2B Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros
Jose Altuve was one of the fantasy game-changers in 2014 with his .341 batting average and 56 steals. However, he will now cost a second-round pick and there will be some regression in the categories he excels at. In 2014, Altuve stole 56 bases on 65 attempts, which is roughly an 86% clip, but he was successful on only 74% of his attempts from 2011 to 2013.
Even if Jose Altuve hits relatively close to .341 again, he will likely be on-base less than he was in 2014. With less time on the base paths, he will have fewer opportunities to steal bases and there is a decent chance he steals at less than an 86% clip. Look for a .300-.320 average and 35-40 steals.
3B Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays
Longoria is one of the biggest names in baseball and one of the best third basemen in the game. However, he comes with a hefty price tag of a top 25 pick despite the fact that he does not warrant the status. His slash line has dropped mightily over the past seasons going from .289/.369/.527 in an injury-plagued 2012 all the down to .253/.320/.404 this season. With Evan Longoria, you are paying more for a name than production.
SS Jose Reyes of the Toronto Blue Jays
I have already highlighted why I will not draft Jose Reyes in an earlier post, but I think it is important to not pay a ridiculous premium for a player who excels in runs and stolen bases that can be acquired in free agency. Furthermore, Reyes is 31 years old and there is a strong chance that he steals less than he did in 2014 (which was 30 stolen bases).
OF Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies
Blackmon was one of baseball’s breakthrough players in 2014, but most of his production came in the first half of the season. His final numbers look very nice as he scored 82 runs, hit 19 homers, drove in 72 RBI’s, stole 28 bases, and hit .288. That is even more impressive when you consider the fact that he was never more than a part-time player before this season.
Charlie Blackmon also plays in a crowded outfield with Carlos Gonzalez, Corey Dickerson, and Drew Stubbs. Blackmon is a candidate to be traded, which could be perilous to his value as he hit 13 of his 19 homers and stole 18 of his 28 bases at Coors Field. His .331 home batting was also a whopping .90 lower on the road. Blackmon has a lot of risks going into next year, and he will be almost worthless in fantasy baseball if he is dealt.
1B Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins
Joe Mauer is another player who I have previously illustrated my fantasy distaste for in 2015. Without his catcher eligibility, he is a virtually useless fantasy baseball commodity. Mauer only offers potential in batting average and on-base percentage. There is no reason to draft a player who only offers above-average production in one category at the most loaded position in fantasy. Batting titles do not equal fantasy titles.