Matthew Pouliot

Strike Zone

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Fantasy MVPs & LVPs

Thursday, October 06, 2011


As always, the first end-of-season column focuses on the fantasy MVPs and LVPs. Awards are given to players that most over- or underperformed according to my preseason projections. I tend to give injured players a break when it comes to LVPs

I also have my real MVP/Cy Young/ROY choices below.

The Fantasy Most Valuable Players

 

Catchers

 

MVP - Alex Avila
Projection: .257/.338/.405, 11 HR, 41 R, 43 RBI, 2 SB in 358 AB
2011 stats: .295/.389/.506, 19 HR, 63 R, 82 RBI, 3 SB in 464 AB

 

More was expected of Avila after he hit just .228/.316/.340 in his first full season in 2010, but a .900 OPS? I had him projected as an above average offensive catcher, but I never thought he'd hit for so much power. He had as many homers in August alone this year that he did in all of 2010 (seven). All in all, he was the game's most productive full-time catcher this year, and it's well worth noting that he's just 24 years old.

 

Honorable Mention - Mike Napoli, Miguel Montero, Wilson Ramos
2010 Winner - Buster Posey
2009 Winner - Joe Mauer
2008 Winner - Ryan Doumit
2007 Winner - Russell Martin
2006 Winner - Brian McCann
2005 Winner - Brandon Inge
2004 Winner - Craig Wilson
2003 Winner - Javy Lopez
2002 Winner - Eli Marrero
2001 Winner - Paul Lo Duca
2000 Winner - Charles Johnson
1999 Winner - Mike Sweeney

 

LVP - Joe Mauer
Projection: .323/.411/.483, 14 HR, 91 R, 82 RBI, 3 SB in 520 AB
2011 stats: .287/.360/.368, 3 HR, 38 R, 30 RBI, 0 SB in 296 AB

 

I am forgiving when it comes to injuries, but Mauer just didn't do his fantasy owners much good even when he was in the lineup. He hit .243 with no homers and nine RBI in 111 at-bats during the first half of the season. He did play a whole lot better in the second half, but the power wasn't there and the struggles of his teammates led to subpar run and RBI totals.

 

Dishonorable Mention - Jorge Posada, Kurt Suzuki, Geovany Soto
2010 Loser - Matt Wieters
2009 Loser - Russell Martin
2008 Loser - Kenji Johjima
2007 Loser - Ramon Hernandez
2006 Loser - Javy Lopez
2005 Loser - Jason Kendall
2004 Loser - Mike Piazza
2003 Loser - Paul Lo Duca
2002 Loser - Charles Johnson
2001 Loser - Jason Kendall
2000 Loser - Michael Barrett
1999 Loser - Todd Hundley

 

First Basemen/Designated Hitters

 

MVP - Mark Trumbo
Projection: .236/.292/.409, 8 HR, 26 R, 30 RBI, 1 SB in 203 AB
2011 stats: .254/.291/.477, 29 HR, 65 R, 87 RBI, 9 SB in 539 AB

 

Expected to fill in for the injured Kendrys Morales for the first month, Trumbo was instead needed all season long and put together a strong bid for Rookie of the Year honors. The 30-homer power is legitimate, but he always figures to have big problems getting on base, and I'm skeptical that he'll be able to top his 2011 performance going forward. Still, he made a big difference in some fantasy leagues this year.

 

Honorable Mention - Lance Berkman, David Ortiz, Eric Hosmer
2010 Winner - Joey Votto
2009 Winner - Kendrys Morales
2008 Winner - Aubrey Huff
2007 Winner - Carlos Pena
2006 Winner - Ryan Howard
2005 Winner - Derrek Lee
2004 Winner - Travis Hafner
2003 Winner - Carlos Delgado
2002 Winner - Derrek Lee
2001 Winner - Ryan Klesko
2000 Winner - Frank Thomas
1999 Winner - John Jaha

 

LVP - Adam Dunn
Projection: .247/.357/.516, 40 HR, 94 R, 111 RBI, 1 SB in 562 AB
2011 stats: .159/.292/.277, 11 HR, 36 R, 42 RBI, 0 SB in 415 AB

 

What's left to write about Dunn's 2011 season? I expected a slow start as he adjusted to playing in the AL for the first time, but nothing like this. How someone as strong as him could finish with just 11 homers in 415 at-bats is baffling. I think he'll battle back from this and resume showing his usual power this year, though I probably won't project him to hit much better than .230. Fortunately, Dunn can still be something of an asset while hitting .230.

 

Dishonorable Mention - Aubrey Huff, Vladimir Guerrero, Justin Morneau, Daric Barton
2010 Loser - Lance Berkman
2009 Loser - David Ortiz
2008 Loser - Travis Hafner
2007 Loser - Richie Sexson
2006 Loser - Todd Helton
2005 Loser - Todd Helton
2004 Loser - Jason Giambi
2003 Loser - Paul Konerko
2002 Loser - Tony Clark
2001 Loser - Mark McGwire
2000 Loser - Sean Casey
1999 Loser - Darin Erstad

 

Second Basemen

 

MVP - Ben Zobrist
Projection: .251/.353/.399, 15 HR, 87 R, 64 RBI, 22 SB in 562 AB
2011 stats: .269/.353/.469, 20 HR, 99 R, 91 RBI, 19 SB in 588 AB

 

There were no big surprises at second base this year, so I'll give the nod to Zobrist, who exceeded his projection a little more than Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler did theirs. Zobrist basically hit right at the midpoint of his exceptional 2009 season and his very disappointing 2010 campaign. His batting average was .269, about midway between his .297 and .238 marks the previous two years. His .822 OPS was also nearly equidistant from his previous .948 and .699 marks.

 

Honorable Mention - Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler, Jemile Weeks
2010 Winner - Rickie Weeks
2009 Winner - Aaron Hill
2008 Winner - Dustin Pedroia
2007 Winner - Brandon Phillips
2006 Winner - Dan Uggla
2005 Winner - Chone Figgins
2004 Winner - Mark Loretta
2003 Winner - Marcus Giles
2002 Winner - Alfonso Soriano
2001 Winner - Bret Boone
2000 Winner - Jose Vidro
1999 Winner - Roberto Alomar

 

LVP - Chone Figgins
Projection: .270/.356/.332, 2 HR, 82 R, 37 RBI, 37 SB in 566 AB
2011 stats: .188/.241/.243, 1 HR, 24 R, 15 RBI, 11 SB in 288 AB

 

I was higher on Kelly Johnson and Aaron Hill going in, so one of them probably would have been the choice if not for the fact that both broke out of season-long slumps after being traded for one another in August. Figgins was obviously a big disappointment in his first year in Seattle too, but even then, he did hit .259 with 42 steals. How bad was he in 2011? He finished with the same exact OPS as Jeff Mathis.

 

Dishonorable Mention - Kelly Johnson, Aaron Hill, Bill Hall
2010 Loser - Aaron Hill
2009 Loser - Kelly Johnson
2008 Loser - Robinson Cano
2007 Loser - Josh Barfield
2006 Loser - Jorge Cantu
2005 Loser - Bret Boone
2004 Loser - Alfonso Soriano
2003 Loser - Roberto Alomar
2002 Loser - Roberto Alomar
2001 Loser - Edgardo Alfonzo
2000 Loser - Jose Offerman
1999 Loser - Delino DeShields

 

Third Basemen

 

MVP - Jose Bautista
Projection: .265/.372/.533, 37 HR, 95 R, 103 RBI, 6 SB in 563 AB
2011 stats: .302/.447/.608, 43 HR, 105 R, 103 RBI, 9 SB in 513 AB

 

Emilio Bonifacio and Ryan Roberts were big surprises at third base this year and Michael Young set new career highs in average and RBI at age 34, but there wasn't any passing over Bautista here. Those who gambled that Bautista was anything but a one-year wonder were rewarded handsomely, as he raised his average from .260 in 2010 to .302 this year and again led the majors in homers. I'll probably project an average in the .280-.285 range, another 40 homers and a higher RBI total next year.

 

Honorable Mention - Emilio Bonifacio, Michael Young, Ryan Roberts
2010 Winner - Jose Bautista
2009 Winner - Mark Reynolds
2008 Winner - Jorge Cantu
2007 Winner - Ryan Braun
2006 Winner - Michael Cuddyer
2005 Winner - Morgan Ensberg
2004 Winner - Adrian Beltre
2003 Winner - Bill Mueller
2002 Winner - Aaron Boone
2001 Winner - Albert Pujols
2000 Winner - Troy Glaus
1999 Winner - Fernando Tatis

 

LVP - Pedro Alvarez
Projection: .252/.331/.482, 30 HR, 81 R, 96 RBI, 3 SB in 548 AB
2011 stats: .191/.272/.289, 4 HR, 18 R, 19 RBI, 1 SB in 235 AB

 

Third base was also full of disappointments this year, as Evan Longoria, Alex Rodriguez, David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman all battled injuries and fell short of expectations while healthy. Still, Alvarez's complete bust of a year probably tops them all. I wasn't all that confident that Alvarez would maintain or improve on his .256 average from his rookie season, but I thought he was a good bet to hit around 30 homers. Instead, he came in at four, leaving his immediate future in serious doubt. The Pirates should have him open 2012 back in Triple-A.

 

Dishonorable Mention - Evan Longoria, Ian Stewart, David Wright
2010 Loser - Pablo Sandoval
2009 Loser - Garrett Atkins
2008 Loser - Chone Figgins
2007 Loser - Eric Chavez
2006 Loser - Hank Blalock
2005 Loser - Adrian Beltre
2004 Loser - Eric Hinske
2003 Loser - Edgardo Alfonzo
2002 Loser - Jeff Cirillo
2001 Loser - Tony Batista
2000 Loser - Vinny Castilla
1999 Loser - Ken Caminiti

 

Shortstops

 

MVP - Asdrubal Cabrera
Projection: .293/.354/.415, 9 HR, 83 R, 63 RBI, 11 SB in 557 AB
2011 stats: .273/.332/.460, 25 HR, 87 R, 92 RBI, 17 SB in 604 AB

 

It was a very different kind of comeback season for Cabrera, who saw his OPS drop from .799 in 2009 to .673 during an injury-plagued 2010. Cabrera was a career .284 hitter with 18 homers in 1,415 at-bats entering 2011. There was always the suspicion that he'd add some power with age, but to go from three homers to 25 in one year was quite a feat. He also matched his career high for steals.

 

Honorable Mention - J.J. Hardy, Jose Reyes, Starlin Castro, Jhonny Peralta
2010 Winner - Omar Infante
2009 Winner - Ben Zobrist
2008 Winner - Mike Aviles
2007 Winner - Hanley Ramirez
2006 Winner - Hanley Ramirez
2005 Winner - Felipe Lopez
2004 Winner - Carlos Guillen
2003 Winner - Edgar Renteria
2002 Winner - David Eckstein
2001 Winner - Rich Aurilia
2000 Winner - Jose Valentin
1999 Winner - Jay Bell

 

LVP - Hanley Ramirez
Projection: .317/.398/.533, 27 HR, 104 R, 93 RBI, 30 SB in 559 AB
2011 stats: .243/.333/.379, 10 HR, 55 R, 45 RBI, 20 SB in 338 AB

 

It looked like Ramirez might salvage his season when he rebounded to hit .293 with five homers and 21 RBI in July, but he played just two games afterwards because of a shoulder injury. Now, I'm pretty forgiving when it comes to injuries, but Ramirez's awful first three months take precedence here. He hit .221 with five homers and 24 RBI in 231 at-bats through the end of June.

 

Dishonorable Mention - Reid Brignac, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Rafael Furcal
2010 Loser - Yunel Escobar
2009 Loser - Jimmy Rollins
2008 Loser - Troy Tulowitzki
2007 Loser - Bill Hall
2006 Loser - Clint Barmes
2005 Loser - Kaz Matsui
2004 Loser - Angel Berroa
2003 Loser - Jose Hernandez
2002 Loser - Rich Aurilia
2001 Loser - Tony Womack
2000 Loser - Royce Clayton
1999 Loser - Royce Clayton

 


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Matthew Pouliot is the Executive Editor of RotoWorld.com and has been doing the site's baseball projections for the last 10 years. Follow him on Twitter at matthewpouliot.
Email :Matthew Pouliot



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