It's likely your draft day is rapidly approaching, so let's not waste any time. You've seen the rankings, now take a look at the players to avoid.
Here are the 10 biggest bust candidates of the 2019 fantasy baseball season.
(Average draft positions as of Feb. 20, courtesy of FantasyPros)
Machado finally signed on Feb. 19. As absurd as that is from a real-life perspective, it's equally troubling for fantasy. J.D. Martinez signed with the Red Sox in February last year and took almost a month to really get going, and he had the benefit of playing for a juggernaut. Machado's ceiling - particularly for RBIs and runs - isn't especially high with the Padres, and you can't trust Johnny No-Hustle to do damage on the basepaths. The infielder was a considerable base-stealing threat during his breakout 2015 campaign, then swiped zero bags the following year, and he's since combined for 23 in two full seasons. Machado is a quality second-rounder, not the 12th overall pick.
Baez is as risky as they come in the early stages of the draft. He's a swing-and-miss machine, and while the 30-plus home run potential is there, so is the possibility that he hits below .250. The 21 steals last year were nice, but he had very little success on the basepaths in the second half (only three on 10 attempts) and a lack of walks hurts his run-scoring ceiling. He had two straight seasons with a sub-100 wRC+ before 2018 and will come face to face with the regression monster this campaign. He's far too big a gamble to wager your second-rounder on.
Benintendi is one of those players whose real-life ability can overinflate their fantasy value. It appeared at times last year that the power might be coming, as he had 13 homers entering July. But the outfielder actually finished with fewer home runs than he had in 2017 after hitting only three long balls over his final 68 games. Prepare for another season of an average hovering close to .280, around 20 homers, 20 steals, and 80 RBIs. These aren't numbers to turn your nose up at, but the 10th outfielder off the board in the top half of the third round? No thank you.
Albies' numbers fell off a cliff in the second half of last season. As the power evaporated and average plummeted, he watched his spot in the order drop to either sixth or seventh for just over 100 at-bats. The second baseman didn't show real power at any minor-league level or during his first season with the Braves, as he hit only six homers in 57 games in 2017. His value could be salvaged on the basepaths, but he wasn't necessarily a steal machine in his first full major-league campaign after showing promise in that category throughout the minors. Unless he starts running - a lot - it doesn't seem likely that Albies lives up to the lofty expectations that come with being the fifth second baseman off the board.
Speaking of second basemen who lacked power in the minors and saw their numbers take a tumble in the second half last season, here's Torres a few picks later. The fact that he plays for the Yankees is both a gift and a curse. A hitter-friendly ballpark and a team full of sluggers are perhaps not enough to overcome the 22-year-old's less-than-ideal spot in the order; 315 of his at-bats came from the sixth spot or lower last year, including a whopping 180 from ninth. It's hard to see where Torres' value comes from if he can't match last season's home run output and loses quality plate appearances due to being so far down the order.
There's no arguing, Corbin is a good starter. But is he the pitcher who managed to essentially cut his home run rate in half and increase his strikeouts from 7.57 per nine in 2016, to 8.45 in 2017, to an absurd 11.07 last year? That remains to be seen. A move from the light-hitting West to the newly retooled NL (B)East is going to prove too steep a challenge for a pitcher currently projected to go early in the fifth round.
Another lefty making the move east to a much tougher division and ballpark, and this one also faces a bevy of injury concerns. Paxton pitched a career-high 160 1/3 innings last season after combining for 257 the previous two campaigns. While Corbin managed to limit the long ball, Paxton was tormented by it at a career-worst rate. Yankee Stadium won't help matters, and with that dominant bullpen behind him, we may see the Big Maple getting the hook early in games, hurting your chances to pick up the W.
Just like the rent, Flaherty's ADP is too damn high. The 23-year-old had an impressive rookie campaign but gives up more walks and home runs than someone without especially overpowering stuff should. Yes, the Cardinals might be really great this year, but don't chase the wins here to the detriment of your rates. Those can be snatched up by relievers or streamers. Opt for Mike Clevinger, Jameson Taillon, or Zack Greinke in this spot.
I'd like Flahtery at this ADP and Foltynewicz about 20 spots later, but, alas, this is the world we live in. The Braves righty saw a huge spike in his strikeout rate but it still wasn't exactly elite. He's had issues with walks throughout his career, and after a season in which he did well to limit the long ball (0.84 per nine innings), you can expect his home run rate to regress back to a number closer to his career average of 1.19. You're paying for the pitcher who put up a 2.85 ERA when you're likely going to get one who finishes with a number closer to 4.00. There are too many starters going shortly after Folty who have either higher ceilings or safer floors.
Edwin Diaz (47.7), Blake Treinen (61.7), and Craig Kimbrel (63) are all ultra-talented. But targeting closers in the first eight rounds is a fool's errand. A short history lesson: Kenley Jansen looked near untouchable for two years before he was decidedly human last year. Someone likely drafted him in the fifth round of your draft and suffered the consequences. Aroldis Chapman was perhaps the best closer in baseball heading into 2017 and likely went in the fifth round. He then proceeded to have his worst season as a pro and even lost his job at one point. And, in his first season with the Red Sox in 2016, Kimbrel failed to live up to the hype as likely the second closer off the board after a blockbuster trade. The point is, relievers are wildly unpredictable and you'd be better served to wait four, five, or even six rounds for names such as Felipe Vazquez, Brad Hand, or Sean Doolittle as your first closer. Obviously, someone has to take the big boys early. Hopefully, it's not you.