For the next four weeks we will look at potential bust candidates for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season.
Our attention will be focused on outfield busts this week and infield busts next week.
To ascribe an analytic value to how we quantify a bust we will look at a player’s 2013 roto value and a hybrid of their Steamer and Oliver projections.
Bust: Our formula for a bust will be a player’s projected 2014 roto value—this projected value will be composed of an average between a players Steamer and Oliver projections—minus their 2013 roto value. (Values will be calculated for a 12-team 5×5 roto league)
Top 25 Outfield Busts
[table id=25 /]
Alfonso Soriano: New York Yankees
Alfonso Soriano wound the clock back in 2013, but there is reason beyond his 2014 projection to be skeptical about his future. The aging slugger had an average flyball distance of 292.58 feet in 2013, which was up from 2012, but correlates to a 13.6% HR/FB ratio, as opposed to his 18.9% HR/FB power output last year. Soriano stole 18 bases in 2013, but only swiped 17 bags from 2009 to 2012 all together; Steamer projects 8 and Oliver projects 10 stolen bases for Soriano in 2014, and believes more in the credibility of the long-term track record than last season. With less power and speed, Soriano is less likely to feed fantasy owners’ appetites.
Raul Ibanez: Free Agent
Ibanez hit 29 home runs in a season where he turned 41 years old: impressive. That’s the second most home runs ever by a player in an age 41 season; only five players have ever hit 20 or more home runs at the age of 41. Guess how many players hit more than 20 home runs in a season where they turned 42? This is easy, and you should be able to get it. Yes, just one: Barry Bonds. Do you want to bet on Ibanez to be the second? I didn’t think so.
Jayson Werth: Washington Nationals
The Nationals finally saw somewhat of a return for the massive seven-year, $126 million contract they shelled out to Jayson Werth in 2011. However, the offensive output that Werth generated was based around a .318 AVG and a .358 BABIP; Werth has never batted higher than .300 in a season—he did that in 2012, in an injury shortened 81 game season. The average of the Steamer and Oliver projections put Werth down for a .274 AVG, which is what most fantasy players should expect.
Hunter Pence: San Francisco Giants
Hunter Pence is an example of why it is important to think about the relative definition of a bust. Pence had a good year last year; Pence is projected to have a good year this year. If you draft Pence in a high round and expect him to produce at the pace he played at last year however, you will definitely be disappointed. Pence will have a good year in 2014, but this will be a prime example of downward regression from a career year.
Devin Jordan is obsessed with statistical analysis, non-fiction literature, and electronic music. If you enjoyed reading him, follow him on Twitter @devinjjordan.