This article is part of our Collette Calls series.
Welcome to the fantasy baseball offseason. Personally, it is my favorite time of year because I'm already tied for first in my 2016 leagues. It is also a great time to look back at what went right and what went wrong during the fantasy baseball season. If you've followed my writing for any time, you know that I do like to hold myself accountable for advice I gave the previous offseason to help you prepare for your drafts. This will be the first of a series of several self-reflections as I look back on advice I offered in 2015 to see how well or how poorly I did. Feel free to praise me or chastise me in the comments below. Each of these reflective pieces will be outside the RotoWire firewall so that the court of public opinion can judge me for my efforts.
First up was the review of my 30 AL Predictions I made April 1. Next was a look back at my 30 NL Bold Predictions from April 4th. Today, we look at who I said was undervalued and overvalued on February 9th.
What I said: Overdrafted - Salvador Perez (ADP 110) - He is the seventh catcher off the board in drafts, coming off a season in which he hit 17 home runs with a .260/.289/.403 slash line. His slugging percentage and OBP have declined each of the last three seasons and while he hits for average, this is a hefty price for a catcher in a park that favors pitchers. In some leagues, he is being drafted ahead of the likes of Evan Gattis, Brian McCann, and Matt Wieters. I'd take any three of those over Perez at that price in 2015.
What happened: Perez finished fifth in catcher value behind Buster Posey, Evan Gattis, Brian McCann, and Russell Martin. Matt Wieters took longer to come back than people initially thought, but I meatloafed the prediction and that ain't bad.
What I said: Underdrafted - John Jaso (ADP 298) - One of the frustrating things with catchers is that they are prone to injury due to the nature of their job in the field and that they do not start one-to-two times a week due to the wear and tear of squatting. Good news - Jaso is only going to be the emergency catcher for Tampa Bay this season. He is going to be the DH for most of the year, and will likely be hitting in the second spot of the lineup. He hits for average, is a good baserunner, and should score more runs than most catchers. Right now, he's the 20th catcher off the board. That's criminal!
What happened: Jaso walked in his first plate appearance of the season on Opening Day. He attempted to steal second base, but injured his wrist sliding into the bag and missed three months as the injury lingered on and on and on. He only ended up with 185 at bats on the season but hit .286 when he did play. I'm still on him for 2016.
What I said: Overdrafted - Joe Mauer (ADP 233) - Yes, it is possible to overdraft someone in a later round. Mauer's days at catcher are over, so he is now a one-category first baseman. In short, he is what James Loney has been mocked for being for years. Yet, Loney is going more than 100 picks after Mauer. First base is a position where you need to have power production or elite batting average, and while Mauer has the skills to do the latter, he has played more than 140 games just once since 2008.
What happened: Mauer played a full season and hit .265 with 10 homers and 66 runs driven in. His final fantasy value was below the likes of Justin Bour, Mark Canha, and Yangervis Solarte. Mauer is endgame material in mixed leagues if you must roster him at all. At least you aren't paying him $23,000,000 a year to give you replacement-level production on your roster as the Twins are.
What I said: Underdrafted - Mike Napoli (ADP 264) - He had a down year for Boston in 2014 that involved injuries as well as serious sleep apnea. The latter is now fixed. The thing that flew under the radar with him last season is that he improved his strikeout rate while posting the second-best walk rate of his career. He remains in a park suited for his swing and should be back to the run producer he was from 2011-2013. His current ADP is behind the likes of Steve Pearce and is right in line with the cost of Kennys Vargas. C'mon, man!
What happened: Napoli had a bad year, but he did come in just ahead of both Pearce and Vargas in final value. Napoli hit 18 homers and drove in 50 runners, but hit just .224 and looked horrendous until he was traded to Texas where he caught fire late and helped the Rangers surge to the division title.
What I said: Overdrafted - Jose Altuve (ADP 13) - I like Altuve quite a bit, but it's quite the reach to have him as the top second baseman off the board in 2015. He's coming off a season where his batting average was 51 points higher than his previous career best, and he had the high stolen base rate built off of those extra times on base. His game is compiling numbers, and the steals could easily drop back to the mid-30s where he was the previous two seasons. There's simply no value in taking him at the turn or at the end of the first round in bigger leagues.
What happened: Altuve finished one dollar behind Dee Gordon at the position while leading the American League with 38 steals. He added 15 home runs, batted .313 and surprisingly only scored 86 runs for a Houston team that hit a lot of home runs. He finished the season with the 22nd best production for all players (batters & pitchers), so 13 was a reach, but not as egregious as it looked to be in February.
What I said: Underdrafted - Ben Zobrist (ADP 154) - I know I am on record stating that Zobrist's days as a double-double guy are likely over. That does not mean he is chopped meat and should be going this far out of the top 100. Zobrist is still one of just five second basemen that Steamer projects for at least 80 runs, and he is more likely to get to 12 home runs than he is 12 steals. The dependable vet has one more year in the fantasy sun.
What happened: The stolen bases are gone as he swiped three on the year, but a trade to Kansas City helped him in the power department as he hit 7 homers over the final two months of the season after hitting just 6 in the first four months with Oakland. Zobrist finished as the 14th-best second baseman – a position that had quite a bit of depth this year. He finished 148th in overall production, so he was properly valued by the mock drafters last winter.
What I said: Overdrafted - Danny Santana (ADP 125) - He is coming off a season where his .405 BABIP is one of the highest rates of all time. Anyone remember Jose Hernandez in 2002? Santana is not going to hit over .300 again in 2015, and he may struggle to get to .270 with his lack of patience at the plate. With fewer on base opportunities come fewer steals, but he's going 40 picks ahead of the more established version of him in Alcides Escobar.
What happened: This pick only got worse when games started counting. Santana lost his job within the season and Escobar had another one of his typical seasons while being drafted three to four rounds after Santana.
What I said: Underdrated - Xander Bogaerts (ADP 160) - Perhaps our expectations for him last season were a bit inflated. He is still only 22 years old and the skills that he flashed late in 2013 and throughout his minor league career are still there. He's projected to hit down in the lineup for Boston, but the key point is he has the job. I'll take Bogaerts in that spot over the extreme risk/reward of Javier Baez who is going nearly two rounds before Bogaerts.
What happened: Simply put, Bogaerts was awesome this year. He earned $21 in standard mixed leagues leading all shortstops. Baez had injury and personal tragedy to fight through this season so he cannot be faulted for not keeping pace with Bogaerts.
What I said: Overdrafted - Josh Harrison (ADP 90) - We are on pick 174 in the Fantasy 411 Mock Draft and Harrison is still on the board. I've seen scattered skepticism of a repeat from Harrison, but not this much consensus in one place. The 100-point BABIP spike and the compilation of stats with the extra turns on base were nice, but clearly the VIP room isn't as high on the guy as the normal room.
What happened: This was too easy to pick as Harrison's regression was very easy to call. He was terrible this year, even before he was hurt during the summer. His performance again proved that what comes out of nowhere can just as easily go back there the next season.
What I said: Underdrafted - Chris Davis (ADP - 71) - How many players can you safely say will hit 30 home runs in 2015? Davis is projected to do that by Steamer and is one of 10 players to have such an honor. He hit 26 last year with injuries and distractions and has dual-position eligibility now as well. People are taking Evan Longoria 50 picks ahead of Davis in some leagues because of the better batting average (which isn't that great). Davis was a first-round pick last season and is now being drafted in the sixth round or later. Pounce.
What happened: Davis finished the season as the 8th-most valuable hitter producing $35 of value in standard mixed leagues with his resurgent season at the plate. The power came back, he drove in a ton of runners, and pulled a .262 average out of the air. Meanwhile, Longoria finished the season tied with teammate Logan Forsythe with a $13 final value. Davis dwarfed Longoria in the power categories and came within eight points of equaling him in batting average.
What I said: Overdrafted - Nelson Cruz (ADP 58) - From the beginning of the season until the end of May 2014, Cruz batted .315/.383/.675 with 20 home runs and 52 RBI over 230 plate appearances. From that point onward, he batted .249/.308/.451 with 20 home runs and 56 runs driven in over 448 plate appearances. Now, he moves from a park that inflates right-handed power to one that works against it. He's not repeating 40 homers, and even 30 looks like a pipedream in Safeco. He doesn't steal bases any longer, and his 2013 line of 27 homers, 76 RBI, and a .266 average is more repeatable than his monster year in Baltimore. People are paying closer to the 2014 price than they are the 2013 price.
What happened: I was wrong. So, so, so, so wrong. I stand by the thought process used to guide the initial statement, but Cruz crushed it this season early, middle, and late in the season. In hindsight, I should have applied the same logic used with Chris Davis to Nelson Cruz.
What I said: Underdrafted - Denard Span (ADP 175) - The Nationals are going to be very very good this season. Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, Wilson Ramos,Jayson Werth….the list goes on. Span is going to be the guy setting the table in front of that strong lineup. All Span has to do is get on base and he's going to fall into 90 runs and he has an excellent chance of leading the NL if not MLB in runs scored. Over the past six seasons, he has a .347 OBP, so getting on base is not a problem for someone that rarely strikeout out and sprays the ball all over the field. He's being taken three rounds behind Ben Revere, and frankly, that should be the other way around.
What happened: Span got injured and barely played half a season. Meanwhile, Revere went on to hit .300 and steal 31 bases even though he stopped running once he got to Toronto. There's safety in taking Revere with his track record and the gamble with Span did not pay off.