Ask NotGraphs (#8)

Hey NotGraphs,

I’m tired of reading about how wonderful all the players have been in the offseason. I am also a little bit tired of reading how everybody has turned a corner and is ready to have a career year. Could you give me a list of all the players who will suck for 2012? Not due to injury or anything awful, just a few guys who everybody has pencilled into their lineup who will absolutely suck. Preferably guys who will continue to get pencilled into the lineup over and over again.

I mostly want to watch for these folks around the league this year, to lift my spirits, because I spend most of my time thinking my team is the only one with sucking players. You know, players who are like a black hole in the lineup or rotation. Therefore you can omit any Blue Jay players who will suck. I know all their names already.

Thank you,

Hey GW,

Oh, come on, you’re a Blue Jays fan– what do you have to complain about? You have the best GM in baseball, a team full of young players absolutely worth rooting for, with unbelievable upside– Colby Rasmus, Brett Lawrie, Brandon Morrow– Travis d’Arnaud on the way, Travis Snider still with a fighting chance to be a star, J.P. Arencibia, Ricky Romero, and arguably the best player in baseball, Jose Bautista. Why are you wallowing in the depths of despair? You don’t think the Orioles fan from two weeks ago wouldn’t trade places with you in a heartbeat? I wish I were a Blue Jays fan. Heck, I wish I’d been a Blue Jays fan for the past four years, because then maybe I wouldn’t have let Adam Lind, Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow, Brett Cecil, Kyle Drabek, and Edwin Encarnacion all go unprotected off my Scoresheet team– and I’m about to do the same with Travis Snider and watch him win the MVP award this year. The Blue Jays are one of the few teams out there worth rooting for. They don’t deserve ungrateful fans like you.

But on to your actual question, which I am the least qualified writer on FanGraphs to answer. Uninjured players, with full-time roles, who will unexpectedly suck this season. Let me go down the Average Fantasy Draft Position List on FFToolbox and see who jumps out at me, and I’ll make some random uninformed guesses. Even better, I’ll open it up to the comments. Who do you think will most– and most unexpectedly– suck? You know what, leave your guesses here, and if they’re still letting me write come October, I’ll come back to this post and award the most clairvoyant commenter an imaginary prize. Pick 5 players. Don’t care what positions. Full-time roles. Unexpected terribleness. The Adam Dunn prize.

Here are my five:
Mark Teixeira
Mike Morse
Alex Avila
Matt Joyce
Brennan Boesch

Good luck,

Have a question for Ask NotGraphs!? I’m running low again, so I sure hope you do! Guaranteed answer, or your money back. I don’t even care if it’s about baseball. E-mail me, or leave your question in the comments!

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Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.

20 Responses to “Ask NotGraphs (#8)”

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  1. Nathan says:

    Dammit, Blachman. Don’t put two Tigers on your list. It makes me sad.

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  2. Greg W says:

    Thanks for answering my question! And of course I have a lot to complain about. We signed Jeff Mathis! Also, what are the playoffs like? Anyone?

    The 5 players are a good idea though.. hmmmm.

    1. Ichiro
    2. Jeter
    3. Werth
    4. Juan Rivera
    5. ManRam

    Flame away!

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    • Jeremy Blachman says:

      Too easy! Looking for *un*expectedly terrible. Does anyone think Juan Rivera is going to be good? That’s a serious question, commenters– anyone? (On the other hand, your guesses are almost certainly going to beat mine in badness.)

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  3. Eminor3rd says:

    Carlos Gonzalez

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    • Eminor3rd says:

      I mean:

      1. Carlos Gonzalez
      2. Daniel Hudson
      3. Michael Pineda
      4. CJ Wilson
      5. David Freese

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  4. MikeS says:

    Paul Konerko, because he just can’t keep it up forever.
    Gavin Floyd, because the White Sox are trying to move him and KW loves to sell low.
    Alexei Ramirez becasue then I’ll have tickets to 14 games with nothing to look forward to except hot dogs with grilled onions.

    And, I don’t know,
    Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder becasue then next year all the GM’s will be afraid of signing really good players. That would make for a really fun offseason and Scott Boras might just hole up in a shack somewhere and have a shootout with the police.

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  5. Tim says:

    Greg W, the playoffs are like when your favorite team has won two World Series in my lifetime. You don’t have anything to complain about.

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    • Greg W says:

      It is a fan’s privilege to complain. Corey Patterson in CF, Nix at third. McCoy at third. Edwin Encarnacion at (shudder) third. John Rauch closing games with his “fastball” and ‘ability to throw strikes’. Its not all Bautista, Escobar and Romero, you know.

      I watch, I get to complain.

      My point in asking the question was not Jeremy’s in answering it. That’s his prerogative. It made for a funny answer.

      My problem with the spring is that every guy is poised to be better than last year, 95% of interviews tell you about good health and new attitude. Somebody must have come into camp a beaten man with a nagging injury and a rough divorce in his recent past. That guy is invisible right now, but in 45 days, he’s going to be in the lineup every night, and he’s going to underperform. How do these guys sneak through the spring unnoticed?

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  6. reillocity says:

    Adam Dunn would be my sleeper for the Adam Dunn prize. Or would another 2011 season be disqualified on account of being “expected terribleness”?

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  7. Ben G. says:

    Trevor Cahill
    Hiroki Kuroda
    Hanley Rameriez
    Jimmy Rollins
    Brett Lawrie

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  8. PDR297 says:

    Curtis Granderson
    Jacoby Ellsburry
    Brett Lawrie
    Carlos Pena
    Pablo Sandoval

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  9. Hunch Madness says:

    1) Starlin Castro
    2) Clayton Kershaw
    3) Buster Posey
    4) Yoenis Cespedes
    5) Bobby Valentine

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  10. Guy says:

    Aramis Ramirez
    Michael Pineda
    Chris Heisey
    Josh Beckett
    Torii Hunter

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  11. bgrosnick says:

    1) Brandon Philips
    2) Shane Victorino
    3) Corey Hart
    4) Ryan Roberts
    5) Emilio Bonifacio

    Those are my guys.

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  12. deadhead says:

    1. Albert Pujols
    2. Mr. Met
    3. Santa
    4. Ron Gant
    5. Hawk Harrelson

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  13. steve balboni says:

    1. Andy Pettite
    2. Lenny Dykstra
    3. Dale Sveum
    4. Mariano Rivera
    5. Hanley Ramirez.

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    • Justin says:

      Seriously, how could Lenny’s year get any worse? He just got sent of to prison, and… oh. Oh, I see.

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  14. fjrobinson44 says:

    1. Seth Smith
    2. Jason Kubel
    3. Matt Joyce
    4. Freddie Freeman
    5. Brennan Boesch

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