Most fantasy baseball lists are dedicated to highlighting players you should draft and sleepers. This list looks at 10 players you should think twice about before adding to your fantasy team. The following is a list of players not to draft for the 2013 MLB season and why.
#10. Josh Willingham – LF Minnesota Twins
33 Year-olds don’t usually have breakout seasons. Josh Willingham had the best season of his career with 35 home runs, 110 RBI and a .260 batting average. Willingham is averaging 126 games a season over the past five years as he usually battles with injury issues. Look for him to fall back down to earth in 2013 and to put up more human like numbers unlike his breakout season in 2012.
#9. A.J. Burnett – SP Pittsburgh Pirates
A.J. Burnett may be the #1 starter for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but he shouldn’t even be the #5 starter on your fantasy team. Burnett will be 36 at the at the start of the 2013 season and is coming off of a 16 win season with a 3.51 ERA. If there is one thing that Burnett has not been throughout his career, it’s consistent. Before 2012, Burnett had back to back seasons with an ERA over 5.10 and has given up 25 or more home runs each of those seasons. Look for Burnett to gravitate towards his career averages instead of having another season like he did last year.
#8. James Shields – SP Kansas City Royals
‘Big Game’ James Shields is now with the Kansas City Royals after being traded from his former home in Tampa Bay. Shields leaves a contending team and joins one that hasn’t been in contention for several years if not a full decade. He is entering his 8th season in MLB and is coming off of a solid season, but one in which he took a step down from his 2011 performance. Last season Shields had 15 wins and a 3.52 ERA. With the Royals, he will not get enough run support and will not get as many wins or accumulate as impressive stats. Remember what team Shields now plays for before drafting him to your fantasy baseball team.
#7. Drew Stubbs – RF Cleveland Indians
Drew Stubbs was recently traded to the Cleveland Indians after another poor season with the Cincinnati Reds. Over 4 seasons in MLB, Stubbs has a combined batting average of only .241 and is prone to striking out. In 136 games during the 2012 season, he had 166 strikeouts and batted only .213. He is now the starting right fielder for the Indians and looks like a bust for the foreseeable future.
#6. Adam Dunn – 1B Chicago White Sox
If you need home runs and nothing else, then Adam Dunn might be the answer for your fantasy team. If you want a solid all around first baseman, stay far away from Dunn. With 222 strikeouts and a batting average of .204, it is clear that Dunn didn’t have a great season even though he did manage to have 41 home runs and 96 RBI. In 2011, Dunn had a very sad batting average of .159 over 122 games. Don’t draft Dunn, he will only frustrate you and drag down the overall numbers of your fantasy team.
#5. Torii Hunter – RF Detroit Tigers
Even as a die hard Detroit Tigers fan, I would stay away from Torii Hunter in fantasy baseball. Hunter will be 38 before the end of the 2013 season and is coming off of a great season with the Los Angeles Angels. In 2012, Hunter had his career high in batting average with .313. He also had 92 RBI, 16 home runs, and 9 steals. Although Hunter isn’t someone I would completely stay away from, don’t expect stats in the neighborhood of what he was able to do last year. Hunter missed 22 games last year, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he missed more this season as he isn’t getting any younger. If he is still available late in your draft, then take him, but chances are someone will jump on Hunter because of his solid year last season.
#4. Phil Hughes – SP New York Yankees
New York Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes is coming off of a 16 win season, but don’t let that fool you into thinking he is a viable option for your fantasy team. Hughes had a 4.19 ERA in 2012, and a 5.79 ERA in 2011. Last season he gave up an incredible 35 home runs to opposing batters, which was the second most among all pitchers in baseball. After a disappointing postseason and several teams in their division making improvements, it looks like the Yankees may have a down year in 2013, and that means a lower number of wins for Hughes. Look elsewhere for a starting pitcher to fill your fantasy roster.
#3. Carlons Pena – 1B Houston Astros
The Houston Astros needed a designated hitter, and it looks like they signed Carlos Pena to fill that position. Pena is 34 and coming off a season in which he batted a very sad .192 with 182 strikeouts and only 61 RBI and 19 home runs. Don’t expect Pena to get any better, stay away from him even as a designated hitter, there are much better options out there.
#2. Jayson Werth – CF/RF Washington Nationals
Jayson Werth is on a great team, but is past his prime and struggling. In 2012, Werth played in only 81 games and had 5 home runs, 31 RBI, and 8 stolen bases with a .300 batting average. In 2011, Werth batted only .232 over the season with 58 RBI. The 33 year-old looks to be declining in production and has limited potential at the lead-off position. Stay away from Werth unless no better option is available.
#1. Alex Rodriguez – 3B New York Yankees
Alex Rodriguez had a tough year that ended with being benched during the playoffs in the ALDS and ALCS. Rodriguez is now scheduled to have hip surgery in January, and will not be available to comeback until at least midseason. There is no reason to waste a fantasy draft pick on Alex Rodriguez just to have him sit on your roster in hopes that he will play like the younger more productive version of himself when he is able to return to the lineup.
*All statistics from MLB via MLB.com
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