By J.J. Bens
The regular season is winding down and owners are looking towards the playoffs or wondering how their team failed to make it into the post season. One likely reason those owners didn’t advance into the playoffs: they drafted a player that had a preseason rank in the top fifty and that player ends the year with a rank out of the top 200. Injuries often play a huge roll in a player sliding down the rankings. In this article, I am going to take a look at some players with major rank changes in the wrong direction. Check back tomorrow for players who outperformed their draft slot. (All rankings come from Yahoo Fantasy Sports.)
- Bryce Harper – The 2015 NL MVP was ranked the 3rd best player overall to start the season. Many people thought it would be difficult to repeat his MVP season but Bryce’s average is down over 90 points (.340 to .249) and his homer run total was cut close to in half (42 to 23). Harper’s current rank is 65 making it hard for owners that took him with the third overall pick to make the post season.
- Clayton Kershaw – His preseason rank was the 4th overall player in baseball, of course a back injury has sidelined Clayton since the 26th of June. He is currently ranked the 10th player and the good news for owners is he may be back in time to make some starts for owners in the playoffs.
- Matt Harvey – Batman started the season as the 34th ranked player. An injury has ended his season but he wasn’t pitching that well when he was healthy, ending his season as the 527th ranked player.
- Zach Greinke – Greinke was fantastic the past 2 seasons with ERAs of 1.66 and 2.71 while pitching at Chavez Ravine (Dodgers). His preseason rank was 42nd but after one year pitching in the snake pit (Arizona) his ranking has ballooned (to 146) along with his ERA (4.17).
- Gerrit Cole- Cole is another pitcher that has battled injuries in 2016, only recording 114 innings and causing his ranking to go from 44 all the way to 214.
- Andrew McCutchen – Cutch’s average has been over .300 with a .900 OPS for the past three seasons. Those numbers earned him a preseason rank of 9th but he is currently sporting a .248 average with a .737 OPS driving his current ranking to 269. The 2013 NL MVP also stole 27 bases last year while this year he has lost more than just a step, swiping only 6 bags.
- Giancarlo Stanton – Baseball’s strongman has battled injuries this season while only recording 381 at bats. He started the season hotter than a pistol after beginning the year with a ranking of 11th. However, he will end the year with a ranking close to his current 189.
- Jose Bautista- Joey Bats had a preseason rank of 16th but injuries have limited him to just 322 at bats and have ballooned his current rank to 294th.
- Dee Gordon- Flash Gordon 2.0 had a preseason rank 20th but his season was derailed because of a PED suspension. However, in 53 games he only has 15 stolen bases and an OPS that has dropped a 100 points from last year which has pushed his current ranking all the way to 951.