Fantasy baseball owners should be wary of overrated football players

March Madness is always full of surprises, like Farleigh Dickinson beating Purdue to become number two. 16 seeds to expel No. 1 seed.

Or Princeton tops it. 2 Arizona, marking the third year in a row no. The 15th seed won her first round match.

It’s really crazy!

But, March Madness didn’t just come down to college basketball. There is a lot of madness going on Fantasy baseball drafts.

The madness begins with Michael Harris — who was the 2022 National League Freshman of the Year after hitting 19 batters with 64 RBIs, 75 runs, 20 stolen bases, and a .297/.339/.514 slanted streak in 114 games for the Braves.

With such a baseline, there’s bound to be excitement, right?

Well, maybe a lot of excitement.

Harris may not live up to the hype he made during his rookie year.
AP Photo/Nick Wass, File

According to Fantasy Alarm, Harris’ average draft position is 37.87, but there are sites with an ADP as high as 24.8 (Underdog Fantasy) or 26.1 (RealTime Fantasy). He is at 33.3 in Yahoo.

This means, in some cases, Harris is drafted as a top 10 player or a top 25 player overall.

This is a high price for a player who has only played 114 matches. There’s no arguing about the tools he brings to the table (and he really does bring a full tool bag), but there are concerns that make Roto Ridge think Harris would be very good, but ultimately fall short of lofty draft status.

Among players who have been to at least 400 plate games, Harris’ 41.7 percent chase rate (swinging on pitches outside the strike zone) is the 12th worst in the majors. That helped him achieve a walk average of 4.8 percent, which was 18th worst in the league, and a strikeout rate of 24.3 percent (23rd worst mark in the National League).

Harris batted .297, but BABIP’s skyrocketing .361 indicated luck was on his side—and it’s hard to believe the number is sustainable, especially when his projected batting average (.268) was nearly 30 points lower than his. The actual rate and the crazy globe rate of 56.2 were the fourth highest of the majors.

Oh, his expected slugging percentage (. 460) was more than 50 points lower than his actual . 514. These numbers scream one thing: regression.

What about Harris’ struggles against the left-handed pitcher?

In 135 games against lefties last season, he hit .238 with 13 strikeouts, 41 strikeouts (30.4% strikeout rate), 0.649 OPS and only seven walks.

Teoscar Hernandez #35 of the Seattle Mariners reacts after an RBI double by #20 Mike Ford during the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres in a spring training game at Peoria Stadium on February 24, 2023 in Peoria, Arizona.
Hernandez joined the Mariners, which could mean a drop in his hitting.
Steve Chambers/Getty Images

He also had a .337 BABIP against South Booth. This is problematic.

Harris’ problem is not his progress or talent, but his current price. It’s too high. In order to get a good return on his recruitment as a top-25 player, he needs to repeat his success in 2022 (and then some), and that’s no easy task.

Too many red flags to pay an extra price for an inexperienced player have numbers that indicate steepness.

Roto Rage prefers to target more experienced players – like Kyle Schwarber (39.69), Randy Arozarena (47.84) and Cedric Mullins (51.64)

Other players to be wary of include:

Teoscar Hernandez (76.31) moves from batter-friendly Toronto club to pitcher haven Seattle.

This isn’t something fantasy directors should consider good luck with.

Pittsburgh’s Brian Reynolds (77.31) is a really good player in a bad situation. He just doesn’t have enough support in the Pirates lineup to give fantasy owners the numbers he can.

Atlanta Braves Ronald Acuna Jr. is welcomed into the dugout after driving in a run during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Minnesota Twins in Northport, Fla., Saturday, March 4, 2023.
Acuña, Jr. ranks among the top fantasy baseball players.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

It’ll be fine, but it’s unlikely it’ll be really great… unless he finally gets traded.

Starling Marte of the Mets (92.29) is an often injured 34-year-old with decreased sprinting who had surgery in the offseason and has missed 30 or more games in all but one season since 2016. You do the math.

Washington native Joey Meneses (182.71) has the kind of vibes Frank Schwendl (a la 2021 with the Cubs) — a minor league player who got a chance to play on a team that’s going nowhere and became a fantasy champ late in the season.

It’s got a solid swing, but the small sample size as well as the .371 BABIP raises questions.

Cleveland’s Oscar Gonzalez (188.23) hit .296 with 11 homers, 43 RBIs, 39 runs, and a .789 OPS in 91 games.

It was a solid start, but his walk rate of 3.4 percent was in the bottom 1 percent of the league (as was his chase rate of 48.3 percent) and his 345 pips were a good indication that a downturn was coming.

ball players

  1. Ronald Acuna Jr = Atl
  2. Aaron Judge = New York
  3. Julio Rodriguez = sea
  4. Juan Soto = SD
  5. Kyle Tucker = keep
  6. Mookie Betts = LAD
  7. Mike Trout = download
  8. Yordan Alvarez = Keep
  9. Fernando Tatis Jr. = SD
  10. Louis Robert = CWS
  11. Randy Arosarina = TB
  12. Kyle Schwarber = Phy
  13. Cedric Mullins = ball
  14. Adolis Garcia = Tex
  15. Eloy Jimenez = CWS
  16. Dalton Farshaw = Tor
  17. Michael Harris II = Atl
  18. Corbin Carroll = Ari
  19. George Springer = Tor
  20. Byron Buxton = Maine
  21. Brian Reynolds = hole
  22. Starling Marte = NYM
  23. Stephen Kwan = Kelly
  24. Tyler O’Neal = StL
  25. Teoscar Hernandez = the sea
  26. Seiya Suzuku = ChC
  27. Anthony Santander = the ball
  28. Chris Bryant = Cole
  29. Nick Castellanos = Fi
  30. Christian Yelich = Mel
  31. Giancarlo Stanton = New York
  32. Jake McCarthy = Ari
  33. Ian Happ = ChC
  34. Taylor Ward = LAA
  35. Andrew Vaughn = CWS
  36. Brandon Nimmo = NYM
  37. Mitch Haniger = SF
  38. Hunter Renfrew = LAA
  39. MJ Melendez = KC
  40. Jeff McNeil = NYM
  41. Lars marked = StL
  42. Jordan Walker = StL
  43. Alex Verdugo = Forest
  44. Masataka Yoshida = Forest
  45. Cody Bellinger = ChC
  46. Oscar Gonzalez = Klee
  47. Riley Green = Det
  48. Ramon Laureano = Oak
  49. Andrew Benintendi = CWS
  50. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. = Ar
  51. Will Myers = O
  52. Brian De La Cruz = Mia
  53. Seth Brown = ok
  54. Jared Kilinick = The Sea
  55. Esteore Ruiz = ok
  56. Whit Merrifield = Tor
  57. Jorge Soler = Mia
  58. Adam Duvall = Forest
  59. Austin Meadows = Det
  60. Michael Conforto = SF
  61. Alex Kirillov = Min
  62. Garrett Mitchell = ml
  63. Jesse Winker = ml
  64. Jock Pederson = SF
  65. Trey Mancini = ChC
  66. Brendan Donovan = StL
  67. Austin Hayes = the ball
  68. Jake Fraley = O.N
  69. Brandon Marsh = Phi
  70. Chris Taylor = LAD
  71. Charlie Blackmon = Cole
  72. Avicil Garcia = Mia
  73. Max Kepler = minimum
  74. Marcell Ozuna = Atl
  75. Juan Yepez = StL
  76. Lynn Thomas = snitch
  77. Oscar Colas = CWS
  78. Edouard Olivares = KC
  79. Manuel Margot = tuberculosis
  80. Harrison Bader = New York
  81. Trent Gresham = SD
  82. Andrew McCutcheon = hole
  83. Oswaldo Cabrera = New York
  84. Bubba Thompson = tx
  85. Kike Hernandez = Forest
  86. Randall Grechuk = Cole
  87. Michael Brantley = Keep
  88. AJ Pollock = The Sea
  89. Mike Yastrzemski = SF
  90. TJ Friedl = Cin
  91. Jose Seri = TB
  92. Matt Fairling = DRT
  93. Dylan Carlson = StL
  94. Mark Kanha = NYM
  95. Jose Lui = tuberculosis
  96. Harold Ramirez = TB
  97. Lamonte Wade Jr = SF
  98. Alec Thomas = Ari
  99. Will Frelick = mile
  100. Nolan Jones = Cole

Team name of the week

LuxYuli tax

Submitted by Ralph Lanos

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