Every year there seems to be that one team that drafts players that are coming off a banner year but are destined to come back to earth the following year, leaving that team in too big of a hole to make a serious run to the top. Don’t be that guy.
Let’s take a look at three of these guys that run the risk of being over drafted in 2014.
#1 Torii Hunter – Detroit Tigers
The first thing you need to know about Hunter is the dude is 38 years old. How many 38 year olds were on your league’s championship roster last year? Exactly. Looking past his age and into his stats, you will see that Hunter had a BABIP well above the league norm the last two seasons with a .389 BABIP in 2012 and a .344 BABIP in 2013. Based on those numbers alone you can expect some regression in 2014.
Also, I think Hunter had a chip on his shoulder last year with the way things ended in Anaheim and I think that helped fuel his fast start which resulted in a first half .315 AVG and .352 OBP. But adrenaline chips do not last forever and his 2nd half was rather mediocre with a .288 AVG and a .308 OBP.
Finally, I think Detroit’s offense might not be as explosive as last year, when they were 2nd in MLB in runs scored. If Miguel Cabrera continues to battle bumps and bruises like he did down the stretch in 2013, and new third baseman Nick Castellanos goes through the inevitable growing pains, it will have a negative effect on Hunter’s overall fantasy value.
#2 Greg Holland – Kansas City Royals
Look, the guy had a monster year in 2013. Holland ended last season with a 1.21 ERA. 1.21! That’s a number good enough to send Marty McFly back to the future. Even more electric was his tantalizing 13.84 k/9. So how can I possibly list him in the overrated column?
It’s based on my belief that you can find better value in closers later or cheaper than where Holland will going in your upcoming drafts.
Being a consistent closer, unless your name is Mariano Rivera, is rare and in some circles considered an oxymoron. The injuries and extraordinary mental stress that a closer faces should make you hesitate before spending a high draft pick or overpaying in an auction.
In fact, Holland himself almost lost his job at the beginning of the last season to Kelvin Herrera. If Herrera had not struggled, I’m not sure Holland would have been allowed an opportunity to turn in the previously mentioned dominant statistics.
#3 Alejandro De Aza – Chicago White Sox
De Aza is probably not too high on your list to begin with, especially since recent White Sox acquisition Adam Eaton is penciled in as the every day starter in Center on the South Side this year. That means De Aza will platoon the OF, making him worthless in fantasy. The only way you draft De Aza at this point is if he gets traded, but even then I want you to take caution.
If De Aza is traded to a team and is penciled in as an everyday player, he might sneak up your board, especially if you base your rankings completely on last season where he was three home runs away from a 20/20 season. Truth be told, De Aza almost doubled his HR production from 9 HRs in 2012 to 17 in 2013 and will likely land on a team that plays in a less hitter friendly park than US Cellular. Take into consideration he turns 30 in April and there are simply too many variables screaming regression for De Aza in 2014.
Click here for a look at some underrated AL Central players.