From The Fantasy Oracle 2016 MLB Draft Guide Is Here! 

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Busts And Surprises

Which players should you avoid, and which players should you be happy you drafted? Ray Flowers gives his thoughts.

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Everyone wants to know who the best and worst fantasy baseball players will be in 2014. Hell, I want to know, but since my crystal ball was lost in my last move I'm totally clueless. Well maybe not. You know The Oracle has your back, at least when he's not been drinking leading to others having to save his life at three in the morning. Here is a list of guys that will disappoint in 2014 as well as a list of fellas that seem to be in good spots to offer a significant return on your investment if you're willing to take that leap of faith.

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Don't forget to check out my series of articles titled Who to Draft Fantasy Baseball.


C: Yan Gomes
I like the bat, but at this point we just aren't certain how much time Carlos Santana will spend at the hot corner. That leaves Gomes potential at-bat mark in the 250-450 range. Don't know about you but that's a risky position to be in if you're looking at Gomes as a top-15 backstop option as many seem to be.

1B: Matt Adams
For now his at-bats are secure but what happens if Allen Craig's body breaks down again forcing him back to first? Also, look a the STL outfield: Craig, Peter Bourjos, Jon Jay and Matt Holliday. That's already crowded and what happens when Oscar Taveras is called up? Too much faith is being put in Adams.

2B: Jose Altuve
He's sometimes taken in the top 6-8 second sackers. I don't know if that is the best idea or not. See the Who To Draft Fantasy Baseball 2014: Second Base article for more on my thoughts.

3B: Manny Machado
Opening Day is out, but that doesn't even take into account what he brings to the field.

3B/SS: Xander Bogaerts
It's not that he is going to fail but so much is being expected. If he goes .290 with 12 homers and 12 steals will you be happy?

OF: Billy Hamilton, Michael Cuddyer, Khris Davis
Hamilton. Come on now- he's insanely expensive. Repeat to yourself - .256 batting average, .308 OBP at Triple-A. Cuddyer  was fantastic last year, but that was last year. Check out his Player Profile for the reasons you should be a bit worried about 2014. Davis has 20 homer, 70 RBI written all over him. I get the feeling though that numbers like that would disappoint many.

SP: Jose Fernandez, Yordano Ventura, Michael Pineda
Fernandez was great last year, but questions about walks, workload and wins should lead to some pause. Ventura throws 100 and everyone things he's the next Justin Verlander. I just hope the inexperienced rookie who often lacks control doesn't turn out to be Daniel Cabrera. Pineda is a great story but... he last threw a big league pitch in 2011. Can you say with a straight face that you think 160 innings is a lock? You have a terrible poker face.

RP: Joakim Soria, Tommy Hunter
The Rangers want Neftali Feliz to be their closer. He's not ready so he was sent to the minors, but he'll likely be back soon. In steps the formerly elite Soria. Note that Soria has only thrown 23.2 innings the past two seasons. In six seasons of big league pitching Hunter has four saves and four blown saves. He's also had only one season with an ERA under 3.70 an a WHIP under 1.24. Add in that 5.36 K/9 mark and it's time to hide the women and children.

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C: Miguel Montero
Just a hunch. He was one of the better hitting catchers in baseball in 2011-12 and no one is taking him very seriously at the moment.

1B: Justin Morneau
A move to Colorado gives him huge gaps to blast liners into. He's been over 500 at-bats the past two years signaling that he's back to health. I don't throw number projections out there, but what about a .280-20-90 season. I think those numbers are doable.

2B: Dustin Ackley
Killing it this spring. Qualifies at second and in the outfield. Was the #2 pick in the country when drafted. I'm thinking Howie Kendrick type stuff, which would be a strong effort given the low cost of Ackley (he's on waivers in some leagues).

3B: Brett Lawrie
If this kid can reign in the exuberance just a tad he could have a big fantasy season. Seriously, he's not as disappointing as you think. Check out his Player Profile.

SS: Starlin Castro
The bum wheel is a concern though he's expected to be ready for Opening Day. If anything, this news even boosts his value further as others will be discounting him as you buy low. I'm a big fan of the game, even if I'm not sure about the person.

OF: Dexter Fowler, B.J. Upton, Chris Young
Fowler isn't elite. He's leaving Colorado. He stinks. Not remotely true but it's what folks think. There's a 15/25 season lurking here,and he'll get a chance to play every day with the Astros, something he didn't do in Colorado. Upton is a bum. Just ask around. He's also a supreme talent a year removed from a 28/30 season. Everyone is sleeping on him despite a decent spring and the fact that the Braves seem to be giving serious consideration to batting him second this season. Don't be caught napping on his talent. Young isn't even drafted in many mixed leagues. Based on his efforts the last two seasons I get it. Still, in the four seasons in which he has had at least 500 at-bats he's gone 32/27, 22/14, 27/28 and 20/22. That's worth taking a risk on, no?

SP: Dan Haren, Erasmo Ramirez, Felipe Paulino
Haren is old, boring and the least sexy thing going (as a sexy beast myself, I know a thing or two about sexy). But check out how the old fella channeled his younger self to the tune of a 3.52 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and an 8.22 K/9 in the second half. Erasmo has a spot in the rotation locked down, has looked good this spring, and is on waivers in many a league. Paulino has a bigger arm, there's a K per inning type of wing here, but he's struggled in spring. Still, tons to like.

RP: Joaquin Benoit, Junichi Tazawa
Huston Street is very good, but he's also averaged 50 innings pitched the past four seasons. Benoit will get saves for the Padres, potentially a lot of them. Koji Uehara had one of the 10 best relief seasons in baseball history last year. Two points. First, it's asinine to think he could repeat those stupendous numbers. Second, Uehara has been in the bigs for five years and he's never thrown 50 innings in back-to-back seasons. Just keep that in mind before you go all in.

You all know I'm a big fan of myself. I'm also a fan of my SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio co-host Kyle Elfrink. Here are Kyle's calls for the players that we will be discussing on the air from 5-8 PM EDT (Sirius 210, XM 87).


C - Yadier Molina

1B - Jose Abreu

2B – Brandon Phillips

3B - Aramis Ramirez

SS – Jean Segura

OF – Jacoby Ellsbury, Curtis Granderson, Shane Victorino

 SP - Michael Wacha, Tony Cingrani, Zach Wheeler

RP – Koji Uehara, Sergio Romo


C - Wilson Ramos

1B – Joey Votto

2B – Martin Prado

3B - Kris Bryant

SS - Asdrubal Cabrera

OF – Norichika Aoki, Andre Ethier, Josh Willingham

 SP – Jeff Samardzija, David Price, Martin Perez

RP – Joakim Soria, Cody Allen


  • 64x64

    James Bittle 30 Mar 20:03 / Reply

    Why are most experts down on M. Prado? He is ranked in 120-130 range on Yahoo. I was able to draft him in the 9th or 10th round in every draft. And I plan on playing him at 2nd-thanks Kyle Elfrink!

  • 64x64

    Daniel Tarditi 26 Mar 13:30 / Reply

    the names listed under surprises and names he talked about in article don't match up. ? Am I missing something?

  • 64x64

    @H2027 25 Mar 19:34 / Reply

    What did Kyle have to say about Asdrubal?

  • 64x64

    Baseball Guru 25 Mar 19:00 / Reply

    Ur insane if u think Wacha and Wheeler and Hamilton are all bust............. lol

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