The first pick in your fantasy baseball draft is one of the most exciting and nerve-racking events of the season. Exciting, because it marks the official beginning of the fantasy season and the first step in rostering your team. Nerve-racking, because you want your pick to give you everything you expect from him; awesome statistics and to play the whole season. Unfortunately, it’s almost guaranteed that at least one of those first round picks will disappoint tremendously.
Virtually every fantasy baseball season, a top round player fails to live up to the production the fantasy baseball world has come to expect from him. Whether it’s injury (Jose Reyes in 2009), off the field distractions (Matt Kemp ’10), having trouble adjusting to a new team and environment (Carl Crawford ’11) or just an inexplicable drop off in production (Jimmy Rollins ’08), history shows that one of those precious first picks will send his fantasy manager scrambling to fill that void.
Public enemy number one this past season was Hanley Ramirez. Easily a top three pick in every fantasy baseball draft across the board, Hanley endured a plethora of performance inhibiting incidents. He hit the Disabled List in early June with a back strain.
He was benched by his manager for not hustling and when he did play, his temperamental concentration clearly affected his production. He got hurt again later in the season and, mercifully, Hanley’s season was ended early when he underwent shoulder surgery in September. All in all, he finished the season having played a mere 92 games, the worst cumulative stats of his career and as the 18th ranked short stop in most formats.
In the next article, Hanley’s expectations for 2012 will be examined and you’ll find out if he should be the first round draft pick he’s always been.