If you REALLY have a lot of time to kill, like you're getting your oil changed and you're trying to avoid the stare of a three year old by keeping your eyes locked on to your mobile device or something, here's the link to my initial Dudes & Don'ts write up from back in March: http://www.thefantasyamateurs.com/nate-dokken/nates-2016-dudes-donts
C – Devin Mesoraco (10th C, 179 Overall)
Projection: 450 PA, 65 R, 26 HR, 75 RBI, .260BA
Production: 55 PA, 2 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, .140 BA
What is there to say about this one? Talk about a rough start. Meso missed pretty much the entire year with injury following a putrid start. Catcher was so miserable all around this year that this pick didn't kill your team, but it's definitely a whiff for the list. If you listened to the podcast (Nasty Cast) you knew that I also loved Yasmani Grandal, who had a much better season, so hopefully you found a way to him either as a replacement or as a draft option. I'm going to be pretty much out on Meso moving forward, he just can't stay healthy.
1B – Mark Trumbo (25th 1B, 182 Overall)
Projection: 575 PA, 80 R, 33 HR, 100 RBI, .250 BA
Production: 667 PA, 94 R, 47 HR, 108 RBI, .256 BA
BINGO!! Swallowing the bile from that Mesoraco pick is made easier by taking a nice long drink of a cool Trumbo. Projecting him to more than eclipse 30 homers for the first time since 2013 was a stretch in the preseason, but he made me look conservative by LEADING BASEBALL IN HOME RUNS. You were no Dumbo if you drafted Trumbo.
2B – Anthony Rendon (9th 2B, 89th Overall)
Projection: 650 PA, 80 R, 20 HR, 85 RBI, 7 SB, .300 BA
Production: 647 PA, 91 R, 20 HR, 85 RBI, 12 SB, .270 BA
Well slap me twice and call me Shirley if that wasn't a damned good projection. I should do that for a living or something. A little light on the BA, but a .270 mark in this era of high strikeouts and low averages is nothing to complain about. He really flew under the radar this year, as his slow and steady production put his owners into a deep, comfortable slumber. They then dreamed of his solid yet uninspired facial hair, wishing he would grow an Espinosa-caliber mustache. Upon awakening, they realized he had returned a profit on their draft day investment, and graciously gave all their money to Nathan Dokken.
3B – Justin Turner (29th 3B, 221 Overall)
Projection: 550 PA, 80 R, 16 HR, 80 RBI, 6 SB, .290 BA
Production: 622 PA, 79 R, 27 HR, 90 RBI, 4 SB, .275 BA
Boy, now we're really cooking with the blood of an orphan! I mean, uh, what? Gas, I said. Shut up. Gas. Moving right along, Turner was my “Target Supreme” in drafts this year, which you knew if you listened to the Nasty Cast. We even played a little “History” by Tenacious D to honor the label. I was a little light on the PA projection because he had a knee injury coming into the season, and in fact he was really slow out of the gate because of it. He Turner-ed things around though in June, putting the .654 OPS from April and the .699 OPS from May behind him to the tune of a .922 OPS in June, followed by a whopping .979 July OPS with 7 HR and 8 2B. He hit just .275 even with a career-high 38% hard contact rate, but you sure won't complain about a slightly lower BA than expected when you're getting power numbers like that from a SUPER cheap option. Nothing he's doing is unsustainable by the way, and I could see another mid-20's homer season from him next year, with a solid average to boot. Let's keep rolling.
SS – Jonathan Villar (41st SS, 426 Overall)
Projection: 550 PA, 75 R, 5 HR, 60 RBI, 40 SB, .255 BA
Production: 679 PA, 92 R, 19 HR, 63 RBI, 62 SB, .285 BA
COME ON!! WHAT MORE DO YOU PEOPLE WANT FROM ME?! I GAVE YOU JONATHAN VILLAR!! YOUR 2016 FANTASY MVP!! WHAT MORE DO I HAVE TO DO?! Whew, I'm gonna need surgery to repair my rotator cuff after patting my back so vehemently there. Ouchie. Anyway, I said in my D&D write-up that “you can't find a better option for cheap speed at shortstop this year” and all Villar did was lead all of baseball with 62 steals. The power even I didn't expect though, and the bonus BA was fueled by a .373 BABIP that even for such a speed demon is impossible to predict repeating moving forward. He increased his hard contact rate by nearly 11% to 35% this year, which played a key role in his 20% HR/FB rate. That, also, is going to be incredibly difficult to repeat, even while playing in hitters haven Miller Park. So overall, I'd call him a sell-high candidate in dynasty leagues, but he will continue to steal a ton of bases moving forward, so don't give him away by any means.
OF 1 – Justin Upton (17th OF, 49th Overall)
Projection: 650 PA, 100 R, 32 HR, 100 RBI, 15 SB, .275 BA
Production: 626 PA, 81 R, 31 HR, 87 RBI, 9 SB, .246 BA
Boy, this one is tough to call. Upton was awful for the first few months of the season. AWFUL. So bad he was probably dropped in a lot of 10 and 12 team mixed leagues, and I was already trying to figure out how to defend my optimism on him coming into the season. He came around eventually though, and had that one hot month that he always has every year to bring up his season totals, only this time he waited all the way until September to really turn it on. He had a monster 1.132 OPS in September and was basically the best player in fantasy over the final month, hitting 13 home runs and driving in 28. Everyone tried to diagnose what the hell was so wrong with him, and sort of came up empty. Basically everything in his profile remained relatively the same compared to what he's always done, save for a spike in K's and drop in walks, but even those seemed a bit odd given his same swinging strike rate, contact rate, chase rate, etc. as he's had for ages. It's hard to call this one a win, but it's also not a total whiff. I guess since he killed you for most of the season, I'll take the miss on him.
OF 2 – Delino DeShields (57th OF, 202 Overall)
Projection: 650 PA, 100 R, 5 HR, 55 RBI, 45 SB, .255 BA
Production: 203 PA, 36 R, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 8 SB, .209 BA
This one really hurt my feelings. I was Delino's biggest fan coming into the year (well, maybe tied with Gray Albright) and he totally crapped the bed. He did get a little bit of a raw deal from the Rangers, seeing only full time PA's in April before they pulled the plug on him as a starter. Not much leash to break out of a slump, but I've also heard he's maybe not the best clubhouse guy, so maybe he rubbed his teammates or someone in the org the wrong way. Either way he was a total bust, but at least you knew that right away so you could cut him for someone else early on, and he didn't cost you much on draft day. Indeed, it wasn't Deli-yes, it was Deli-no.
OF 3 – Wil Myers (65th OF, 244 Overall)
Projection: 550 PA, 75 R, 22 HR, 85 RBI, 8 SB, .260 BA
Production: 676 PA, 99 R, 28 HR, 94 RBI, 28 SB, .259 BA
DINGALING, MOTHAF***AH! Another fantasy MVP candidate was one of my loves this preseason, and holy moose knuckles, he exceeded even my wildest expectations. He's always been a guy that seems to find the DL, which is why I had tempered my projections a little bit, but he stayed healthy all year and darn near went 30/30. The power I knew would be there no matter what, but I never thought he'd approach 30 steals. He was 28-34 too, so he didn't just run wild and get caught all the time, he has turned that into a part of his game that he can really excel at. It really just comes down to injury history with him, and I'm not ready to forget all the time he missed the prior two seasons just yet after one full season. Therefore I might now be out on him next year if his value is inflated, but we'll see how that shakes out before I go making up my mind already.
SP 1 – Carlos Martinez (27th SP, 98th Overall)
Projection: 14 W, 185 IP, 195 K, 3.15 ERA, 1.21 WHIP
Production: 16 W, 195.1 IP, 174 K, 3.04 ERA, 1.22 WHIP
Not too shabby. C-Mart didn't maintain his K per inning from 2015, but he did manage to continue to limit the long ball (0.69 HR/9) and increase his ground ball rate for the third consecutive year, finishing with a 56.4% GB%. I'll take it.
SP 2 – Carlos Rodon (48th SP, 162 Overall)
Projection: 13 W, 185 IP, 200 K, 3.33 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
Production: 9 W, 165 IP, 168 K, 4.04 ERA, 1.39 WHIP
My second Carlos in a row was a bummer, sadly. Should've stopped at one Carlos. That's usually my rule, but I got overzealous this year. I expected a workhorse season from Rodon with a ton of strikeouts, offset with more walks than you'd prefer. He spent some time on the DL unfortunately, and was overall pretty bad in the first half. Over the second half, however, he made one of the big improvements I was looking for this season: he started using his changeup a lot more. He went from almost nil in the first half, clearly not trusting it at all, to around 14% in the second half. He also cut his walk rate substantially this season, from 11.7% in 2015 to a near-league average 7.6%. I still think we are looking at an elite starter at some point, and I'm still in full buy mode on him in dynasty leagues. In fact, this offseason might not be a bad time to pounce since a lot of the shine is off of his stock right now. Grab him, and polish that stock until it's shiny again.
SP 3 – Anthony DeSclafani (77th SP, 276 Overall)
Projection: 12 W, 195 IP, 185 K, 3.40 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
Production: 9 W, 123.1 IP, 105 K, 3.28 ERA, 1.22 WHIP
If memory serves, DeSclafani went down with an injury pretty much right after I put him on the Dudes list, and he wound up missing a huge chunk of the season. He was exactly what I thought he would be when he came back and pitched though, so the numbers that you got from him plus whomever you plucked from the waiver wire to fill in for him combined for a pretty sweet value, unless you plucked Clay Buchholz. Never pluck Clay Buchholz. So injuries be damned, I'm counting this as a win.
C – Jonathan Lucroy (3rd C, 94th Overall)
Projection: 575 PA, 60 R, 10 HR, 65 RBI, .275 BA
Production: 544 PA, 67 R, 24 HR, 81 RBI, .292 BA
You know, I could've picked just about any other catcher to avoid this year and been right, but no, I had to go Lucroy. He had his career year just to spite me, besting his career home run total by 6 HR in 36 fewer PA's. He had previously hit 12, 12, 18, and 13 home runs, so I don't fault myself for being pessimistic on a 30 year old catcher suddenly clubbing 24 homers. He also got traded to the Rangers, who have a much better offense than the Brewers, which I did say was a distinct possibility in my initial write-up, but you can't necessarily bank on that happening. Especially in a roto league I wasn't going to invest in Lucroy, but no matter the format, he was a great play this year.
1B – Victor Martinez (30th 1B, 224 Overall)
Projection: 475 PA, 40 R, 9 HR, 60 RBI, .275 BA
Production: 610 PA, 65 R, 27 HR, 86 RBI, .289 BA
Balls. I really struggled to find a first baseman value I hated, so I went with the 37 year old with an injury history, even though he was super cheap. He turned out to be a great value, turning in a pretty vintage season rather than turning into what A-Rod turned into like I'd expected. Good on him.
2B – Kolten Wong (10th 2B, 125 Overall)
Projection: 550 PA, 50 R, 8 HR, 60 RBI, 15 SB, .270 BA
Production: 361 PA, 39 R, 5 HR, 23 RBI, 7 SB, .240 BA
You were pleased if you heeded my “Don't touch the Wong” pleas. He as even worse than I'd expected, not only sitting against left-handed pitching, but even getting sent back to the minors for a chunk of the season. Especially considering how many second basemen blew up and hit a ton of dingers this year, you were right to sell the Wong stock.
3B – Matt Duffy (13th 3B, 151 Overall)
Projection: 635 PA, 75 R, 8 HR, 75 RBI, 15 SB, .275 BA
Production: 366 PA, 41 R, 28 RBI, 8 SB, .258 BA
The Duff Man not only got traded to the Rays (ouch), he also missed the final few weeks of the season with an Achilles injury, which required surgery. In my D&D I begged the question, “Do you really want your third baseman to hit you borderline double-digit home runs?” The answer was no. No you do not.
SS – Elvis Andrus (10th SS, 147 Overall)
Projection: 650 PA, 60 R, 5 HR, 65 RBI, 25 SB, .265 BA
Production: 568 PA, 75 R, 8 HR, 69 RBI, 24 SB, .302 BA
I was mostly right on Andrus. He he toward the bottom of the order all year, didn't give you much power, nor did he provide elite steals. He did hit for a career-high batting average though, which is nice, and the Rangers lineup was so good that he scored 15 more runs than I had projected in 82 fewer plate appearances. This one is pretty much a push as he finished as the 11th most valuable SS in standard leagues, which is technically lower than his SS10 ADP but, you know, that's whatever. PUSH.
OF 1 – Adam Eaton (31st OF, 108 Overall)
Projection: 575 PA, 85 R, 7 HR, 60 RBI, 16 SB, .285 BA
Production: 706 PA, 91 R, 14 HR, 59 RBI, 14 SB, .284 BA
Aside from the home runs, that's a pretty solid projection. He stayed healthy, which I didn't expect, and he matched his HR total from 2015 as well, which I also didn't expect. Are the 7 bonus homers enough to call this one a miss? Gah, probably. Boo.
OF 2 – Corey Dickerson (34th OF, 116 Overall)
Projection: 475 PA, 55 R, 20 HR, 65 RBI, .260 BA
Production: 548 PA, 57 R, 24 HR, 70 RBI, .245 BA
C-Dick, as he's become known as in certain fantasy baseball circles, stayed healthier than I was willing to bank on, playing 148 games for the Oddly-Shaped Fish Creatures With Stingy Things. Even with nearly 75 more PA's than I expected though, he finished right around the numbers I figured he would. In a year where everyone including your mother hit 20 home runs, I'm not as thrilled at his homer total as I am bummed with a .245 BA.
OF 3 – Nelson Cruz (14th OF, 39th Overall)
Projection: 600 PA, 75 R, 25 HR, 85 RBI, .250 BA
Production: 667 PA, 96 R, 43 HR, 105 RBI, .287 BA
Nelson Cruz is an immortal wonder who I will never bet against again, ever. Heavens to Betsy what a season for a 36 year old. I'm bringing back that phrase, by the way. Heavens to Betsy. Good phrase.
SP 1 – Zack Greinke (7th SP, 30th Overall)
Projection: 210 IP, 15 W, 185 K, 3.25 ERA, 1.05 WHIP
Production: 158.2 IP, 13 W, 134 K, 4.37 ERA, 1.27 WHIP
“Never pay for a career year” a wise man once said. While I didn't expect the massive dropoff in value that actually occurred, I did expect a big drop off from his ridiculous 2015. Greinke was a huge bust, missing time and being completely mediocre while he was on the mound. I'll expect a rebound in 2017, and he will come at a much more reasonable price.
SP 2 – Sonny Gray (19th SP, 62nd Overall)
Projection: 205 IP, 13 W, 165 K, 3.35 ERA, 1.10 WHIP
Production: 117 IP, 5 W, 94 K, 5.69 ERA, 1.50 WHIP
Woof. You dodged a bullet if you agreed with me on this one, as Gray not only missed a chunk of the season, but when he pitched you wished he was on the DL, or in the minors, or shopping at Macy's, or porking your wife. Really anything besides doing what he did to your ERA and WHIP.
SP 3 – Steven Matz (34th SP, 126 Overall)
Projection: 155 IP, 8 W, 3.60 ERA, 145 K, 1.20 WHIP
Production: 132.1 IP, 9 W, 3.40 ERA, 129 K, 1.21 WHIP
I was flabbergasted at the price on Matz this year. He hadn't proven much of anything at the MLB level yet, nor had he shown the ability to stay healthy...EVER. He proved me right by starting just 22 games, and while he posted some nice numbers while he did pitch, he certainly didn't warrant an ADP of 126 this year. I still prefer Yoga Matz.
So there you have it folks, the verdicts on my 2016 Dudes & Don'ts. Did I grade myself too harshly? Not harshly enough? Did I help you in any way? Do you prefer standard Cheetos, the Puffs, or Flamin' Hot? So many questions, so much offseason time to ponder them. I'm already bored. Is it draft day yet?