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Fantasy Baseball Review: Targets and Avoids

As part of an ongoing effort to see how his predictions for the season went, Jason Hunt looks at his picks for players to target and avoid from the start of the year.

Mike Zarrilli

A key step each year for me is to look back at how some of my selections turned out. Here at Fake Teams we picked a player to target and a different player to avoid at each position while releasing our consensus rankings, so it gives me an opportunity to look at how those selections went and whether the thinking behind the selection ended up correct, even if the pick didn't.


Target: Wilson Ramos
Avoid: Mike Zunino

Ramos has performed well, hitting 11 home runs with a .272 batting average. I noted that I thought he could be a 20+ home run hitter this year, which, if he could stay healthy for a full year, would be his pace since he has only played in 79 games this year. We just may never see that season at this point, as 79 is the high total since appearing in 113 games in 2011.

Zunino has hit 20 home runs this year, but it has come with a .194 batting average and a 9-to-1 strikeout-to-walk rate. He's probably best used as a flier at the end of drafts in 2015 given how bad the batting average is, but the power was nice and could lead him to be overdrafted next year.

First Base

Target: Mark Trumbo
Avoid: Eric Hosmer

Trumbo got off to a quick start in the power department, hitting seven home runs in his first 21 games of the year. Unfortunately, he missed two months with a stress fracture in his foot and has just two home runs since returning in mid-July.

Hosmer was the recipient of a lot of helium to start the season, and while the performance has was better in July, the overall numbers were not in line with the potential when he was drafted. A lot of owners got burned by him this year, so he may end up a bit undervalued in 2015.

Second Base:

Target: Howie Kendrick
Avoid: Martin Prado

Kendrick has had another season with a high batting average (.292), some power (7 home runs), some speed (14 steals), and generally been a very solid five-category contributor. Odds are that you got him later than the 8th second baseman off the board, which is where he ranks through 9/16 in 5x5 leagues.

I wrote that I thought Prado would be a reach given the additional position flexibility, and that appears likely to hold up with his season now over. He is currently the 15th ranked 2B in 5x5 leagues, but you likely had to grab him earlier than that to get him.

Third Base:

Target: Todd Frazier
Avoid: Aramis Ramirez

I liked Frazier simply to repeat what he did in 2013, but he went out and added even more value for his owners with 20 stolen bases to go with 26 home runs so far. It seems like this has the potential to be repeated in future years, making him a top 5 option at the position next year.

I argued that Ramirez would go in some drafts as the hitter that hit 25+ homers with a .300 batting average in the past, and that he wasn't coming back this year. Ramirez is hitting .296 but has just 15 home runs and has missed about 20 games this year as well. He's likely a second-tier option for 2015 at third base.


Target: Xander Bogaerts
Avoid: Everth Cabrera

Sigh. The only prospect I picked out for these posts, and he just never got going this year. The Red Sox split him between third base and shortstop, which will be nice for his eligibility next year, and he remains a reminder that not all prospects come up and destroy the league like Mike Trout.

Cabrera performed about as I had anticipated at the time, that he would be an empty stolen base total and not provide much value otherwise. Add in some time missed with injuries and now apparently an arrest on suspicion of a DUI, and Cabrera owners cannot be happy with how this year turned out.


Target: Jacoby Ellsbury

Ellsbury is currently the 11th ranked outfielder, and has performed about as you were hoping when you drafted him (15 home runs, 38 steals, .271 batting average). The run total (69) hasn't turned out as well as expected, but with the Yankees' lineup held together with bubble gum and duct tape at times this year, it's not a huge surprise.

Starting Pitcher:

Target: Josh Johnson
Avoid: Jered Weaver

Well, that Josh Johnson selection went well. I liked the potential value, but the often-injured pitcher turned out to be injured again and did not make a single appearance this year for the Padres. The Padres do have a $4 million team option on Johnson since he didn't make at least seven starts, so he could be interesting again next year if he can stay healthy. (Hey, don't laugh, it could happen!)

Weaver has pitched well this year, but is still just the #35 ranked starting pitcher as a result of a lower strikeout total and a slightly elevated ERA from his norm. He's done about as we expected overall (he was our #36 starting pitcher in our consensus ranks at the start of the year), but if you went off the name, you probably drafted him earlier than that and didn't get back quite as much.