Five Overpriced Fantasy Baseball Players

Got your fantasy baseball team set up?  Got your cool fantasy baseball team name?  Good.  Then it’s time to start scouting players for your draft.

Every season, there are some fantasy baseball players who are drafted too high.  Fantasy baseball managers are often sucked in to paying too much for a player by his name, his team, or last year’s outstanding statistics that are uncharacteristic of the rest of his seasons.

Don’t be that fantasy baseball manager.

Here are five fantasy baseball players that we’re going to let other managers overpay for.  We recommend that you use the same strategy.

Mark Teixeira, 1B, New York Yankees

What has made Teixeira one of the elite first basemen over the past several seasons is that he has 30+ home run power, he scores and bats in over 100 runs per season, and his batting average is in the general vicinity of .300.  Having a four-stat player manning your first base position while playing his home games in a hitter’s park is great, right?

Well, here are two numbers to consider before selling the farm to acquire Teixeira:  .256 and .248.  Those are his batting averages from the past two seasons.  His on-base percentage, his slugging percentage, and his OPS are all trending in the same direction, too.

He’s still hitting home runs (33 and 39), still scoring runs (113 and 90), and still batting runs in (108 and 111), but at 32 years old, he’s no longer a four-stat player.  He’s a three-stat player now.  Don’t pay a four-stat price for him.

Heath Bell, RP, Miami Marlins

Want an elite closer?  For the past three seasons, Heath Bell has been your guy with 42, 47, and 43 saves.  This season, though, don’t overpay for him.

First, he’s not in pitcher-friendly Petco Park with the San Diego Padres anymore.  He’s in a brand new ballpark with a brand new team, and we’ve yet to get any indication as to how friendly Marlins Park is going to be to pitchers.

Second, his strikeout total dropped substantially last season, going from 79 and 86 in 2009 and 2010, respectively, to 51 in 2011.  That raises an eyebrow on a 34-year-old pitcher.

Third, MLB teams weren’t exactly falling all over themselves to trade for Bell.  If MLB teams are hesitating to invest heavily in him, so are we.

Jair Jurrjens, SP, Atlanta Braves

When he’s on—and healthy—Jurrjens is outstanding.  Most of the time, however, he’s inconsistent and injured.  His ERA and WHIP is all over the place over the course of his career, and his velocity and strikeout rate sunk last season.

The damage he’ll do to your fantasy baseball team over the long haul isn’t worth the flashes of brilliance that he’ll show from time to time.  Let someone else overpay for him.

Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals

A .305 batting average and 14 home runs from a catcher is a pretty good thing, and that’s exactly what Molina did last season.  The problem is that those stats were a fluke, based on the rest of his career.

In his eight years in the bigs, Yadi has hit double-digit home runs exactly once:  last season.  In 2008, he batted .304.  In 2009, it dropped a little to .293.  The other five years:  .267, .252, .216, .275, and .262.

He’s in a contract year, so maybe his numbers will mirror those of 2011.  Just don’t bet the farm on it.

Trevor Cahill

Trevor Cahill, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Cahill moves from the pitcher-friendly home of the Oakland A’s to the hitter-friendly home of the Diamondbacks this season.

Here’s all you need to know before investing heavily in Cahill.  His career ERA in Oakland Coliseum:  3.24.  Away from Oakland:  4.71.

Stay tuned to next week as we examine some sleeper candidates for the 2012 fantasy baseball season.