Those who are wrapping up a disappointing season are likely more familiar than they wish to be with the names on this list. Each player listed below warranted a notable draft-day investment before producing numbers that were better suited for the waiver wire.
Some will bounce back next year, while others should be forgotten during 2020 drafts.
Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants
I hate to say it, but Posey is done. Well, he isn’t totally done, but his time as a factor in one-catcher leagues is over. The 32 year old can no longer be counted on for a helpful batting average, and his power is completely gone. In this homer-happy era, mixed-league gamers can’t use a catcher with a single-digit round-tripper total. And to enjoy a rebirth, Posey would need to be traded to a team with a cozy home park.
Get ready for some somber stats on Votto. He did not hit .300 in any completed month this season, nor did he enjoy a five-homer month. And the 36 year old may not drive in 50 runs this year. I have plenty of respect for Votto’s career-long excellence, but two consecutive down years prove that he is not worth more than a late-round flyer next season.
Carpenter serves as a cautionary tale for gamers who project a mid-30’s player to repeat a breakout season. The 33 year old was unable to approach his gaudy 2018 stats (36 homers, 81 RBI, 111 runs scored), and truth be told, he was inconsistent during that campaign. His batted-ball data remains solid, giving me enough hope to consider Carpenter in the late rounds next year.
Remember Andujar? The 24 year old appeared in just 12 games, batting .128 with zero home runs before eventually undergoing right labrum surgery. Health concerns will lower Andujar’s 2020 price tag, but gamers cannot ignore a 25 year old who was stellar in 2018 and occupies a prominent spot in a great lineup with a hitter-friendly home park.
Khris Davis, OF, Oakland A’s
Shortly after gaining the moniker, “The good Khris/Chris Davis," this 31 year old slugger seems intent on giving it back. Davis led the Majors with 10 homers when he got out of bed on April 13, before hitting just nine more since that date. Davis’ strikeout rate hasn’t risen (how could it?) and his hard-contact rate remains strong. I’m holding out hope for a bounce-back year, but I’m not paying for one.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, New York Yankees
Remarkably, the Yankees are running away with the AL East despite getting fewer than 25 games from both Andujar and Stanton. But unfortunately, fantasy gamers don’t have New York’s deep pockets. A second-round pick in most leagues, Stanton reclaimed his injury-prone tag by missing almost all of this season. The native Californian still has 50-homer potential, but we also have to bake in some serious injury concern for 2020.
Upton spent 2.5 months on the IL before posting unimpressive numbers (.217/.308/.419 slash line) across 62 games. The slugger had swatted 65 homers in the previous two seasons, which means that he can be given a pass for such an injury-impacted year. And since he has appeared in at least 145 games in each of the previous eight campaigns, Upton is a solid rebound candidate for 2020.
Not only has Kluber missed most of the season due to a broken finger, but he underachieved (5.80 ERA, 1.65 WHIP) before landing on the IL. The right-hander was outstanding from 2014-18, but he experienced a velocity dip this year and veteran pitchers sometimes hit the wall quickly. Kluber will be atop my list of players to monitor during 2020 Spring Training.
Snell has been unlucky in multiple ways this year, dealing with poor batted-ball fortune (.339 BABIP), bad timing (71.7 percent strand rate) and injuries (20 starts). He is an excellent candidate to bounce back next season, provided that he is past the elbow problems that hampered him during the second half.
Edwin Diaz, RP, New York Mets
The top closer in 2019 drafts, Diaz was a total flop for fantasy gamers and Mets fans alike. The right-hander has blown seven saves, has suffered seven losses and has posted unacceptable ratios (5.77 ERA, 1.42 WHIP). Still, his strikeout abilities remain solid, he has dealt with a .394 BABIP and his lucrative contract should ensure that Diaz gets a fresh opportunity in 2020. I like him as a top-10 closer for next season.
Blake Treinen, RP, Oakland A’s
Diaz and Treinen combined to provide busts from both of the top two closers selected in most 2019 drafts. After breaking out in 2018 (0.78 ERA, 100 K’s), the right-hander struggled with injury and ineffectiveness before being replaced in the closer’s role by Liam Hendriks. With Hendriks wrapping up an excellent campaign, Treinen may open 2020 in a setup role.