Warm up the rotisserie league and consult the online “experts”, because the fantasy season is soon to begin. But, beware the big names at the top of everyone’s list, sometimes they turn out to be absolute duds. Just ask anyone who owned both Josh Hamilton AND Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels in their keeper leagues last year. Expected to light up the American League as a one-two punch in the middle of the order, both fizzled. Pujols’ bat was awfully quiet before his season ended about 100 games in, while big free agent acquisition Hamilton had his numbers plummet from his career year in 2012. So, as always, when drafting it’s “buyer beware.”
To be fair, Braun did miss 36 games due to injury in 2013, but the biggest hit to his fantasy owners was the 65-game ban he received for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. When he did play – all of 61 games – Braun’s numbers were rather unspectacular. Coming off a spectacular 2012 (which was preceded by being named NL MVP in 2011), Braun hit just nine homers and drove in a measly 38 while stealing only four bases. Projected over a full slate, he would hit maybe 23 homers, drive in just over 90 and swipe just 10 bases. This after slugging 43 round-trippers in 2012 and adding 112 RBI and 30 steals. Braun fell off dramatically in just about every offensive category in 2013 from 2012, including OPS (.986 to .870), Slugging (.595 to .498) and Batting average (.319 to .298).