Do some names look out of place on your fantasy baseball rankings? A deeper look reveals many busts and overvalued players when preparing for your fantasy baseball draft.
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Miami Marlins
Salty's ability to leave the yard has improved, but paying a fantasy starter's price for this new Marlins Park dweller teeters on crazy. His 2013 hit rate was way too lucky ... and come on, it's the Miami lineup, which further caps what you can earn. -TH
1B Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
The impact of his 53 round-trippers in 2013 probably can't be overstated. Does anyone doubt his power? No. So what prompts the pan? Really, it's just that his second half last season (.245 BA, a homer every 15.1 ABs) is closer to his baseline performance than his once-in-a-career first (.315 BA, one HR every 9.3 at-bats). Good player? Yes -- among the likes of Edwin Encarnacion, Joey Votto and Prince Fielder. Splitting hairs, maybe? It's just important to understand that he's not such a clear-cut choice because of only what he did last year. Which is what we should all remember every year. -NM
3B Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles
Puig could be huge whiff
If the 21-year-old weren't making a comeback from surgery to repair the torn medial patellofemoral ligament in his left knee, his ADP would be greater. The gist here: Be more cautious than the field. Machado won't be at full speed until close to opening day, and then he'll have some catching up to do. A slow start would mitigate and delay the gains he'll make, and those won't necessarily be significant. -NM
OF Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds
Turning 27, he may get closer to putting it all together, but that pipe-dream BA everyone hopes will arrive won't come without 2010-like magic. Although he hits plenty of LD, his contact rate and GB-FB split don't predict further progress.
To sustain the power for which everyone pays good cash, he has have to live with his weaknesses elsewhere. When you reach the third and fourth round of drafts, his floor looks OK, but beware the trap doors. -TH
OF Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers Sophomore Slump
Puig's aggressive nature at the dish fueled his flashy start. But it was too much too soon: The 23-year-old's on- and off-field growing pains will manifest more strongly in his second season. Drafters can't expect another .383 BABIP, despite his GB justification, given his cratered contact rate. He's even battling back problems among a slew of other maladies.
Reaching his ceiling would put him among the elite, but that won't happen until 2015 at the earliest. If his SB success doesn't improve, his numbers won't differ from those you can snag a few rounds later. -TH
OF Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
He hit ball far, but how much can trust a 6-foot-6, 240-pounder that since 2011 has suffered chronic lower-body injuries? If he stole more bags, you'd be more willing to forgive his dangerous BA and contact profile. OBP leagues boost him a bit, but who does he have to drive in? You better hope he hits 50 out; that's the only way he'll justify a second-round pick. -TH
OF Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds
You may be lucky enough that your opponents don't like him. Any time you can draft someone with an 80 speed score, you may win the category with him on his own. Odds are, given his wheels' natural advantage over Dee Gordon, he won't become Gordon.
But will his stick do enough? Pegging Hamilton as a top-50 guy forces you to pass on much safer assets. And if you're putting all your speed eggs in the basket of someone who may not get 400 AB -- hard not to do with all the power you'll be passing on -- you're running toward a dangerous strategy. -TH
2014 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers and Undervalued Players: Hitters | Pitchers
2014 Fantasy Baseball Busts and Overvalued Players: Hitters | Pitchers
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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