Way, way back on Sept. 25, I announced my "10-foot-pole candidates for 2008. As in: I wouldn't touch these players with the aforementioned shaft of wood. Err, that didn't sound quite right.
In any event, let's see how my list is looking now that we're a quarter of the way through the season:
1. Manny - Two years in a row this guy has taken September off. No longer worth the steep draft price.
I didn't realize this was a contract year for Manny. I changed my tune in the draft guide series.
2. Joe Mauer - Position scarcity most likely led to Mauer going way, way, way too early in every draft. Going into the year, I thought there was only one catcher worth taking before round ten. Joe Mauer is no Victor Martinez.
Zero home runs. Zero steals. Looking like a gigantic waste of an early round pick.
3. J. Bay - This guy is beginning to look like the second coming of Brian Giles. In that once he really hits the fantasy radar he starts to suck.
I missed on this one, too. Not looking so good thus far.
4. B. Zito - The only folks who hate Zito more than 2007 draft day believers are the San Francisco Giants front office. Let's say it again people: giving large multi-year contracts to pitchers older than thirty is dumb. Particularly when they have a ton of mileage on their arms and have been slipping statistically for years.
I was right about this one, but so was everyone else.
5. Hafner - His problems were too inexplicable, and too protracted, to be a blip on the radar. Either his freakishly big body is slowing down, or his ridiculous numbers were the result of something other than hard work. In either way, UTIL spots are too much of a premium to spend a high draft pick on him.
I was one of the few who didn't think he'd rebound. And he hasn't.
6. Bill Hall - He was on my "do not draft" list for this year. Nothing has changed.
After a hot start, his .195 average is murderous. Has some value as a bench player due to multi position eligibility, but barely.
7. Ervin Santana - I'm finding whoever came up with that "third year" guideline for SPs and WRs and choking the life out of him. This guy personally ruined my ERA and WHIP for the first half of 2007.
Well, Santana is a draft-day steal, but I'll still never forgive him.
8. Chris Carpenter - It's not as though he was the model of health early in his career. Avoid.
I still don't think he was worth even a last-round flier.
9. Jason Schmidt - Another multi year deal for an old veteran with a ton of mileage on his arm? Who could have seen this breakdown coming?
See Carpenter, Chris.
10. Rich Harden - I'm done believing.
Seen nothing to change my mind, although he's actually on the field at the moment (sell, sell!).
11. A.J. Burnett - After taking him two straight years, I'm convinced that breakthrough just isn't going to come. The fact that Toronto, like Florida before, overworks the ever-living shit out of him doesn't help matters.
Having a miserable year.
12. Dontrelle Willis - Funky delivery no longer deceiving anyone? Could be.
He looks completely and utterly done. Florida ran him into the ground then sold high before this train went off the cliff (HAHAHAHAHAH-punny!).
13. Mark Prior - Does this need to be said?
He's currently wasting a DL spot in one of my leagues. What was I thinking?
14. Ben Sheets - You cannot have a number one pitcher, which is probably the draft price you'll have to pay to get Sheets, whom you're praying to get 28 starts out of.
One DL stint down, two or three more to go. At least he's pitching well, but you probably had to draft him too high to get those starts.
15. Scott Rolen - Done.
Jury's still out.
16. Nick Swisher - I thought he'd break through this year. At this point, he's nothing but late round OF filler, and you won't be able to get him that late. He actually hurts you in Batting Average, contributes no steals, and his run/rbi totals aren't what they could be due to the Oakland A's stinking up the AL West. I no longer think he's on the cusp of a 40 HR season, not after watching him repeatedly swing and miss at every slider thrown at him.
Batting .211 with decent power but putrid run/RBI production. I don't think he's ever going to be what Beane and fantasy owners expected.
17. Any closer you want to draft before round six - Just don't. You could have had Putz, Jenks, F. Cordero, maybe Saito, definitely Gregg or Accardo ... etc. I'm
actually thinking about upping this to round ten.
It amazes me that owners make this same mistake year after year after year after year.
18. Troy Glaus - As a mid-round flier, if he's SS eligible in your league, maybe. He breaks down every year, and his BA kills you. I think he's borderline undraftable if you can't slot him in your SS or MI positions.
'Roider. Now stinks.
19. Andruw Jones - Has any player ever hurt his free agent status this much without getting hurt? We'll see if he can stay above .200. Low HR totals, miserable RBI/Run/SB production. Someone should replay that Scott Boras clip comparing him to Willie Mays that ran back in April.
Still not even close to batting .200.
20. Any starting pitcher you want to take in rounds 1-3 - I know what you're thinking; what about The Johan, or Peavy, or [insert name of fireballing stud from 2007 here]. Don't do it. HRs are becoming more scarce, SBs are concentrating more and more into the top ten speedsters ...I know it's tempting, but don't.
I could give you a fantasy leading lineup of SPs that probably weren't drafted or went in the last few rounds. How are those Bedard picks working out for you?
21. Kerry Wood - See Prior, Mark.
Now a decent closer. Didn't see this coming.
22. R. Furcal - Wow, the Dodgers must be thanking their lucky stars they have Furcal locked up for the next few years. For a guy with no power, he sure doesn't steal a lot of bases. Also, he's continuously hurt.
Another player who I forgot was in a contract year. Having an epic season, but now on the DL.
23. Johnny Damon - Done, done, done, done.
Hot start, now looking putrid. Hope you sold.
24. Jason Kendall - Worst contract for a non-injured player in MLB. You don't believe me, look it up. Maybe no one was going to draft Kendall; he is so atrocious I have to single him out anyway.
No home runs, one steal. Nice batting average: he's basically a one-tool player. Then again, not many catchers offer any "tools." Still unownable unless injuries in a deep league affect your team.
25. Just Disabled "mother-bleepin'" Drew. Ten. Home. Runs. Worst contract of the offseason, worst starting right-fielder in baseball. Yankees and Red Sox often come at a premium - don't buy in.
Solid fourth/fifth OF thus far. Still think he gets injured periodically and is going to never live up to his potential.