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Bernie On The Scene: Stuck in Neutral

Bernie Pleskoff

Bernie Pleskoff is a former professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners.

Last week I offered a list of my biggest American League disappointments. I indicated that obvious failures were not included because I didn't expect more.

This week I list my National League disappointments and overachievers. Obviously, there are more than just the 10 - or in some cases a tie - that I list. I'm sure you have your own lists. They have ruined our fantasy teams and have possibly helped keep their own team from success.

Flops like Brandon League are not included because I didn't expect much from him and he was in the wrong role to begin with. Adam LaRoche deserves a place in the dunk tank as well, but I decided there are worse cases. LaRoche at least has hit 16 homers to go along with his dismal .234 batting average.

Here's my list:

10. Travis Snider - Pirates

This was going to be his chance. This was the new Travis Snider. The guy that didn't get the fair shot in Toronto. Well, that thud is Travis Snider hitting rock bottom once again. Numbers you say? You want numbers? He's hitting .219 with three homers and 23 RBI, and now he's hurt.

9. Phil Humber - Astros

At the beginning of the season, Humber was a starter on a bad club. The Astros gave him a chance. He had pitched a no-hitter (a perfect game, no less) in his career. He had a good arm. Now, Humber isn't even on the 40-man roster. He's pitching in Triple-A. He was on some of your fantasy teams and he threw to a 0-8 record with a 9.59 ERA and 2.02 WHIP before hs demotion. Yikes.

8. Ike Davis - Mets

Could there be a bigger disappointment than Ike Davis hitting .188/6/25 as a regular first baseman in a National League lineup? He bombed so badly he was sent to the minors. His return has been a bit better, but how do you eliminate the rest of the season for a guy that is supposed to be a power hitter?

7. Chase Headley - Padres

Of course, many people felt Headley was due for a correction after having a great season last year. He's started to come around. I saw him pound the ball against the D-Backs, but still, .241 with eight homers and 35 RBI for Headley is not what we expected.

6. Jason Heyward - Braves

I've never been a big fan, I but I thought if he were to breakout, this would be the year. I wasn't all in, but I saw hope of big improvement. However, .235 with 10 homers and 31 RBI is not tearing up the league. Like Headley, he's doing better now somewhat, but I'm still not in.

5. Rickie Weeks - Brewers

I think the Brewers keep waiting. Is this the week? Well, Rickie has always been a better second-half hitter, but look at the numbers and you'll see .213 with 10 homers and 24 RBI. Each one of those numbers is a disaster for a guy with the talent of Weeks. I never put him on any of my teams because of the low batting average, but the home runs and RBI used to be real. Not anymore.

4. Dan Haren - Nationals

Lots of people counted on Haren to pitch well in Washington. I wasn't among them, as I saw regression in every category. However, his 6-11 record is much worse than I thought it would be. Add in a 5.14 ERA and a 1.321 WHIP and it spells disaster.

3. Giancarlo Stanton - Marlins

I was concerned about this freefall from Stanton - especially prior to the arrival of Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick. Stanton had little to no protection in the lineup. All he saw was breaking balls. In fact, he still is. Stanton will be a good player on a team with some protection in front of him and behind him. He's a dead red hitter. He loves fastballs. The numbers? .245/13/34. It's the 13 homers and 34 RBI this late in the season that concerns me. Yes, he was hurt. But still.

2. Aramis Ramirez - Brewers

Hurt once again, Ramirez rarely, if ever, has played a full season of baseball. But when he was healthy, he was an empty uniform at third base. Try .271 with five homers and 26 RBI. How about that? Five homers from Aramis Ramirez, and 26 RBI. I think the Brewers expected more, and I know I did. The best resolution is for him to be traded once again when he gets healthy.

1. Miguel Montero - Diamondbacks

Without question, Montero tops this list. Here's a guy capable of hitting anywhere from .280 to .300. He should be hitting 23 homers every year and driving in tons of runs. He was hitting cleanup to sixth in the lineup. Unfortunately, he plays constantly. His swing is vicious. If he would cut down his swing, I think he would find success. He's very tough to watch now. When he strikes out, which is far too often, he swings harder the next time up. His numbers? Try .228 with nine homers and 34 RBI.

Now for the positive stories. The good among the bad. These are the guys I think have produced beyond their expectations. At least in my opinion.

10. Carlos Beltran - Cardinals

I drafted him in one league because I believed in his history, but I think he's actually playing above expectations. At age-36, he's having a great season. He's hitting .302 with 19 homers and 59 RBI. Those are numbers of guys 10 years younger in their prime years. I think he has overachieved.


10. Carlos Gomez - Brewers

The guy has been amazing. Playing All-World defense and hitting .291 with an amazing 17 homers and 53 RBI. Not to mention his 29 stolen bases. I really like watching him play.

9. Domonic Brown - Phillies

This is the timeframe in which I thought he would be emerging. And he's emerged. However, now he has to sustain this success. He has hit .271 with 24 homers and 69 RBI to this point of the season. Some of the homers came in bunches. Brown is deserving of accolades. He's made big-time adjustments. Now he has to keep it up.

8. Lance Lynn - Cardinals

The Cardinals have been the recipients of some very fine pitching by Lance Lynn. He has won 13 games already, losing only five. More importantly, his ERA is a tidy 3.78 and his WHIP is 1.23. Very solid numbers for a historically average pitcher.

7. Francisco Liriano - Pirates

Liriano is actually a bit of a miracle. His reconstructed arm took some time to return to its original form, but it has. Liriano is among the stellar pitching staff that has helped the Pirates to their lofty place in the standings. He has a 12-4 record with a 2.02 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Outstanding season.

6. Jean Segura - Brewers

Jean Segura was a good player with the Angels. I don't think that club had any idea what a great player he would become. And he is great. At least for this year. He plays good defense, hits for power and steal bases in addition to hitting for average. Segura is at .315, 12 homers and 42 RBI with 31 stolen bases. It's a great season. And I'm glad I grabbed him when I did.

5. Edward Mujica - Cardinals

I remember seeing him in spring training with the Indians a few seasons back. He was awful. The Indians cut him. Now, fast forward a couple years and the guy has 30 saves and an ERA of 1.97 with a WHIP of 0.79. There are times all a guy needs is a sustained chance.

4. Hanley Ramirez - Dodgers

Hanley is having a monster season. He's much improved over the past and he now knows what it means to win. He's hitting with men on base, and with pressure on him to succeed. He's hitting .361 with 11 homers and 37 RBI, while missing time with injuries. I think he's a great story this season. If only he can stay healthy.

3. Patrick Corbin - Diamondbacks

Even though the D-Backs are declining and dropping in the standings, Corbin is still providing his team an opportunity to win games. He's a highly respected pitcher with a 12-3 record and an amazing 2.33 ERA and a 1.018 WHIP. I love to watch him pitch.

2. Matt Carpenter - Cardinals

Yet another Cardinals player has made my list. Like usual, it is a team of overachievers. Carpenter is playing a new position at second base. And he's playing it like he's been there for years. He's hitting .304 with nine homers, 55 RBI and 82 runs scored. He's been a sparkplug for the club. I think he'll just get better.

1. I have a tie here. Who are my two #1 National League high achievers? Let me know in the comments section below. I'll acknowledge the winners as soon as I see them posted. And remember, we're talking National League only.

I actually have a tie for #1. A hitter and a pitcher.

Follow me on Twitter @BerniePleskoff and check out the new Rotowire Short Hops podcast on iTunes.