Every couple of years I fall in love with someone and must have them on my team at all costs. A few years ago it was Nick Markakis. He had just come off of a 2007 season where he hit .300/.362/.485 with 43 doubles, 23 homers, 112 RBI's and 18 SBs.
So very early in the 2008 draft, I selected him. He quickly became one of my favorite players in fantasy and reality. He hit .306/.406/.491 with 48 doubles, 20 homers, 87 RBI's and 10 steals. All of this and he was only 24 years old!
Unfortunately, he never took off from there. In 2009 he dropped to .293/.347/.453 with 18 homers, 101 RBI and 6 SBs. Then came 2010 and the bottom really fell out as he hit .297/.370/.436 with 12 homers, 60 RBIs and 7 SBs. Last year, the downward trend continued as he triple slashed .284/.351/.406 with 15 homers and 73 RBI's.
Markakis peaked early. I don't know if it is because he lost interest after he signed his big 6 year/ 66 million contract? I don't know if it is because he is playing for the perennial cellar dwelling Orioles? Maybe it was just because the league adjusted to him.
I will tell you one thing though. I am staying away from Markakis this year. At least that is my plan. Come draft day, I'll probably have visions of the guy I loved in 2008 and draft him. Don't make the same mistake as I probably will. Leave Markakis for somebody else. He's been trending downward since his 24 year old season and its unlikely he will ever see the awesomeness of his 23 and 24 year old seasons again. His OPS dropped from .897 in 2008 to .756 last year.
Ray was a little tougher than I am, and didn't even put him in his top 50 list. I would probably rank him somewhere in the mid 30's. Of course, I once had a fanboy crush on him.