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Roundtablers name All-Overrated Team03/10/2008 9:00 AM ET
By The Fantasy Staff / MLB.com
Every year, disappointments are inevitable. Which mixed-league-worthy players are most likely to fall short of the hype this season? Nine of MLB.com's Roundtablers put it to a vote, position by position, to name the 2008 Preseason All-Overrated Team.
Jorge Posada, Yankees
Posada made the most of his contract year in 2008, posting the best statistical season of his 11-year career. His .338 batting average completely shattered his previous career-high mark of .287, and he complimented his gaudy clip with his usual 20 homers and 90 RBIs. Bank on Posada being a Top 10 fantasy catcher yet again this year, but with the incentive of a new contract in the rearview mirror and his 37th birthday approaching, a duplication of his '07 numbers seems unrealistic.
-- Dave Feldman, MLB.com Fantasy Reporter
Also receiving consideration (votes): Russell Martin, Dodgers (1); Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Rangers (1); Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers (1); Joe Mauer, Twins (1)
Carlos Pena, Rays
After hitting more than 19 homers only once in his first five seasons, Pena made all those who lifted him from the waiver wire proud (and then some) with his 46 ding dongs in 2007. Now that Pena has his big contract and all of the stability he ever wanted, look for him to slide back to earth. Do I think he's going to have a terrible season? No. But do I think that people who are drafting him in the fourth round are crazy? Yes! There is nothing whatsoever that should make you believe that Pena can repeat that type of career year. Commend him, but don't draft him. Back away from the Pena koolaid, take a deep breath, and go somewhere else with your pick.
-- Casey Stern, Host, "MLB.com Fantasy 411"
Also receiving consideration (votes): Albert Pujols, Cardinals (2); Adrian Gonzalez, Padres (1); James Loney, Dodgers (1)
Brandon Phillips, Reds
If you're expecting anyone to follow up a career year with a career year, think again. On the heels of a monster 2007 campaign, Phillips is a prime candidate for a letdown. Sure, he posted career highs in most major categories last year, but his plate discipline remained spotty (33/109 BB/K), so don't expect him to match his .288 average. Likewise, he'll have a tough time improving his less-than-stellar .331 on-base percentage, which won't help his chances of reaching the 30-steal plateau again.
-- Dean Chiungos, Coordinator, MLB.com Fantasy
Also receiving consideration (votes): Placido Polanco, Tigers (2); Howie Kendrick, Angels (1); Dan Uggla, Marlins (1); Brian Roberts, Orioles (1)
Edgar Renteria, Tigers
The thought is that moving to the stacked Tiger lineup will benefit Renteria. But the truth is that the new park will sap his power, and the bangers will curtail his running opportunities. There is virtually no chance of him matching last year's .332 average, which was buoyed by a practically unrepeatable .375 mark on balls in play. In addition, his stolen base success rate was over 90 percent even though his career rate is closer to 70 percent. Add it all up, and you have a player with unreasonably high expectations across the board, whose value is even further overblown by the false perception of scarcity in the middle infield.
-- Todd Zola, Correspondent
Also receiving consideration (votes): Yunel Escobar, Braves (2); Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (1); Jimmy Rollins, Phillies (1); Miguel Tejada, Astros (1)
Mike Lowell, Red Sox
Coming off a season in which he posted career highs with a .324 average and 120 RBIs, Lowell will probably return to his established level of production and hit .290 with 20 homers, 90 RBIs and 75 runs. That's certainly worthy of a 16th-round selection, but preseason mock drafts routinely have him going as high as the 12th round. Aside from the four-round reach, picking the 34-year-old Lowell would come at the opportunity cost of choosing one of the many up-and-coming youngsters at the position instead. Lowell is useful, but it would take a repeat of last year to justify his current price.
-- Cory Schwartz, Host, "MLB.com Fantasy 411"
Also receiving consideration (votes): Troy Glaus, Cardinals (2); Chipper Jones, Braves (1); Ryan Braun, Brewers (1); Alex Gordon, Royals (1)
Eric Byrnes, Diamondbacks
There is no questioning the fantasy impact of Byrnes' career year in 2007, during which he set career highs in hits (179), runs (103), RBIs (83), stolen bases (50) and batting average (.286). However, don't be tempted by the 32-year-old's multi-category allure and newfound durability, as 2007 was just the third season in which Byrnes has played more than 140 games. If you're looking for a well-rounded outfielder, go with the likes of Chris Young, Corey Hart or Hunter Pence, all of whom have youth on their side, before reaching for Byrnes on draft day.
-- Matt Kerner, MLB.com Fantasy Reporter
Aaron Rowand, Giants
Sure, inking a five-year, $60 million deal with the Giants gave Rowand security, but the move won't help his numbers. Leaving behind cozy Citizens Bank Park for the pitchers' sanctuary known as AT&T Park will put the kibosh on his power numbers. And instead of having protection from big boppers like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, now he's got Randy Winn and four or five Dave Roberts clones around him. This has disappointment written all over it.
-- Alex Cushing, MLB.com Fantasy Reporter
Magglio Ordonez, Tigers
Simply put, his numbers from last year are too sick to repeat. Maggs could end up having a fine year -- say, .310 with 25 homers and 100 RBIs -- but is that a second- or third-round pick? You can wait a round or more later, grab Nick Markakis, Corey Hart or Hunter Pence and get the same production, plus more than triple the steals! Ordonez won't drop and therefore won't live up to his average draft spot, making him a likely candidate to put up disappointing fantasy numbers based on value.
-- Mike Siano, Host, "MLB.com Fantasy 411"
Also receiving consideration (votes): Manny Ramirez (2), Red Sox; Chris Young, Diamondbacks (1); Hunter Pence, Astros (1); Hideki Matsui, Yankees (1); Vernon Wells, Blue Jays (1); Josh Hamilton, Rangers (1); Corey Hart, Brewers (1); Delmon Young, Twins (1); Raul Ibanez, Mariners (1); Curtis Granderson, Tigers (1); Matt Kemp, Dodgers (1); Grady Sizemore, Indians (1); Kosuke Fukudome, Mariners (1)
Brad Penny, Dodgers
Penny enjoyed a career year in 2007, notching personal bests in ERA, innings and winning percentage. Then again, his strikeouts also decreased from the year before while his walk rate jumped. And although he avoided the kind of second-half meltdown that marred his '06 season, he was decidedly mediocre after the All-Star break. Penny's hard stuff should help him remain an effective mixed-league pitcher, but his inconsistency leads me to believe that he'll take a step or two backward this year.
-- Tim Ott, MLB.com Fantasy Reporter
Also receiving consideration (votes): Josh Beckett, Red Sox (1); Roy Halladay, Blue Jays (1); Fausto Carmona, Indians (1); Scott Kazmir, Rays (1); Dontrelle Willis, Tigers (1); Joba Chamberlain, Yankees (1)
Jose Valverde, Astros
It all came together for Valverde last year. His 47 saves were tops in the bigs, and if that wasn't enough to earn him elite status, he even screamed more along the way for fair measure. Still, all the screaming in the world doesn't eliminate the considerable risk here given his checkered injury history and volatile delivery. Throw in the likelihood that save opportunities won't come nearly as often in Houston as they did in Arizona, and it's plain to see: You're better off letting someone else pay for last season.
Also receiving consideration (votes): Takashi Saito, Dodgers (1); Chad Cordero, Nationals (1); Bobby Jenks, White Sox (1)
2008 Preseason All-Overrated Team
C: Jorge Posada, NYY
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.