Mid Season Awards: 2018 First Half All-Disappointment Team
Everyone loves a downer at the party, right? [Citation needed] We’re just a couple weeks shy of the halfway point of the 2018 MLB season, and now is a good time for reflection upon the season that is. It’s probably my New England cynicism that drew me to put together the 2018 First-Half All-Disappointment Team. Nevermind the fact I’m currently staring out at Mt. Katahdin over Lake Millinocket. The weather is great, the environment is great, the backdrop is serene and relaxing. So why not put an article together about how disappointing baseball players are.
Without further ado, here’s the squad that’s let fantasy owners down this offseason. Remember though: we’re not mad, we’re just disappointed. Which is worse? Just like these guys performances and you’ll find the answers.
C- Austin Barnes, LAD (.249/.378/.275, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SB)
Barnes was probably the most-hyped player to add this offseason and then was quickly the most overrated player this offseason. I myself wrote an article about why you should add him. However, he’s been bad. Barely any production in the limited playing time (besides still being able to draw a walk). This season was Barnes’ chance to show the Dodgers that after the season when Grandal is a free agent he can be the everyday quality catcher. Instead, he’s been everyday suck of a backup.
1B- Chris Davis, BAL (.150/.227/.227, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 0 SB)
Chris Davis has massively underperformed this season. There’s really no other way to say it. So much so that we’re now at the point where a Baltimore bar is offering free shots for every hit Chris Davis gets because they’re so few-and-far-between. This tremendously terrible performance so far is why I’m naming Davis my All-Disappointment MVP.
2B- Jason Kipnis, CLE (.199/.275./305, 4 HR, 25 RBI, 2 SB)
After only playing 90 games last year (but still being able to add double digits homers), Kipnis was a prime bounce-back candidate coming into this season. But that has not been the case: Kipnis has performed well under his career slash and hasn’t been able to add any sort of power production.
3B- Josh Donaldson, TOR (.234/333/.423, 5 HR, 21 RBI, 2 SB)
This one probably comes with an asterisk due to the fact Donaldson has been hurt most of the year and has only been able to muster 36 games so far. Nevertheless, Donaldson did come with high expectations to produce in a walk year but has been very disappointing in his limited time on the field, not offering much of anything and heavily clouding his future fantasy value while he’s at it.
SS- JP Crawford, PHI (.200/.273/.325, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 1 SB)
Even though he’s 23 and had a grand total of 23 games in the majors last season, Crawford had some decent expectations coming into the season. Crawford was expected to break camp with the Phillies and hold down the SS position for a young emerging squad, but failed to make the opening day roster. After a couple weeks in the minors, he was called up and has struggled in his second stint in the majors in the 28 games he’s played. I’m not sure it does much to his fantasy value at this point due to his age, but this season has been a downer for those who invested.
OF- Gregory Polanco, PIT (.204/.306/.408, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 3 SB)
Polanco was a 20/20 candidate coming into the season, but his performance has been a far cry from those expectations. His average is down a solid 50 points form the past three seasons and he’s only been able to tally three steals in four attempts thus far. With Austin Meadows’ emergence and Cory Dickerson’s solid season, ABs are at a premium in the Pittsburgh outfield and they’re going to start slipping away from Polanco soon.
OF- Jay Bruce, NYM (.216/.324/.508, 3 HR, 24 RBI, 2 SB)
Coming off of back-to-back 30+ homer seasons, Bruce was penciled into the heart of the Mets lineup, with expectations to make it three in a row. In short, he’s not even close. Only able to muster a paltry three homers this season, Bruce’s entire stat line has followed suit, leaving him as barely a bench option this season.
OF- Billy Hamilton, CIN (.190/.281/.278, 2 HR, 26 RBI, 10 SB)
Billy Hamilton literally has one job: steal a bunch of bags. But you can’t steal first, and Hamilton hasn’t been getting on base. Hamilton has always been able to salvage a less-than-mediocre slash line with great defense and a bunch of steals. This season though, he hasn’t, and now he’s thrust into a timeshare in the Cincinnati outfield that will limit his chances to rectify the situation.
DH- Logan Morrison, MIN (.191/.299/.345, 7 HR, 21 RBI, 1 SB)
Morrison had a bit of a resurgence last season with Tampa, and upon joining the Twins this offseason was penciled in as the opening day DH. But he hasn’t really delivered to his recent standards. Morrison was a snappy late round choice that could provide an average that wouldn’t kill you and some pop. Thus far, he hasn’t done either.
SP- Jose Quintana, CHC (4.09 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 4.22 BB/9, 8.96 K/9)
Coming off of a year where he put up a slightly below-average ERA that he salvaged with 207 strikeouts, Quintana was a guy that had high expectations. Surrounded by a powerful Cubs lineup, Quintana was expected to shine but instead has taken a step further back. His control has been completely lost this season, driving up his BB/9 to double his career rate and the strikeouts have suffered this season as well.
SP- Dallas Keuchel, HOU (4.45 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 2.33 BB/9, 6.99 K.9)
Keuchel had a tremendous year last season for the world champs but has not delivered anything close so far this season. The silver lining is that his walks are actually down compared to last season (and his career mark), but everything else has gotten worse. His ERA stinks, he’s striking out a full batter fewer per nine and his WHIP has gone up too. Far from the Cy Young candidate we thought we might get.
SP- Sonny Gray, NYY (4.98 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 4.19 BB/9, 7.73 K/9)
Gray has never been an overpowering strikeout pitcher, but this season he’s getting knocked around like a rag doll: an ERA at almost five, walking over four batters per nine, and not being able to control any of his offerings. He hasn’t been deceptive at all and batters are hammering the bejeezus out of him.
SP- Danny Duffy, KC (5.28 ERA 1.54 WHIP 4.34 BB/9 7.51 K/9)
Duffy was another guy with some hype this offseason as a bargain play that would deliver, but boy has he gone the other direction entirely. There really isn’t a silver lining to Duffy’s performance thus far, with literally every stat worse than his career mark. Coming off of back-to-back solid seasons, Duffy looked like a guy that was about to break out and instead he’s completely imploded.
RP- Greg Holland, STL (9.45 ERA, 2.63 WHIP, 10.13 BB/9, 6.75 K/9, 0SV, 2 BS)
Coming off a successful return from Tommy John with Colorado, Holland seemed like a great fit for St. Louis. However, that stat line speaks for itself. There’s really nothing else to say.
RP- Hector Neris, PHI (4.81 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, 12.21 K/9, 9 SV, 3 BS)
Neris was considered one of the stable closers coming into the offseason with Philly. Much to the chagrin of fantasy owners though, he’s since been supplanted with a closer by committee. With a slow start that really didn’t get any better, Neris isn’t even being giving hold opportunities with the Phillies and has just been demoted to “A Guy.”
Keaton O. DeRocher: @KeatonTDG
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