The baseball season is long. OK, you knew that already. But, to emphasize the point, I figured that now, with the 2015 campaign roughly three-quarters complete, would be a fun time to take a trip back to draft season and look at some NFBC ADP data for hitters, data that five months later seems flat-out crazy. For those of you who drafted several of these guys, well, there's always next year. Note that I'm giving a pass to players who have missed significant time due to injury. That's just bad luck.
C Salvador Perez (#7 C, #112 overall) - The 16 homers through 101 games are nice, but fantasy owners were expecting a lot better than a .251 average from Perez, a career .278 hitter. In OBP leagues, his current .265 mark is a significant drain. The Royals backstop is batting .210 with only one home run since the All-Star break, so a bounce back down the stretch appears unlikely.
1B Mark Trumbo (#13 1B, #102 overall) - I wasn't the only one who was convinced that a 30-HR season was in store for Trumbo, who would be playing half of his games in homer-friendly Chase Field. As it turned out, he was shipped to Seattle and pitcher-friendly Safeco Field in early-June and has left the yard only five times in 54 games as a Mariner.
2B Robinson Cano (#2 2B, #20 overall) - Seattle's $240 million investment has picked things up since the All-Star break, batting .330 while already matching his first half home run total of six. But his overall stat line remains disappointing, and although there's still time for Cano to make up ground, the chances of him earning his draft day price tag are remote.
SS Starlin Castro (#6 SS, #107 overall) - Many predicted a career year for Castro in 2015. Instead, his age-25 season has been his worst season to date. Things have gotten so bad for the Cubs shortstop that he's no longer a viable starter in mixed leagues. But hey, at least he's batting .308 in August.
3B Adrian Beltre (#3 3B, #35 overall) - Beltre has shown some promising signs lately (.294 AVG since the All-Star break), but considering his career accomplishments and remarkable consistency, it's hard to look at his 2015 stat line (.266 AVG, 9 HR, 30 RBI through 95 games) and actually believe that these are Beltre's numbers. Is this an anomaly or is it a sign that Beltre's days as a reliable fantasy producer are over? I wish I knew the answer.
OF Christian Yelich (#20 OF, #76 overall) - Coming off a breakout 2014 campaign, it was only logical to expect further improvement from Yelich in his second full season in the Majors, so this ADP sounded perfectly reasonable back in March. Instead, he's taken a step backwards. The good news is that it's only a small step backwards and Yelich will only be 24 years old on Opening Day 2016. I like him quite a bit as an undervalued option in drafts next spring.
OF Marcell Ozuna (#33 OF, #129 overall) - Much like his outfield mate, Ozuna was highly coveted heading into this year, and for good reason. After all, he was fresh off a stellar 2014 season in which he tallied 23 home runs and 85 RBI. But he got off to a slow start before the Marlins surprisingly sent him down to the Minors in early-July. I guess the club is satisfied with what they've seen from Ozuna because he was just called back up yesterday. He's worth a flier in deeper mixed formats and of course NL-only leagues.
OF Leonys Martin (#34 OF, #130 overall) - As the ADP numbers prove, Martin and Ozuna were valued similarly, Martin being more of a speed specialist with developing power while Ozuna was the pure power hitter with 30-HR potential. Martin's inability to get on base consistently relegated him to platoon duty by mid-season, and the dreaded minor league demotion soon followed. And now he has a fractured hamate bone, which could mean the end of his season.
At least there's always next year.