Biggest Busts: C & 1B (ottoneu lwts leagues)

Using the same model described in my looks at surprise players, here are the biggest busts thus far in ottoneu lwts leagues at catcher and first base.  Almost by definition, these guys are all expected to regress in a positive direction going forward.  But for each position I’ll give you “my pick,” the player that I think is most likely to turn it around in the second half and produce at their price tag.


Joe Mauer, MIN
wOBA: .253
Avg. Cost $39.72
Performed As: -$7
Value: -$47
Buster Posey, SFG
wOBA: .340
Avg. Cost: $31.24
Performed As: $7
Value: -$24
Jeff Mathis, LAA
wOBA: .225
Avg. Cost: $4.67
Performed As: -$15
Value: -$20

My Pick: Joe Mauer

Given the choices, this is a no brainer.  Posey’s injured for the rest of the season.  Jeff Mathis has never hit anyway (I’m really puzzled why he’s averaged almost $5…and someone spent $12 on him!).  And Mauer seems to be back and pretty much healthy after a strange and still somewhat mysterious bout with bilateral leg weakness and the flu.  Mauer has the ability to take off and be an absolutely insane offensive performer that can carry a (fantasy) team.  So far, in very limited time, he’s been dreadful, of course.  But he seems likely to return to an elite catcher in the second half, as long as he remains healthy.  He’s my catcher on all of my fantasy teams this year, so here’s hoping he comes back strong in the second half.

Rest of season projections for Mauer
Oliver: .391 wOBA
ZiPS: .365 wOBA
PECOTA: .305

Others (with value below cost): Carlos Santana (-$18), Kurt Suzuki (-$14), Ivan Rodriguez (-$10), J.R. Towles (-$10)

First Base

Adam Dunn, CHW
wOBA: .281
Avg. Cost $33.18
Performed As: -$12
Value: -$45
Albert Pujols, STL
wOBA: .374
Avg. Cost: $58.90
Performed As: $28
Value: -$31
Justin Morneau, MIN
wOBA: .276
Avg. Cost: $21.38
Performed As: -$9
Value: -$30

My Pick: Albert Pujols

Meet my first baseman in ottoneu!  And I paid $67 for him (someone out there paid $75!).  It’s not that Pujols has been bad.  But he’s performed as “only” a very good first baseman, instead of providing the super-human production that we expect from him.  Back in the lineup last night against the Reds (I compare his healing abilities to Wolverine), he’s a good bet to hit closer to a .400+ wOBA the rest of the season like we’re accustomed to seeing.  Assuming he’s really healthy.  After all, a player like Albert Pujols won’t have a .253 BABIP for long, though it would help if he’d get his ground ball percentage back down to career averages.

Rest of Season Projections for Pujols
Oliver: .446 wOBA
ZiPS: .408 wOBA
PECOTA: .339 TAv

That all said, the guy on this list I’m cheering the hardest for is Adam Dunn.  Dunner is one of my favorite players in baseball, at least from a personality standpoint.  Sure, he can’t field a lick.  But he has always hit well, and has always been laugh-out-loud funny while doing it.

Others: Daric Barton (-$21), Adam LaRoche (-$16), Derrek Lee (-$13)

Next week: 2B & 3B

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Justin is a lifelong Reds fan, and first played fantasy baseball on Prodigy with a 2400 baud modem. His favorite Excel function is the vlookup(). You can find him on twitter @jinazreds, even though he no longer lives in AZ.

15 Responses to “Biggest Busts: C & 1B (ottoneu lwts leagues)”

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  1. syh says:

    Headline successfully SEO-optimized

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  2. Sean says:

    Posey a “bust” candidate?

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  3. hernandez17 says:

    In ottoneu as in everything else: “don’t pay for catchers.”

    Liking my $1 Alex Avila so far, I should add.

    : )

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    • Justin Merry says:

      He has definitely been the biggest surprise thus far:

      I’m not convinced on the don’t pay for catchers thing. It definitely has not been a good season for the top tier catchers given what’s happened with Mauer, Posey, and Santana (has been fine, just not great). Last year, however, the top catchers offered a lot of value above the rest of the field: Mauer, McCann, VMart, and even Napoli. You have to expect less PT and a higher injury risk. But even given all of that, if you have an elite catcher, you can have a massive advantage.

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      • kid says:

        I disagree. Yahoo’s 2011 Catcher position primer examines the merits of drafting “elite” catchers in fantasy. What they found is that over the past 10 years, only 16 catchers have finished in the top-100 in Yahoo scoring (standard roto 5×5). Those numbers indicate that having an elite catcher is more of a placebo than it is an actual benefit for your fantasy team, probably because 1) catchers get hurt at a crazy rate and 2) even the best ones might only contribute in 2-3 cats (they don’t score runs and they don’t steal bases).

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      • Justin Merry says:

        I’d have to read the study to be able to respond well. But the question is not total production, the question is production above replacement level at the position. It would be something I might look into, because I almost always value catchers more than is the norm…

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  4. William says:

    I think dunn has been a far bigger bust than pujols. At least pujols isn’t putting up negative value

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    • Justin Merry says:

      Yep, the numbers agree: -$47 value for Dunn, -$31 for Pujols.

      My point was that I felt Pujols was the most likely of this group to rebound and play at his price tag the rest of the way. I hope Dunn does too, but I’m less confident that he will.

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  5. LuckyStrikes says:

    That guy bragging about Alex Avila for just $1 is a jerk (and currently in 2nd place behind me in the standings)…

    Justin, could you use a column to go into greater detail explaining the points scoring for pitchers. Realizing that Doug Fister is a top 20 SP in our league so far this season has hit many of us like a punch in the gut. The pitcher scoring seems to be heavily weighted toward ballpark effects – even scrub Padre and Mariner pitchers can be good scorers as long as they keep the ball in the park…even if they’re giving up 4-5 runs again on other non-homer base hits. No doubt Fister has good (surprising) stats, but there seems to be a disconnect between the top pitchers in baseball and those top pitchers in Ottoneu. Would be curious if other leagues feel the same. Would like more analysis on the scoring at least.

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  6. Justin Merry says:

    I can do that. Pitcher scoring gets a lot of questions, but usually it’s because either a) people haven’t looked at data, or b) the lack if hits really bugs people. There’s usually a pretty close relationship with fangraphs pitcher WAR and value in fangraphs points, though FG points will give more reward for IP (by design).

    On Fister, though… The guy has a 3.10 FIP (3.02 ERA) and has already thrown 119 innings. He has 2.6 WAR already. Top 20 sounds about right (he is 21st in WAR, and that’s after park adjustments). Doesn’t mean he’ll keep it up, of course. But the entire M’s rotation has been fabulous this year, by pretty much every measure.

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  7. Matty Brown says:

    Dunn has essentially lost me my FanGraphs Points league because I keep sticking with him. He was also tied for my most expensive player (with Ryan Zimmerman; also not giving me value due to that injury time) @ $34.

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  8. Drew says:

    I’m dumping Dunn after this weekend if he doesn’t hit. I haven’t been able to play him, and when I absolutely have to, he just strikes out 3 or 4 times.

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