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Fantasy Baseball 2020 Busts: Hitters

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Mar 9, 2020

You can’t expect all of Yuli Gurriel’s 2019 numbers to carry over.


That’s what drafts are all about at the end of the day. You want to leave the draft with the best players at the best possible value. 

But beyond finding the best players throughout the draft, you need to know who to avoid, too.

In the industry – and really, for SEO purposes – we call these guys busts.

Below are hitters with a FantasyPros ADP within the top 200 who have a chance to leave fantasy managers disappointed based on their performance or their return of value based on their draft spot.

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Jonathan Villar (SS – MIA): ADP 54
Speed is getting pushed up more than ever this year after a season with the fewest steals since 1973. Are we forgetting what Villar did to us in 2017?

Villar doesn’t hit the ball hard, and he doesn’t have great plate discipline. If you look at his numbers, he outperformed his peripherals. 

He’ll get his steals, sure, but with the Marlins in full build-for-the-future mode, if Villar struggles, they have a lot of ways they can replace him in the lineup. Jon Berti is already the super-utility man, so Villar could struggle to find playing time in the infield or the outfield. 

Even with the fences getting moved in, Miami is a strong pitcher’s park, so expect the power to dip to 13-15 homers for Villar this year. 

Avoid his draft-day cost unless it gets pushed back to around 100.

Fernando Tatis (SS – SD): ADP 19
This is the one guy on the list who could make this look laughable at the end of the season. Tatis has all of the tools in the world, and he is a top-five pick in startup dynasty leagues. But in redraft leagues – some of which he’s going in the first round – you’re leaving little room for growth and ROI with picking him this early.

Let’s not forget, his xBA was .259, his xwOBA was .345, and he stopped running after his injury. That’s not to mention his .410 BABIP.

Tatis has all of the tools you want in an early-round pick for fantasy, but your job in the first two rounds is to not mess up your draft. Tatis leaves the possibility for mistakes wide open.

Yuli Gurriel (1B/3B – HOU): ADP 133
Gurriel enjoyed a career year in 2019, but that’s as good as it’s going to get. The 35-year-old hit 31 homers in 613 plate appearances in 2019 when he had a career 34 homers in 1,274 plate appearances in his career before last year.

If you look at his numbers, he was in the 54th percentile in exit velocity, 41st percentile in hard-hit%, 39th percentile in xwOBA, and 34th percentile in xSLG. He was also 212th in baseball in Brls/BBE%. 

The one area he stood out in – 84th percentile in xBA. Batting average is his driver, but you can’t expect the rest of his 2019 numbers to carry over.

Luis Robert (OF – CHW): ADP 96
Honestly, with the early contract extension that Robert signed, it’s a surprise that he isn’t pushed up higher than 96th overall. 

The one thing to keep an eye on, besides the, you know, usual rookie adjustments that take place, is how much the White Sox allow Robert to run when he gets on base. 

Yoan Moncada had a 49- and 36-steal season in the minor leagues. He’s yet to eclipse 12 in the majors. Tim Anderson had a 49-steal season in the minors. He’s stolen more than 20 bases once. If Robert, who has 70 speed, steals fewer than 20 bases, he’s going to be a bust when you pair it with his high strikeout rate.

A realistic outcome here for Robert in his rookie season is 2019 Victor Robles, which is a good player, but, you’re leaving little room for net gain with his ADP.

Mallex Smith (OF – SEA): ADP 165
If you’re taking Smith, you messed up the early portion of your draft when it comes to speed. Of course, if you need speed, then take Smith, by all means.

However, we saw that the Mariners aren’t afraid to pull him from the lineup last year, and that screwed over a ton of fantasy managers. Smith is a one-category guy who is going to sink you at the other four categories. If you’re looking for just speed in the later rounds of your draft, just take Jarrod Dyson as the 446th player off the board and call it a day. He’s offering the same things as Smith.

Gavin Lux (2B – LAD): ADP 154
It’s a damn shame that Lux is on this list, but it’s even more of a shame that the Angels and Dodgers (blame whomever you want) pulled the Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling deal off the table. If that deal had gone through, Lux would be guaranteed everyday playing time. Right now, though, his playing time is still up in the air. 

Though he is the favorite to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award, his manager has yet to commit to him as the everyday second baseman.

If he’s not starting every day for the Dodgers, they could send him down to Triple-A to get him full-time reps.

Yordan Alvarez (DH – HOU): ADP 37
Alvarez is a stud – there’s no denying it. But he’s a big guy who is dealing with knee injuries already, which could limit his ability to pick up eligibility in the outfield or at first base.

If you’re looking for a DH-only guy to take, the oft-forgotten Nelson Cruz is going 86th off the board and he’s projected for more homers, more runs, more RBIs, and a higher batting average than Alvarez is this year, per Steamer.

Other potential busts:

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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