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Justin Turner, Alex Bregman and patience in fantasy baseball

Sometimes it pays off to be patient.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest mistake this fantasy owner made all season was getting impatient with Justin Turner and dropping him on May 30. This was about the worst possible timing.

I believed in Turner's skills pre-draft and for most of the early part of the season. I even wrote about him here in March and recommended drafting him at his ADP, which I thought was a steal. But after 2 subpar months post knee surgery that did not resemble the Justin Turner I thought we were getting in 2016, I made a change.

My issue when I dropped Turner was that he had the dreaded microfracture knee surgery in the offseason, one of the worst surgeries an athlete can have. At the time I dropped him, Turner hit to a .236/.337/.345 line with a .109 ISO and just 3 HR. He wasn't driving the ball with the same authority that he had in the past. I thought the knee surgery might have crippled his skills. I braced myself for a potentially slow April when I drafted him, but by the end of May, I was out of patience.

Since the date I dropped him, Turner has hit to a .306/.349/.619 line with a ridiculous .313 ISO and 20 HR. It looks like Turner just needed to regain his timing. Turner has been one of the best infielders in baseball since that date, and had I kept him, I would probably be in a much better place in the standings. This is easily my biggest regret of the 2016 fantasy baseball season.

Alex Bregman is another guy whose skills I believed in. Like Turner, Bregman got off to a rocky start. This time, though, I chose to ride out, because I believed in the player's skills over the long run. My patience has paid off, as Bregman has hit to an .818 OPS with 4 HR over his last 100 PA and has hit to a .310 BA with a .952 OPS over the last 15 days.

In both real and fantasy baseball, it's not so much about what the player has done in the past when choosing to acquire/roster a player. It's about what he's going to do going forward. That can be difficult to project sometimes, and generally, past performance is what is most important for projecting future performance. But the lesson for me here is pick players with skills that you believe in over the long run and ride them out, even if they struggle initially. A reward might be waiting at the other end.