October 29, 2012
Resident Fantasy Genius
The Ones We Got Wrong
Last week in this space I looked back on my best preseason predictions. While I think my hits far outweighed my misses, it is important (and fair) to look back at the lesser advice I gave this year. For each player, I’ve listed his mixed and AL/NL-only auction value in Tout Wars and LABR (only Tout has a mixed auction, but AL/NL-only values are an average of Tout and LABR) as well as his actual value for the 2012 season according to our Player Forecast Manager. Also take note that I’ve excluded most of the “value picks” from my preseason tier articles, as they’ll get their own review article.
Upton was likely my biggest miss this year, or at least the one with the biggest impact. I all but predicted Upton to take the next step forward into the elite tier of fantasy producers, but just 17 home runs squashed any chance of that happening. My words at the time: “I love Upton’s combination of skills, and 40 home runs really wouldn’t surprise me. That’s not to say it’s my mean expectation, but it’s well within the realm of possibility.” His overall production was still decent, but his high price tag means owners took a big loss on him (myself included, as I drafted him in Tout Wars. The difference between him and Ryan Braun for my team would have been eight points.)
I’m pretty down on Alex Rios this year, even if he’s solidly in the Three-Star tier. I know he had some injury issues last year that could have affected him, but his power performance makes me really worry. After showing power to all fields prior to 2011, his power was strictly pull in 2011, and they were hit much shallower than he used to hit them. With Alejandro de Aza and Kosuke Fukudome around to cut into his playing time, I’d be wary about drafting Rios.
It seems as though the 2011 injuries may have been the reason for Rios’ power issues, because a healthy Rios hit 25 long-balls this year, many of which went to centerfield, as they did prior to 2011.