Fantasy Baseball | MLB 2011 Most Disappointing Players

Carl Crawford has been a major disappointment so far in 2011

Do you sometimes wonder if we’re ever going to have a year where all our spring training projections just pan out the way that we envisioned? I don’t think so, the world just isn’t that perfect.  Welcome to the realm of fantasy sports, where pre-season breakout candidates plummet and waiver wire nobodies become crucial cogs to fantasy baseball playoff-bound teams.  And of course, that’s why they play the games.  Here is a list of my most disappointing players to date for the 2011 MLB fantasy baseball season.

OF, Carl Crawford | Boston Red Sox
What’s with all the outfielders on this list?  And what’s with Carl Crawford only hitting a mere .211?  For a guy of his talent, one would expect him to turn things around and turn them around quickly, but that hasn’t happened so far.  He’s only got one home run to speak of so far in 2011 and just about the only thing good I can find to say about him here is that he doesn’t have an error on the year–yet.  So hey, at least he’s helping out your fielding percentage category.

OF, Ryan Raburn | Detroit Tigers
Here’s a guy that I, along with many others, reached for in standard snaking fantasy baseball drafts for 2011.  With a strong finish to last years’ regular season and much pre-season hype surrounding him for 2011, I made sure to grab him early on in all three of my leagues—not too early, but around pick 10 or so out of about 30 rounds of drafting with 16 teams.  After being projected by many analysts to go for 25+ homers and 80+ RBI, the supposed-to-be slugger hasn’t done anything but hit .229 with 4 home runs and only 14 RBI to go along with 43 strikeouts—that’s 1.3 strikeouts a game.  That is not what people drafted him for, but that is why he is on this list.  If you’re going to hit for a sorry average, at least stop punching out so much so I don’t have to put you on this list, you’re killing my “K” cat, kid!  It’s still early in the season and there is time to rebound, but those strike outs are starting to make me think that a rebound might not be happening.  I would bench Raburn until further notice.

OF, Austin Jackson | Detroit Tigers
Austin Jackson had an amazing rookie season in 2010 hitting .293 with 181 hits and 27 stolen bases in 618 at bats.  He did punch out 170 times, but with that many hits, you’ll live with it.  I personally expected the drop-off in production just because I felt like it would have been too incredible for him to have had a season like that again, back to back—it’s too soon.  However, given the talent that he does have, many fantasy players this year did not expect him to be on their benches as he figures out his current .224 average.  The Tigers have been struggling to try and score some more runs.  If Austin Jackson can get on base a bit more in front of all the power bats in that lineup, obvious changes in run production would occur for Jim Leyland and for fantasy owners as well.

SP, Ubaldo Jimenez | Colorado Rockies
Although his last start against the San Francisco Giants went well, Ubaldo must be on this list for his overall numbers so far in 2011.  Ubaldo Jimenez is 0-2 with a 5.88 ERA and WHIP of 1.46.  His strikeout totals are solid, (27 K’s through 26 innings) but for a pitcher of his caliber, and for the pitcher that many fantasy players drafted him to be, it’s definitely not cutting it.  Anyone who drafted Jimenez this year is just hoping and praying that his talent finds some kind of way to shake out of this funk that he is in of walking batters and getting touched for runs.  His last few starts would indicate that he may be on his way back to dominating again, so all is not lost just yet.  If you can, try and buy him low from another team who may be too impatient to wait for his dominating ways to return.

SP, Yovani Gallardo | Milwaukee Brewers
Yovani Gallardo is another top pitching ace that all fellow fantasy heads had big expectations for.  Through 49 innings so far in 2011, Yovani Gallardo has been touched for a 5.11 ERA with a 1.52 WHIP and is 3-2 on the year.  His three wins have been scattered across eight starts which shows the inconsistency fantasy baseball owners have been dealing with from him.  The K numbers are not all that great, but are at least serviceable with 36 on the year over 49 innings.  In three full seasons of starting games during 07, 09 and 2010, Gallardo’s ERA rested at about the mid to high 3’s.  If his career numbers are any indication, the ERA should drop, but owners are hoping for that drop to come sooner rather than later.   Wait him out for a couple more starts before deciding whether or not to trade him or keep him.

1B/DH, Adam Dunn | Chicago White Sox
Adam Dunn might just be the biggest bust so far this year in 2011 with only 16 hits and a miniscule average of only .167—I saved the best for last.  Owners in this years’ draft, picked Dunn to anchor the home run hitting duties of their team in the heart of the Whitesox lineup, but that just isn’t happening.  Maybe the appendectomy is still bothering him.  I would keep Dunn on the bench for now until he can get things figured out at the plate.  If you have someone else on your roster that you’re just itching to play, then go ahead and play him, Dunn isn’t doing much to make the decision that hard anyway.

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