Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Now for the flip side regarding the fantasy baseball first baseman I will avoid in drafts this season.

Edwin Encarnacion:  I have all the respect in the world for Encarnacion who arguably has been the most consistent and productive power hitter in the game the last five years.  Unfortunately I will be avoiding him this season for a number of reasons, starting with the fact he goes from arguably the best home run park in the majors to a pitcher's palace in Cleveland which will steal 2-4 home runs and a few more RBI.  Also Encarnacion is getting up there in age at 34 and he has a history of nagging injuries which could be more of an issue.  Finally, Encarnacion is becoming more of a pure slugger as he ages as his average has dropped to .277 and .263 the last two years.  Bad trends.

Hanley Ramirez:  Props to the tremendous comeback season by HanRan last season when he cracked 30 home runs for the Boston Red Sox but I am not buying.  First of all you never buy high on a player which is what you would be doing with Hanley as 2016 was the first year in a few he put up impactful numbers.  In addition, Ramirez is an old 33 whose body has been breaking down for years.
Wil Myers:  Again never buy a player off a career year as they almost always disappoint the following season.  Lots of things are working against Myers this season, the first being his grossly inflated draft price as many fall to the allure of his 28/28 campaign in 2016.  As impressive as that was, Myers's steals were in clear outlier territory and will be very tough to repeat.  Also, Myers has a very long history of serious injuries and last season was the first time in forever he stayed in one piece.  The chances of that happening again are not great.  Throw in the annually ugly batting averages and Myers is a prime bust candidate.

Chris Davis:  Those who are long time readers know I have no love for Davis and his all-or-nothing approach.  The damage to your team average is a big price to pay for the immense power.

Brandon Belt:  The guy can hit but Belt is never going to live up to the initial hype when he first arrived.  An annual tease who I won't chase anymore.

Adrian Gonzalez:  Back problems for an aging slugger like AGone are especially worrisome and just 18 home runs in 568 at-bats last season show there is trouble brewing here.  A long favorite of mine, I am ready to move on for good.

Mike Napoli:  A cheaper version of Chris Davis who I still don't want unless it is as a backup.

Albert Pujols:  Can still hit some home runs but Pujols is himself now an all-or-nothing slugger who already is recovering from offseason surgery. He has not been viable as anything more than a UTIL or CI bat for a few seasons now and that is not something that looks like it will change as Pujols continues to age on us.

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