2011 Fantasy Baseball: What’s With All the Fantasy Stud Drop Off?

What's with all the stud drop off?

What’s wrong with Carl Crawford?  What’s wrong with Adam Dunn?  Or how about Hanley Ramirez, Chone Figgins and even David Wright, hitting only .226 in 146 at bats before he went on the DL?  What’s wrong with these guys?  Why do we see that every year in fantasy baseball, where guys that have always been good and have always produced at a high level, fantasy studs, if you will, suddenly come out the next year to struggle and hit for a horribly low average?

I would include Ichiro in the list of names I Just provided, but at least he has an excuse for suddenly batting in the mid 270’s at this point in the season, after hitting for an average of at least .303 with a minimum of 206 hits in the last 10 seasons.  When you’re 37 years of age, going on 38, your drop off season has to come at some point, right?  So at least here, there is an explanation.  At least here, something makes sense as to why he could be having an off year.  But I never understand cases like those other guys.

Chone Figgins for example, only 33 years old, a career .281 hitter, comes out in 2010, his first season with Seattle, and hits a measly .259.  The only reason he was even able to get his average back up that high was because he had a pretty good finish to the season during the second half of last year.  That strong finish led us all to believe that he would come back out in 2011 and pick up right where he left off, but no dice, that never happened!  Next thing you know, here in 2011 he’s batting .186 and I can’t even remember anymore what it was like when he used to be good—anyone else in that same boat with me?

How about Adam Dunn?  What happened to this guy all the sudden?  I mean come on; he’s always hit for a low to satisfactory average, but batting .173 with only 7 homers nearing the All-Star break?  That’s unacceptable.  Especially just after the past two years Dunn spent with the Nationals hitting in the .260’s with 38 home runs both years and 103 and 105 RBI.  Where is all this .173 garbage coming from?  He just suddenly forgot how to hit or something?  Fantasy owners definitely did not plan on this happening with Dunn when they selected him early on in their drafts.  The 100 K’s to this point we expected, but geez, get your average up meat!

Some other examples, look at Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford now.  Hanley, a .306 career hitter, batting only .214 now in 2011 with the All-Star break arriving.  Huh?  How?  I’m sure the person who drafted Hanley with their first or second overall pick had no idea this was going to happen.  And Carl Crawford, a perennial beast and career .296 hitter, all the sudden batting only .243 with only 8 stolen bases thus far?  I’m at a loss for words.  I’ve even stuck my neck out there on the line and said that Crawford would rebound and have a great year.  He has rebounded, but a great year?  I’m starting not to think so.

That’s just baseball for you though I guess.  This is just what happens to guys sometimes.  You go around and look at players’ career numbers and you see one year they had the season of a lifetime and then the next year they hit half the homers they did the season prior and hit for a much lower average.  My only explanation to all of this is that pitchers start pitching these guys differently and the hitters can’t adjust or maybe something “wasn’t” broke, but they decided to “fix it,” or maybe they just aren’t getting as lucky.  But that means they must have been getting an awful lot of luck to be hitting for such a high average year in and year out, so I doubt luck has too much to do with that.  All I know is that it’s very frustrating to have such high hopes for a player before the season starts, who usually does very well and then to get surprised with a dud of a year—welcome to baseball.

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