Well, the baseball season is finally over, and all things considered, it didn’t turn out badly for me from a fantasy baseball perspective. In the three money leagues I played in, I finished in the money in all of them. Unfortunately, none of those teams was ever a serious contender to win; my biggest disappointment came in my main league, where I needed some good luck in the season’s final week to hold on to the last money spot after coming into the year as the defending champion. There were too many things that went wrong — and too many bad decisions in each of these leagues to document here (though don’t get me wrong — there were plenty of good decisions as well, or I wouldn’t have ended up as good as I did).
Instead, I thought I would look back at some of my predictions and advice going into the season to see how I fared. As it turns out, there were some I was right on the money on — and others that I’m left wondering, “Did I really say that?”
Break Out The Champagne
Predicting Billy Butler and Rick Porcello as fantasy sleepers; Predicting Rich Harden, Ervin Santana, and Gary Sheffield as fantasy duds; Predicting Carlos Delgado as a player taking a step back
Butler was a monster, particularly in the 2nd half, when he hit .314 with 13 HR and 55 RBI and cemented himself as an offensive star of the future in Kansas City. The 20 year-old Porcello showed a maturity beyond his years all season, posting a solid 3.96 ERA in 170 innings along with 14 wins. Meanwhile, as predicted, Rich Harden couldn’t stay healthy (though admittedly, this was about as hard as predicting that you get wet if you walk outside in the rain). He threw only 141 IP for the Cubs, and his 4.09 ERA was over two runs a game higher than it was in 2008. Even worse was Santana, who combined injury with ineffectiveness, as he was lit up to the tune of a 5.03 ERA in his 23 starts, while often looking like he was serving batting practice on the mound. After signing with the Mets, Sheffield would be reduced to a part-time player who only had value in the deepest of leagues, while his teammate Delgado vanished in May from a hip injury that required surgery, never to return.
Not So Fast My Friend
Predicting Joey Votto, Rickie Weeks, and Jay Bruce to take steps up; Predicting Ryan Ludwick and Ryan Dempster to take steps backward
These projections, as a whole, actually weren’t too bad, but they weren’t spot-on enough to warrant patting myself too much on the back. Votto and Weeks looked like they were headed to breakout campaigns before injuries and personal issues (at least in Votto’s case) intervened. Still, Votto ended the season with outstanding numbers and Weeks would have done the same if not for his season-ending injury (though it ca’t be that surprising, since injuries are a large part of what had held Weeks back prior to this past year). Bruce was also limited by injuries, but he was struggling mightily at the plate even when he wasn’t hurt (.223 average and 75 strikeouts in 387 plate appearances). Meanwhile, Ludwick and Dempster weren’t as bad as I thought they might be — but in neither case, did they match their outstanding campaigns of the year before — so in predicting that for both of them, at least, I was right — so we’ll call that a wash.
What The Hell Was I Thinking?
Predicting a breakout year for Alex Gordon; Predicting Jayson Werth to take a step back; Predicting Eric Byrnes and Jeremy Hermida to be fantasy sleepers; Predicting John Lackey and Michael Bourn to be fantasy duds
Nothing more needs to be said about Alex Gordon — my thoughts on the debacle that is his career so far can be found already here. Meanwhile, Jeremy Hermida is only slightly less of a disappointment — one of the Marlins highly-touted youngsters from several years ago has developed into the next Mark Kotsay, but with a worse batting average and glove. Not good. Even on a terrible Arizona team, Byrnes couldn’t make an impact — not only wasn’t the outfielder healthy, but when he was on the field, he didn’t produce. On the other end of the spectrum was my complete misjudgement on Lackey’s ability to come back after his spring injury woes (he did) and Bourn’s ability to get on base enough to keep his job and rack up the stolen bases ( a more-than-respectable .285 average and .354 on-base percentage led to a NL-leading 61 steals). Oops. And I won’t even get into my horrific misfire on Werth, who was fantasy gold (.268-36-99-20-98) for anyone who ignored my advice.
All-in-all, my predictions were hit-and-miss — though let’s be honest here: I never professed to be perfect. That’s why for all of us — there’s always next year, right?