The 2007 fantasy baseball season is now in the books, so let's take a position-by-position look back at what happened – who stood out, who stunk it up, and who were the biggest draft day bargains or waiver wire wonders.
Stud – Jorge Posada
Posada's career-high .338 average in 506 AB had the seventh-best positive impact in the league in that category. He also led all catchers in R (91), finished second in HR (20), and third in RBI (90), ranking 52 overall in the Yahoo! game.
Dud – Joe Mauer
Before you decide that you are offended by this pick, realize that most of it has to do with Mauer's ADP of 30.9, putting him squarely in the third round. Mauer was just decent across the board, batting .293 with 62 R, 7 HR, 60 RBI, and 7 SB, and finishing the season as the fifth-ranked catcher at 309 overall.
ADP MVP – Russell Martin (179.1 ADP)
Martin went from a savvy sleeper pick to a fantasy standout in short order. In 85 games before the All-Star break, Martin hit .306 with 51 R, 11 HR, 60 RBI, and 16 SB. He slowed his roll towards the end of the season, but still finished second at the position in R (87), third in HR (19), and fourth in RBI (87). Martin also ended up with 21 SB, while no other catcher had more than seven.
Stud – David Ortiz
Ortiz narrowly beat out Prince Fielder, as his surplus of 44 batting average points made up for the gap in HR. Fielder put up the typical Ortiz number, hitting 50 HR, but Big Papi's career-high batting average (.332) made "just" 35 HR and 117 RBI fairly easy to settle for.
Dud – Travis Hafner
Hafner's monthly splits show a great start, a great finish, and titanic struggles in between. He batted just .237 in 367 AB from May through August, hitting 14 HR in 103 games. Hafner earned an ADP of 20.2, but his season-ending numbers included just a .266 average, 80 R, 24 HR, and a season rank of 125.
ADP MVP – Carlos Pena (undrafted)
Pena entered the season as a .243 career hitter and wasn't even in the Devil Rays' every-day lineup at the start of the season. He raised his RBI total in every month, and smashed 13 HR in 27 September games to finish the season in style (.282, 99 R, 46 HR, 121 RBI).
Stud – Brandon Phillips
Phillips was one of three players in the 30/30 club (David Wright and Jimmy Rollins being the others), and his season-ending rank was 13 overall. He finished second at the position in R (107) and HR (30), third in RBI (94), and fourth in SB (32), and batted .288 in 650 AB.
Dud – Josh Barfield
Barfield had a promising rookie season with the Padres and was the 10th 2B drafted, on average, by fantasy owners hoping he'd take the next step with Cleveland. Instead, he hit just .243 with 3 HR in 420 AB and forfeited his starting job to rookie Asdrubal Cabrera in August.
ADP MVP – Phillips (157.0)
Phillips was also one of draft day's biggest bargains, as he was the 14th player drafted, on average, with 2B eligibility.
Stud – Hanley Ramirez
Ramirez was magnificent in his second full season, finishing the season with an overall rank of 3 in the Yahoo! game. He was second at his position in R (125), HR (29), and SB (51), and seventh in RBI (81), while his .332 average in 639 AB was the fifth-largest positive influence in the category. Of note: Ramirez had surgery recently to repair torn labrum tissue in his left shoulder, and there's no guarantee that he will be at 100 percent for the start of spring training next season.
Dud – Miguel Tejada
Tejada isn't here because he missed a month with a wrist injury. It was the fact that his power numbers were way down at the time of the injury – he had just 7 HR in 73 games when he went on the DL. A big August (10 HR, 24 RBI) helped buoy his numbers, but overall he was a major disappointment to fantasy owners who contributed to his ADP of 29.7 – he finished with a season rank of 151, thanks to a .296 average, 72 R, 18 HR, and 81 RBI in 133 games.
ADP MVP – Troy Tulowitzki (215.2)
Tulowitzki had a great rookie season, and he got better as the season went on, hitting 33 XBH and driving in 52 RBI in 58 games after August 1. He finished the season as the fourth-ranked SS, batting .291 with 104 R, 24 RBI, 99 RBI, and 7 SB.
Stud – Alex Rodriguez
Not much new to say about A-Rod. He had one of the finest seasons in recent memory, hitting .314 with 54 HR, 156 RBI, 143 R, and 24 SB, and was far-and-away the most valuable player in fantasy baseball this season. It turns out that his ADP should have been higher than 5.7 after all.
Dud – Troy Glaus
Glaus was the sixth player drafted with 3B eligibility, on average, although it's likely that he was slotted to play SS for a number of his owners. Either way, he was a big downer. His left foot was a problem from early April on, and his season was eventually cut short because of surgery. He finished with a .262 average in 385 AB, with 60 R, 20 HR, and 62 RBI in 115 games.
ADP MVP – Ryan Braun (undrafted)
Braun made as substantial of a splash in 113 games as a rookie as we've seen in some time. Despite missing most of the first two months of the season, Braun finished with a season rank of 18 and atop both the roto and H2H "Keys to Success" lists, batting .324 with 91 R, 34 HR, 97 RBI, and 15 SB. Over 162 games, his numbers project to 130 R, 49 HR, 139 RBI, and 22 SB – undoubtedly, the offseason's biggest debate will deal with how high Braun should (and will) come off the board in 2008 drafts.
Stud – Matt Holliday
Holliday followed up his impressive 2006 season with a monster 2007 performance, finishing second to Alex Rodriguez in overall rank. He hit .340 in a whopping 636 AB, the third-most positive influence in the category, while scoring 120 R, hitting 36 HR, driving in 137 R, and stealing 11 bases.
Stud – Magglio Ordonez
Ordonez was an amazing fantasy asset this season. He hit below .344 over the course of a month just once (July), drove in fewer than 20 RBI just once (June), and scored fewer than 20 R only twice (July, September). His .363 average was easily a career high; he also set single-season marks in R (117) and RBI (139), and finished the season ranked fourth overall in the Yahoo! game.
Dud – Jason Bay
Bay had an ADP of 28.7 this season, but his numbers completely fell off the board. He hit just .209 over the final four months of the season, scoring 46 R, hitting 13 HR, and driving in 45 RBI over his last 92 games. Bay hit .296 from 2005-06, averaging 106 R, 34 HR, 105 RBI, and 16 SB in 161 games – in 2007, he hit .247 with 78 R, 21 HR, 84 RBI, and 4 SB in 145 games, and his season-ending rank was 207.
Dud – Vernon Wells
Wells edges out Andruw Jones and Manny Ramirez for this spot. He played through shoulder problems the entire season, and it showed, as he hit just .245 with 85 R, 16 HR, and 80 RBI in 149 games. He finally underwent season-ending surgery for a torn labrum in his left shoulder in late September. Wells' ADP was 33.4, but his production earned him a season-ending rank of 214.
ADP MVP – Eric Byrnes (185.7)
Byrnes was the 43rd OF drafted, on average, but his career season (at age 31) gave him an overall rank of 19. While his bat once again cooled after the All-Star break (.306/14/49 before, .258/7/34 after), his wheels didn't (17 SB before, 33 SB after). All together, he hit .286 in 626 AB with 103 R, 21 HR, 83 RBI, and 50 SB in 160 games, establishing career highs in everything but HR.
ADP MVP – Curtis Granderson (undrafted)
Granderson exploded in his second full season in the bigs, batting .302 in 612 AB with 122 R, 23 HR, 74 RBI, and 26 SB (only 1 CS) in 158 games. He is one of only four players in the 20-20-20-20 club, as he also compiled 38 Doubles and 23 Triples on the season. Granderson was drafted in only the deepest of leagues, but his season-ending rank of 24 overall was good for sixth among OF.
Stud – Jake Peavy
It looks like Peavy's 2006 season was a fluke, after all. He led all qualifying pitchers in ERA (2.54) and WHIP (1.06) in 2007, with both of his numbers being the single-largest positive influences in either category, thanks to 223.1 IP. He also had a career-high 19 W and a league-leading (and career high) 240 K. Drafted as the sixth SP on average with pick 39.4, his season rank of sixth overall ended up being tops among all pitchers.
Stud – C.C. Sabathia
Sabathia edges out Johan Santana here because he was drafted (82.5 ADP), on average, 77.6 picks after Santana (4.9 ADP). He set career marks in IP (241.0) and the four fantasy SP categories, with 19 W, 209 K, and a 3.21 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. His season ending rank of 26 was third among SP.
Duds – Chris Carpenter, Roy Oswalt, Carlos Zambrano, Jeremy Bonderman, Dontrelle Willis
Carpenter's ADP was 20.9 as the second SP taken on average, but his 2007 season lasted all of 6.0 IP in his first start, and he eventually underwent Tommy John surgery – the "never take a SP early" camp added some numbers thanks to Carp's injury.
Roy Oswalt was the third SP taken, on average, thanks to his ADP of 32.1 – he turned in fairly pedestrian numbers (14 W, 154 K, 3.18 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) and finished with a season rank of 118, 26th among SP.
Zambrano came in fourth-highest among SP with an ADP of 37.8, but only a phenomenal June/July saved his numbers. He finished the season with an overall rank of 137, thanks largely to a 3.95 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 216.1 IP.
Bonderman's season fell flat in the month of June – he dealt with blister problems and arm soreness, compiling a 6.06 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 108.1 IP over his final 18 appearances. His ADP of 78.0 was 13th among SP, while his season-ending rank was 728.
Willis started the season poorly, ended the season poorly, and pitched poorly in-between. His ADP of 99.5 was 21st among SP, but his season-ending rank was 1018, due to a horrific 5.17 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 205.1 IP.
ADP MVPs – Josh Beckett, Erik Bedard, Fausto Carmona, Javier Vazquez, James Shields
Beckett was the 32nd SP drafted on average, with an ADP of 133.2 – he finished the season as the fourth-ranked SP at 31 overall, thanks to 20 W, 194 K, and a 3.27 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 200.2 IP.
Bedard had an ADP of 124.7 and was the 30th SP taken, on average, but he ended up as the fifth ranked SP, despite his season being cut short by an oblique injury. He finished the season with 13 W, 221 K, and a 3.16 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 182.0 IP.
Carmona wasn't a draft-day consideration in 2007 thanks to a 5.42 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in 74.2 IP of his rookie season – in 215.0 IP this year, however, he had a 3.06 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, getting 19 W and 137 K.
Vazquez had an ADP of 177.9 thanks to three consecutive mediocre seasons, but he rebounded in 2007 to the tune of 15 W, 213 K, and a 3.74 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 216.2 IP.
Shields was another undrafted gem – he finished the season with 12 W, 184 K, and a 3.85 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 215.0 IP, and his season rank of 83 was 17th among SP.
Stud – J.J. Putz
Putz simply dominated hitters this season. His microscopic .153 BAA led to an equally impressive 0.70 WHIP, the second-largest positive influence in that category. He recorded 40 SV, 6 W, and 82 K in 71.2 IP, and his 1.38 ERA was the fourth-largest positive influence in the category. His season rank of 17 overall was second to only Peavy among all pitchers.
Stud – Takashi Saito
A contingent of fantasy owners stayed away from Saito this season, with the assumption that hitters would start to catch up with the 37-year-old in his second season. Doh! Saito made across-the-board improvements, saving 39 games and posting 78 K, a 1.40 ERA, and 0.72 WHIP in 64.1 IP. He made the fourth-best contribution to team WHIP and the sixth-best contribution to ERA, and his rank of 38 on the season was eighth among all pitchers.
Dud – B.J. Ryan
Ryan's back injury in spring training didn't stop fantasy owners from making him the fourth RP drafted on average, with an ADP of 55.4. His elbow injury that limited him to 4.1 dreadful innings and eventually led to Tommy John surgery made him a huge bust, however, and made a waiver wire hero of Jeremy Accardo.
Dud – Tom Gordon
Perhaps they should have known better, but fantasy owners made the 39-year-old Gordon the 12th closer drafted, on average, with an ADP of 99.2. He was sidelined by a shoulder injury a month into the season, paving the way for Brett Myers to take over as the closer for the Phillies. Gordon ended up recording 6 SV in his 44 appearances over the course of the season.
ADP MVP – Rafael Betancourt (undrafted)
Only a handful of MR are ever drafted, but Betancourt was the best of the bunch this season. Thanks to 79.1 IP, his 1.47 ERA was the second-largest positive influence in the category, and his 0.76 WHIP was the third-biggest positive contribution. He also chipped in 5 W, 3 SV, and 80 K, ending the season with an overall rank of 68.
ADP MVP – Jeremy Accardo (undrafted)
Every year, a number of fill-in closers help people win fantasy baseball leagues. This season, Accardo led the pack, as B.J. Ryan was out of the way in pretty short order and Jason Frasor, Ryan's initial replacement, didn't pan out. He ended up recording 30 SV in 64 appearances, posting a 2.14 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 67.1 IP, with 57 K. His season-ending rank of 92 was 13th among all relievers.