What do you think of Huston Street? I'll give you the answer ... if you tell me the season you owned him.
If it's 2006, you have fond memories of Street's 2nd-season showing of 37 saves.
But, let's hope you didn't have him for 2007 when he came up lame, pitched in 20 fewer games, and ended up with 16 saves.
He didn't give fantasy owners a rebound in '08, finishing with just 18 saves, a weak 3.73 ERA, and a loss of 3 punch-outs per 9 (down to under 1 per inning).
By the time 2009 came around, Street not only had two back-to-back 'down' seasons, but he was now headed to the lead manufacturer of a pitchers' tombstone, Coors Field. So, what happened? He reeled off 35 saves and got his K/9 number to over 10.
So, you buy in 2010, right? You got 44 games and 20 saves.
You ignored in 2011, right? You missed on a healthy year with 29 saves.
Well, let's give it a run in 2012, right? Another injury limiting him to 40 appearances and 23 saves.
By 2013, Street was considered one of the more schizophrenic back-end guys in baseball. You could never predict what you were going to get ... a ton of saves, a slew of injuries, a load of Ks, a pile of headaches ... who knew? The guy burned you when you drafted him and seemed to burn you every time you ignored him, too.
Now, for the first time since '05-'06, Street has notched two straight years of health and great numbers with totals of 119 games, 74 saves, a 2.03 ERA, and a WHIP under-1. But, is anyone talking him up? Nope! He's outside most everyone's top 10 at the position. Fantasy owners have been roasted too often by the impossible-to-predict Texan.
Which leads us to a list of guys who beat you up last season. Do the early ADP numbers (courtesy of Greg Ambrosious with the NFBC) show a refusal to forgive? Or, has the transgression been scrubbed away? Let's see what the early returns indicate.
Pedro Alvarez - 2014 ADP - #82; 2015 ADP - #203
Alvarez constructed a slightly better approach last season, leading to a career-high walk percentage (10.1%) and a career-low strikeout percentage (25.4%). His average remained just about where it always has. The guy is a legit power hitter. Punching out 25 this year would not be a surprise.
ADP Diagnosis: He's being punished too severely
Michael Bourn - 2014 ADP - #184; 2015 ADP - #336
Is he going to run again? He's now 32 and had a pathetic 10 steals in 106 games of play last year. The problem is that so much of his value is geared off the stolen bases category. There might be a slight push up, but Bourn has reached a point of dwindling returns.
ADP Diagnosis: A very fair spot.
Jay Bruce - 2014 ADP - #28; 2015 ADP - #90
Well, that was sudden. Bruce can rightfully use a knee injury as an excuse. He tried to play through the pain and failed miserably. Nearly all scouts say that his bat looked noticeably slower all summer long and he showed a slightly different profile at the plate - he swung at more pitches outside the zone (33.4%) and fewer pitches inside the zone (69.4%) than he had ever before in his career. He's proven to be too good and is still too young (just 28) to be as quiet as he was in '14. There's rebound written all over him.
ADP Diagnosis: Fair after last year, but he's a great bargain at that price.
Clay Buchholz - 2014 ADP - #192; 2015 ADP - #360Mr. Tease. At his best, he can take you eight strong innings. At his worst, he's gone by the 3rd and building an ERA in the 6's. Buchholz will have 10 outings each year where you really want him on your team. The other 15-20 will leave you nonplussed or frantically searching for more shoes to fire at the television.
ADP Diagnosis: A little overzealous. He's a definitive bench round pick.
Billy Butler - 2014 ADP - #149; 2015 ADP - #240He's practically the AL-version of Bruce from last year. He looked anxious in the box all season and his power fell off a cliff, as a slugging percentage of .510 in '12 had crashed all the way down to .379 in '14. He gets the middle-of-the-order in Oakland and a new uni with a new atmosphere should return him to his usual solid across-the-board marks. He's still just 29.
ADP Diagnosis: He'll prove to be a Comeback Player of the Year candidate.
Shin-Soo Choo - 2014 ADP - #38; 2015 ADP - #162Choo's move to Texas was supposed to keep his great Cincinnati run going. Instead, he got in the same vortex that destroyed everything else in Arlington. He struggled on the health front all season, but such problems could stay with him as he arrives at the age of 32. It's also worth mentioning that Choo stopped having success by shooting the ball the other way. There is some come back to be found here, but nothing to reach for at the draft.
ADP Diagnosis: A bad season and getting older ... an early-teens round selection is fair
Allen Craig - 2014 ADP - #56; 2015 ADP - #313Fragile and powerless. Craig is going to have to re-earn a load of respect. Correctly, the Red Sox are counting on nothing. They've got loads of outfield options to turn to in the event of another injury and there's a shot he doesn't even open the season with the squad. He can still hit when healthy, but at this point he has proven unable to stay upright. He's a late-round wild card and nothing more.
ADP Diagnosis: Play him more! Pay him! Trade him! Release him! All that in about 3 years. Draft late and release at the first sign of injury.
Chris Davis - 2014 ADP - #6; 2015 ADP - #71
Check out that ADP from '14! There were numerous folks that ignored all the warning signs with Davis heading into last season (an insane home run rate, for one) and those owners got broiled on 'high' throughout the summer. He still has complete power ... he'll just never be what he showed in that historic Summer of '13.
ADP Diagnosis: Nearly spot-on. He can easily earn this even with a bad average.
Carlos Gonzalez - 2014 ADP - #7; 2015 ADP - #47
Cargo's issues with staying on the diamond continued. The new twist was a lack of production even when he was a part of the Colorado attack. Of course, dealing with three surgeries in one season has a way of suffocating any numbers. He can turn it around, but you'll still be lucky to get 130 games.
ADP Diagnosis: A fair spot given his history of injuries.
Jedd Gyorko - 2014 ADP - #98; 2015 ADP - #222
A year ago, he was the hitting darling of many. The platitudes ranged from 'the best power bet at 2nd Base' to 'future National League All-Star.' Neither of those happened and that led most of us to just drop the 'o' in his surname by the end of the season when he came up in discussion. His defenders would point to a bum foot that bothered him for two-thirds of the season and that's a fair point. He's a so-so bet as a middle infield option in a deep league.
ADP Diagnosis: He may hit better, but the yard and his batting order spot land him in the 220s.
Bryce Harper - 2014 ADP - #13; 2015 ADP - #34
Ah, how we love potential. As of now, Harper has no business being this high. Then, again, he's ... gulp! ... still just 22. Many bet on a breakthrough last year, but that never achieved lift-off. He still profiles as an extremely fantasy-friendly option and could work some magic with even just 140 games.
ADP Diagnosis: Sign me up! In fact, I'd be willing to call out his name even earlier.
Austin Jackson - 2014 ADP - #150; 2015 ADP - #237As noted in the Fantistics draft day software, Jackson altered his stroke last year and totally tapped out on the power front. He made a slow trot around the bases just once in the 2nd half of the season. He can be a .270 hitter with double-digit homers and has a good spot to make things happen in the Seattle offense.
ADP Diagnosis: Perennial let-down who can post a 'good,' but not 'great' season. He's earned this spot.
Mat Latos - 2014 ADP - #104; 2015 ADP - #178
We didn't see much of Latos in 2014, as he made just 16 starts. To his credit, that was the first time in his career that he failed to hit 30 toeings of the rubber in a full season. He's off to Florida now and figures to his move into free agency at the perfect time.
ADP Diagnosis: Too low. Worthy of being 50-60 spots higher. Consider this a deal.
Cliff Lee - 2014 ADP - #44; 2015 ADP - #170
His history makes you want to give him another shot. But, in 2015, there's just too much youthful talent on the hill to make many consider Lee. He's old. He's coming off an elbow injury. And, he's with Philly. Frankly, I thought the ADP might come in lower.
ADP Diagnosis: Pegged well, but I lean towards his performance failing to match this ADP.
Wil Myers - 2014 ADP - #66; 2015 ADP - #156
Bryce Harper may be getting a hall pass this year, but you can't say the same for this other young outfielder. The Petco move isn't the end-all, be-all for Myers as a hitter. He got all mixed up last year and he needs to become more open to advice from those in the know. He can hit 15-20 and still drive in 70 with an average in the 270s. The biggest key will be making contact as, after two seasons, Myers is striking out in nearly 25% of his at-bats.
ADP Diagnosis: Understandable, but Myers is a guy that I would reach on a few rounds earlier.
Joe Nathan - 2014 ADP - #91; 2015 ADP - #242
Somehow, someway, he kept his job. This year, the Tigers will find another answer if Nathan coughs up any more trouble. The smart money says he will continue to miss with his pitches and make 9th inning heroes of opposing hitters. A wonderful career that will end with a relative thud.
ADP Diagnosis: The number is fine, but still too high for my tastes.
Dustin Pedroia - 2014 ADP - #29; 2015 ADP - #95
A ballplayer's ballplayer. We've seen some slippage for a few years, now, and all those dives, lunges, and slides seemed to catch up with him last season. Boston is still counting on him and will continue to plant him right in the middle of their action-packed lineup.
ADP Diagnosis: He's so impressive when he's going that he's worth a jump of 30 spots here.
Alex Rios - 2014 ADP - #33; 2015 ADP - #186
A 3% home run rate. That's, in a word, brutal. Rios will head to KC in an effort to find one last hurrah. His numbers of a year ago were manageable on the average and steals front. That should stick around in 2015 and you have to think that a return to double-digit lift-offs is in order, too. He is entering his mid-30s, so perhaps you're best served by allowing him to fall to you.
ADP Diagnosis: A well-deserved huge fall from 2014, but the new mark is a tempting spot.
Danny Salazar - 2014 ADP - #129; 2015 ADP - #226
Here's the 2014 pitching version of Jedd Gyorko. Salazar rode a wave cresting on major hype before Opening Day a year ago. The wave crashed into a very rocky shoreline from the get-go. Soon, Salazar was sent to the minors by the Indians and sent to the waiver wire by fantasy owners. Later, he found his mechanics and finished with a decent end-of-the-year kick. The talent is still on hand.
ADP Diagnosis: A tad low considering the arm. Feel free to lift him a couple of rounds of your board.
Troy Tulowitzki - 2014 ADP - #15; 2015 ADP - #16
We all know the Tulo book by heart. I'm surprised that there's so little drop in the ADP. This, despite the pain he inflicts on owners year after year. Tulo rakes when he's in the lineup and pancakes your fantasy fortunes during his inevitable injuries. If he's healthy when you're drafting, go after him in this spot. If he isn't at the start of the year, stay a mile away. Oh, and one other thing - if he's rolling in April and May, look for a trade partner.
ADP Diagnosis: Too rich for my blood, but if you love to gamble a lot on draft day this ADP is perfect.
Justin Verlander - 2014 ADP - #46; 2015 ADP - #194
Verlander's numbers weren't just bad in '14, they were bad numbers that killed you if you owned him. Think back - you probably started this guy in 90% of his rotation turns because, well, he's Justin Verlander! What you then got was over 200 innings of terrible pitching. An ERA over 4.50. A WHIP all the way up at 1.40. He can be a little better, but he's fallen well behind a cluster of better pitching options.
ADP Diagnosis: His name recognition is keeping him inside the top 200. He doesn't belong there.
Joey Votto - 2014 ADP - #17; 2015 ADP - #77
We conclude the list with another injury-plagued former-All-Star. Votto had no power from his lower-body last year. He still put the ball in play and was excellent at getting on-base (.390 OBP), but his power production was a mess. He should be healthier this year and can resume his usual trajectory for at least one more year. A strong rebound candidate.
ADP Diagnosis: This should prove to be a bargain by October.
Did you notice any trend in this write-up? Such as, the constant mention of injury with nearly all of the players?! Nearly 80% of the guys in this column are here because of an ailment that plagued their campaign. It's a reminder ... success in a fantasy league is defined by health. It's absolutely allowable to take a jump on two or three of the guys above, but that should be the extent of the draft day risk-taking.
You can hear Kyle each weeknight on 'The SiriusXM Fantasy Drive' from 7-10 ET, Sirius 210, XM 87.
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Feb 16, 15 at 07:34 AM
I can see why my season when South last year. I had the pleasure of owning Bruce, Davis and Harper in 2014 keeper league. Horefully, Kyle is right and I get more than a dead cat bounce back this year.