Top 7 NL Central Fantasy Busts: Part One

By Jon Edwards

Last week we took a look at some guys who I thought would out-perform their fantasy rankings. This week, we’re doing the opposite. It isn’t that I don’t like these guys, I want every one of them on my team. I just don’t want them at the price they’re going for in standard leagues. Remember, these rankings are based on this year only, not future projections.

7-4 are found here with 3-1 being posted tomorrow.

(All stats and rankings from espn.com)

7. Trevor Rosenthal – RP – St. Louis Cardinals

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This is strictly based off the fact that I don’t pay for saves. The turnover rate on closers in the MLB is crazy. You can probably find a dozen guys closing at the end of the year that weren’t opening day closers. Now if I were to pay for one, there are three guys ranked ahead of Rosenthal where I would shoot: Aroldis Chapman, Greg Holland, and Craig Kimbrel. I just can’t justify putting Rosenthal with that group, nor him being a top-50 overall option. His 1.41 WHIP last year doesn’t help his cause, although you can’t argue 45 saves and 87 K’s from a reliever. Be careful when reaching for closers. Instead, take a look at Cody Allen, Dellin Betances or Mark Melancon much later in the draft.

6. Jhonny Peralta – SS – St. Louis Cardinals

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Peralta is a funky guy to follow for his career. While his 21 HR’s nearly doubled his 2013 number, 11, his OPS dropped 36 points, which is kind of an odd thing to happen with so many more bombs. That leads me to believe his hard hit contact is going down, with many more of his base hits going for singles instead of extra bases and thus limiting his runs and RBI production. His batting average dropped 40 points, and his on-base percentage 20 points from his 2013 season. While the power is up, that seems to be all you’re getting as his peripherals are dropping. Of course, Peralta is also a cheater, and I can’t trust anyone with PED allegations. Guys I would rather have: Javier Baez, Xander Bogaerts, Alcides Escobar.

5. Jonathan Lucroy – C – Milwaukee Brewers

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Lucroy is on my list of favorite players in the league, he’s a hard guy not to like. He has clearly established himself as the leader of the Brewers, even with more talented players (ie: Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun) on the squad. He does everything right but nothing is exceptional, especially in a fantasy sense. I just can’t see him repeating the numbers he put up last year, or living up to his 82nd overall ranking (#2 Catcher). He had a ridiculously good .373 OBP last year, but that was aided mostly by walks instead of hits because his batting average was just a tick above .300. The more categories your league uses, the more valuable Lucroy becomes. But in a standard league, I don’t think you can expect him to be the second best catcher again. Lucroy is a classic case of being a much better real life player than fantasy one. I would rather have Devin Mesoraco’s power, or wait later for Brian McCann, Russell Martin, or Travis d’Arnaud.

4. Lance Lynn – SP – St. Louis Cardinals

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Lynn has done an incredible job of providing great numbers to pair with a high WHIP, an extremely odd feat. The 200+ innings and 180+ K’s are for real, but I think this is the year where the amount of baserunners he gives up will catch up to him. If his WHIP hovers in the 1.30 range, where it has been as a starter, the earned runs have got to increase. There’s just too many moving parts for his ERA not to rise, and I could see a full earned run more from his 2014 total of 2.74. I’ll take the pitching youth movement of Zack Wheeler, Drew Smyly, or Marcus Stroman instead.

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