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October 1, 2012

Resident Fantasy Genius

The 2012 Fantasy Fantasy Awards

by Derek Carty

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With just three days left in the season, each member of the BP Fantasy team took the time to reflect on the year that was, casting their votes for a variety of categories. Today, I'll be handing out the fantasy fantasy hardware (that is, inconsequential awards for a derivative game). After seeing who we thought had the best, worst, and most interesting 2011 seasons, be sure to tell us who you think deserved some recognition in the comments section.

Derek Carty

Most Valuable Hitter

Ryan Braun

Most Valuable Pitcher

R.A. Dickey

Rookie Hitter of the Year

Mike Trout

Rookie Pitcher of the Year

Yu Darvish

Comeback Player of the Year

Adam Dunn

Biggest Surprise of the Year

Fernando Rodney

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

Justin Upton

Luckiest Player of the Year

Kyle Lohse

Unluckiest Player of the Year

Mitch Moreland

Top Breakout of the Year

Mike Trout

Most Overrated Player of the Year

Johnny Cueto

Most Underrated Player of the Year

Marco Estrada

Your Best Prediction of the Year

Edwin Encarnacion's breakout

Your Worst Prediction of the Year

Ubaldo Jimenez would bounce back

 

Jason Collette

Most Valuable Hitter

Ryan Braun

Most Valuable Pitcher

R.A. Dickey

Rookie Hitter of the Year

Mike Trout

Rookie Pitcher of the Year

Yu Darvish

Comeback Player of the Year

Aaron Hill

Biggest Surprise of the Year

Fernando Rodney

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

Luke Hochevar

Luckiest Player of the Year

Jeremy Hellickson

Unluckiest Player of the Year

Cliff Lee

Top Breakout of the Year

Edwin Encarnacion

Most Overrated Player of the Year

Dustin Pedroia

Most Underrated Player of the Year

Clay Buchholz

Your Best Prediction of the Year

Edwin Encarnacion hits 40 HR

Your Worst Prediction of the Year

Fernando Rodney wouldn't close in Tampa Bay

 

Dan Mennella

Most Valuable Hitter

Mike Trout

Most Valuable Pitcher

R.A. Dickey

Rookie Hitter of the Year

Mike Trout

Rookie Pitcher of the Year

Ryan Cook

Comeback Player of the Year

Alex Rios

Biggest Surprise of the Year

Edwin Encarnacion

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

Eric Hosmer

Luckiest Player of the Year

Ian Desmond

Unluckiest Player of the Year

Cliff Lee

Top Breakout of the Year

Chase Headley

Most Overrated Player of the Year

Elvis Andrus

Most Underrated Player of the Year

Adam LaRoche

Your Best Prediction of the Year

Chris Sale would be a good starter

Your Worst Prediction of the Year

Eric Hosmer would be an elite first baseman

 

Paul Singman

Most Valuable Hitter

Ryan Braun

Most Valuable Pitcher

R.A. Dickey

Rookie Hitter of the Year

Mike Trout

Rookie Pitcher of the Year

Jarrod Parker

Comeback Player of the Year

Ryan Ludwick

Biggest Surprise of the Year

Fernando Rodney

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

Eric Hosmer

Luckiest Player of the Year

Torii Hunter

Unluckiest Player of the Year

Dustin Ackley

Top Breakout of the Year

Edwin Encarnacion

Most Overrated Player of the Year

Starlin Castro

Most Underrated Player of the Year

Freddie Freeman

Your Best Prediction of the Year

Chris Sale as a breakout arm

Your Worst Prediction of the Year

Michael Pineda was a SP to target

 

Josh Shepardson

Most Valuable Hitter

Mike Trout

Most Valuable Pitcher

R.A. Dickey

Rookie Hitter of the Year

Mike Trout

Rookie Pitcher of the Year

Yu Darvish

Comeback Player of the Year

Buster Posey

Biggest Surprise of the Year

Edwin Encarnacion

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

Tim Lincecum

Luckiest Player of the Year

Aaron Harang

Unluckiest Player of the Year

Evan Longoria

Top Breakout of the Year

Mike Trout

Most Overrated Player of the Year

Adrian Gonzalez

Most Underrated Player of the Year

Chase Headley

Your Best Prediction of the Year

Madison Bumgarner as a burgeoning ace.

Your Worst Prediction of the Year

Luke Hochevar as a top-50 starting pitcher.

 

Paul Sporer

Most Valuable Hitter

Mike Trout

Most Valuable Pitcher

R.A. Dickey

Rookie Hitter of the Year

Mike Trout

Rookie Pitcher of the Year

Wade Miley

Comeback Player of the Year

Ryan Ludwick

Biggest Surprise of the Year

Chris Sale

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

Roy Halladay

Luckiest Player of the Year

Aaron Harang

Unluckiest Player of the Year

Cliff Lee

Top Breakout of the Year

Mike Trout

Most Overrated Player of the Year

Clay Buchholz

Most Underrated Player of the Year

Allen Craig

Your Best Prediction of the Year

Jake Peavy/Jordan Zimmermann

Your Worst Prediction of the Year

Ricky Romero

 

Michael Street

Most Valuable Hitter

Ryan Braun

Most Valuable Pitcher

R.A. Dickey

Rookie Hitter of the Year

Mike Trout

Rookie Pitcher of the Year

Wade Miley

Comeback Player of the Year

Adam Dunn

Biggest Surprise of the Year

Justin Ruggiano

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

Roy Halladay

Luckiest Player of the Year

Jeremy Hellickson

Unluckiest Player of the Year

Tim Lincecum

Top Breakout of the Year

Aroldis Chapman

Most Overrated Player of the Year

Carlos Marmol

Most Underrated Player of the Year

Chase Headley

Your Best Prediction of the Year

Ryan Braun would be fantasy’s best hitter

Your Worst Prediction of the Year

Miguel Cabrera wouldn't stay at 3B

My impressions
The first thing you may notice is that there were a couple of clean sweeps.  Let’s give it up for R.A. Dickey, BP’s Most Valuable Fantasy Pitcher, and Mike Trout, BP’s Fantasy Rookie of the Year.  Trout’s rookie season was so remarkable that he even managed to cause a split vote for Most Valuable Hitter with Ryan Braun (three votes to Braun’s four).  Additionally, Trout was given the most digital ink of all players in this year’s voting, receiving 11 votes between three different categories.

Fernando Rodney’s name popped up in several places, and it’s easy to see why.  He garnered the most Surprise of the Year votes after leading the American League in saves whilst posting a sub-1.00 ERA.  Even when it was announced that incumbent Rays closer Kyle Farnsworth would miss the start of the season, few thought a pitcher with the track record of Rodney could manage to hold down the role for very long, much less post the most impressive season among all AL relievers.

The Most Overrated and Most Underrated categories are very interesting to look at.  Aside from a single duplicate Chase Headley vote for Most Underrated, there was a different name on every single ballot for each of these categories.  Overrated and underrated are very subjective terms, and it’s interesting to see how different people perceive them in different ways.  Believe it or not, I may even argue that Carlos Marmol was underrated this year, yet he took home a Most Overrated vote.  And Clay Buchholz actually did receive a vote apiece in each of the categories.

Edwin Encarnacion turned one of the biggest profits in all of fantasy baseball this year, and his name littered the ballots.  He received a vote in three different categories and was awarded something on five of the seven ballots.  Some considered him a surprise, others a breakout, and others an opportunity to brag.  No one will argue with the impact he had on fantasy teams this season.  What I found most interesting, however, was that he was listed as Jason Collette’s Best Prediction this season but his Worst Prediction last season.  It goes to show that the process really is what’s important.  The results are out of our control and are often left up to the vagaries of chance, but when you stick with sound process, eventually you are rewarded.

While Cliff Lee and his mere six wins garnered some serious consideration for my Unluckiest Player vote, I decided to use this as one more opportunity to bang the Mitch Moreland drum.  Despite playing very well while on the field, injury and managerial tendencies limited him to just 346 plate appearances.  He still managed to post double-digit value in AL-only leagues, which means he was a breakeven (or better) player in spite of his limited play.  If only he could get 600 at-bats.  Sigh.

As I said earlier, feel free to let us know who you think deserved more (or less) recognition or if you’d like to hear the reasoning behind any of the votes.  Best of luck to those of you still in a tight race.  May the next three days bring you lots of luck!

17 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

grandslam28

No Kris Medlen love?

Oct 01, 2012 05:44 AM
rating: 2
 
swarmee

I guess he wasn't rookie eligible and since he went 7-0 as a starter last season, it must not have been much of a surprise.

Oct 01, 2012 06:44 AM
rating: 0
 
swarmee

Correction 7QS in 2010.

Oct 01, 2012 06:45 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Derek Carty
BP staff

I actually gave him a moment's consideration for Most Overrated, believe it or not, but thought it might send the wrong message since I do really like him. He's a good pitcher, but he's not this good. I heard one guy on TV recently say that he's "the best pitcher in baseball right now," which just isn't true.

Oct 01, 2012 13:37 PM
 
grandslam28

How could he be most overrated?

Oct 01, 2012 16:39 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Derek Carty
BP staff

Basically for the reasons I said. Yes, he's been good, but some people are treating him like he's among the games elite (or better than the game's elite, in some cases). He's not that caliber of pitcher. That said, I do really like him and have for a few years now. It's great that he's finally gotten a chance and has done so well with it.

Oct 01, 2012 22:08 PM
 
BarryR

What was overrated, the 1.56 ERA or the 0.91 WHIP? He wasn't the best fantasy pitcher because of the counting stats, with only 120 K and 10 W, he wasn't as valuable as a Dickey, but the value of that ERA and WHIP over 138 IP can't be overstated.
I wouldn't think of him as among baseballs elite for next year, but for this year in fantasy - the numbers are all that matter.

Oct 01, 2012 23:38 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Paul Sporer
BP staff

Can you expound a bit re: Cueto, Derek? You're hurting my heart! I could've seen it the last two years, but this year he was excellent, IMO. Still beat xFIP and all, but I don't think that was smoke & mirrors.

Oct 01, 2012 07:31 AM
 
BP staff member Derek Carty
BP staff

Sure. It's mostly because I do think it's smoke and mirrors. He's in the Cy Young conversation right now, and he just shouldn't be. He's a good pitcher, but he's not an elite one. He's mostly the same pitcher he has been, just with better/luckier results. He's stranding more runners than he ever has before and seems to be lucky with his home runs.

Oct 01, 2012 13:40 PM
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

In all fairness, I predict Edwin Encarnacion to hit at least 30 HRs each season

Oct 01, 2012 07:33 AM
 
BP staff member Josh Shepardson
BP staff

I have consistently pegged him as a 25 HR a year guy, and have owned him each of the last four years... I didn't own him this year, ugh.

Oct 01, 2012 11:23 AM
 
surfdent48

Luckiest player of the year....Jeremy Hellickson...absolutely correct

Oct 01, 2012 08:05 AM
rating: 0
 
grandslam28

Michael, if Cabrera not sticking at third was your worst prediction, you must of had a great year in fantasy.

Oct 01, 2012 08:41 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Michael Street
BP staff

Naw, I had some other candidates, too: Morneau for Comeback Player, Jered Weaver for most likely to disappoint, largely on his ADP vs. PECOTA at the time; Chris Perez as the first closer to lose his job. So there's egg all over my face, really :)

I went with Miggy as the biggest miss to me because of (1) how well he's done on both sides of the ball (after a -11.8 FRAA at 1B last season, he has logged a -1.8 FRAA across the diamond this year) and (2) he's on my fantasy beat so I should have known better.

Oct 01, 2012 12:01 PM
 
misterjohnny
(925)

It is telling that none of these players were on my roster this year (NL only).

:(

Oct 01, 2012 13:56 PM
rating: 0
 
fawcettb

the only one I didn't understand was Dustin Ackley as the unluckiest player of the year. Why? Because he plays in Seattle? Hasn't he just stunk up the place all year and that luck hasn't had much to do with it?

Oct 01, 2012 14:48 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Paul Singman
BP staff

For a player who makes contact as often as Ackley (over 90% rate) it's surprising to see his strikeout rate near league-average 19 percent. Also his .267 BABIP is a lot lower than anything else he's posted in his professional career. It could be the case that he's simply staring at a lot of called-strike threes and hitting a lot of weak grounders causing outs. But for a player of Ackley's talent, a decent part of his miserable 2012 is, I believe, due to poor luck.

Oct 01, 2012 17:43 PM
 
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