Let's pause and take a break from the Looking Back series which is glancing over the successes and failures of drafts from last year. Instead, we're going to take a different look at last year's drafts. In this series, I'm taking a look in the mirror and seeing where I was right or wrong from my own predictions. This will be an ongoing look back to try to see how well I did last year and to admit my mistakes and gloat over my successes.
Though this ultimately wasn't published on the website last season, there were nine guys that I predicted would experience a downfall and not be worth the price they were being drafted at:
- Mark Reynolds, 3B, ARI - We touched upon this in our first Looking Back post but Reynolds was being drafted in the second round on average. In that round, you want somebody who you are confident can produce 2 to 5 extra roto points for your team and Reynolds ended up taking a step back and producing next to nothing extra for your team. The horrible AVG is a lot more bearable when it's over 40 HR's with over 20 SB's but this time around it was only 32 HR's with 7 SB's while his BABIP took a huge drop to bring his batting average way down to .198. Ugh. Fall from grace, indeed.
- Jose Reyes, SS, NYM - To be honest, I'm not 100% sure anymore why I predicted a downfall for him. The only notes I can find deal with him being an injury risk, which ended up being somewhat true as he did miss 30 games. He was being drafted in the second round too and he did produce some value on the year but he produced under the range of most in the second round as 8 of the 11 other second rounders in that range produced higher than him. But I wouldn't call him a complete failure on the year as I may have predicted.
- Ichiro Suzuki, OF, SEA - What can I say other than that I was wrong? His batting average dropped nearly 40 points and his HR's were at a career low but his SB's were nearly at a career high. And, that big drop in average was still .315 over 680 AB's which is still great for your fantasy team. Despite my reservations about him, he still produced great roto value for a 4th round pick and vastly outproduced the likes of Pablo Sandoval or Adam Lind who were drafted around him.
- Aaron Hill, 2B, TOR - His great 2009 season seemed fluky by all measures and that proved to be true. Despite being in a surprisingly powerful Blue Jays offense, he had 40 less RBI's and 30 less R's (partly due to missing 25 games). His batting average dropped to a Mark Reynolds level and he ended up providing negative value for your fantasy team despite being a 4th round pick (and he was drafted above Josh Hamilton on average, d'oh!). The good news is that his BABIP was insane at 0.196 and he should bounce back a bit next year. Going from overvalued to undervalued!
- Kendry Morales, 1B, ANA - I said that he was being overvalued and would just produce average numbers despite being drafted at around 50 in most drafts. I was wrong about him producing average numbers as he was producing quite well before his, um, accident which landed him on the DL. So I'll say I was wrong about this one despite the injury making him producing under his draft position.
- Rafael Furcal, SS, LA - I was wrong here. He revived his career in a way but didn't manage to stay healthy all year, which is common for Rafael. But when healthy, he was certainly producing quite well and like the Furcal of oldentimes though I predicted him to fade into the twilight of his career.
- Carlos Zambrano, SP, CHC - I was half-right and half-wrong here. He was a terrible, horrible, no good very bad pitcher and got demoted to the minors and all that fun stuff. So, hooray, I was right that he would not be worth drafting at 171 in drafts. But, then he came back and rebounded and became valuable down the stretch. But, at that point, many people who drafted him had probably dropped him.
- Ervin Santana, SP, ANA - Considering he was drafted at 238, I'm not sure I was so against drafting him. But, I was wrong either way as he produced nice value from that spot. He wasn't overly valuable but for a pitcher drafted where he was, it was good.
- J.A. Happ, SP, PHI - I thought Happ would regress to the mean here due to having a fluky year last year and he certainly did regress (though he rebounded a bit in Houston).
For the nine guys I listed here, I'd say I was half right and half wrong overall. However, I will say that if you stayed away from drafting all of these guys, I think you'd be pretty content with your season. Meanwhile if you ended up drafting all of these guys, you might be somewhat disappointed with your season. So, overall, I call my blacklist of guys a relative success (though I understand if you call it a relative failure). We'll take more looks at my crazy predictions at the offseason rolls on.