 2B/3B: ADP – 55, PRK – 232. Difference: -177

After leading the league in hits, doubles, and runs last year, Carpenter has been a huge disappointment for Fantasy owners thus far this season. His 30 runs are respectable, and his 16 RBI’s are at least average. But Carpenter is hampered by his pedestrian .266 batting average and his whopping ONE homer and ONE steal. However, his 28 walks show he has maintained his plate presence, and if his well hit average ticks up, he should be back to at least a shadow of his old self. Keep Carpenter.

Fantasy Baseball

Wil Myers has struggled so far, especially compared to his 2013 AL ROY campaign.

4. Wil Myers, TB OF: ADP – 62, PRK – 251. Difference: -189

Last season’s AL Rookie of the Year has not delivered on the promise that he showed since being called up last year. His average has dropped to a paltry .238, and his slugging is all the way down to .359. However, there evidence to suggest that Myers should turn his dismal season around. His OPS is a full 100 points higher so far in May and he’s slugging the ball much better. Expect Myers to return to form sooner than later. Keep Myers/Trade for Myers.

3. Eric Hosmer, KC 1B: ADP – 54, PRK – 250. Difference: -196

This season has been an absolute power outage for Hosmer. Many saw him as a strong potential breakout candidate this season, with possibilities as a 30 HR, 20 steal guy hitting .300+. Few expected a regressing down to a single homer through 46 games, and NO steals. Hosmer has a lot of potential, but the Royals seem to be in full on choke mode as far as Fantasy batters go, and a career low in Isolated Power should leave you worried, at least for this season. In a keeper league, clearly, hold on to Hosmer. But in standard, try to trade Hosmer to someone who has more faith in him than you should.

2. Jordan Zimmermann, WSH SP: ADP – 76, PRK – 306. Difference: -230

An All-star and 19 game winner last season, Zimmermann is the most surprising name on this list. In real baseball Zimmermann has been a quality pitcher with an ERA of 3.70 and five quality starts to his name. What’s keeping Zimmermann from living up to Fantasy expectations are his lack of wins and very high WHIP. While he’s doing a good job keeping runners on base, his WHIP of 1.42 doesn’t do fantasy owners any favors. Once Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman return from the DL, however, Jordan Zimmermann should jump back to his regular numbers. Keep Zimmermann/Trade for Zimmermann.

Fantasy Baseball

Allen Craig may be one of the biggest conundrums in all of Fantasy Baseball.

1. Allen Craig, STL 1B/OF: ADP – 53, PRK – 313. Difference: -260

A career high in ground ball percentage (59.1 percent) and low in line drives (19.7 percent) have landed Craig 260 spots on the Player Rater below where he was drafted. That smarts.

Craig has batter well over .300 each of the last three seasons, and his .239 this year has plenty of fantasy owners worried. As far as the rest of the season goes, Craig is somewhat of a crapshoot. His BABIP of .279 suggests a bout of bad luck to start the season. But Craig is also striking out at career-high rates and slugging a mere .364. At this point, keep Craig, but don’t be afraid to pull the trigger if a trade offer comes your way.

The main takeaway from the above is that most of these non-injured players are talented individuals, who are likely to turn their season around. Remember, Fantasy Baseball is all about minimizing risk, so holding on to struggling stars may be tough, but it’s unequivocally the right thing to do. Class dismissed.

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