OBFBL Keepers: One Year Wonders

Posted: March 1, 2012 in League News

by Sean Chard

We’re getting closer to the start of the Fantasy Baseball season, with spring training games starting tomorrow.  The 2012 OBFBL draft will mark the league’s 10th anniversary. The league has endured and thrived through the years, with 8 of the original 10 teams owners still here.

Let’s take another look past at the OBFBL history in a segment called “One Year Wonders” or “One and Done”.

In this article we’ll highlight 27 players who were OBFBL keepers for only one year, and we’ve divided them up into 3 categories:

  • Never Was Again – players who had a career year during the year they were kept and then fizzled out
  • Never Really Was – players who were questionable keepers at the time and proved why by their performance in the years after they were kept
  • Might Be Again – players who were kept once, have taken a step back, but are still young enough with some potential to become a keeper again
Never Was (kept) Again

Matt Clement – Super Sods, 2002
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #106, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #119, WAR in keeper season = 4.1, career WAR = 11.1)

  • A former top prospect (ranked #10 by BA in 1999), Clement had a rough first few seasons in the majors for the Padres and Marlins, but put things together with a strong 2002 season after being traded to the Cubs, ranking #106 in the player rater (PR)
  • The next couple years were good but not great, and then Clement went steadily downhill, had multiple shoulder surgeries and didn’t play in MLB after the 2006 season


Wade Miller
– Fury, 2002
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #131, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #140, WAR in keeper season = 4.3, career WAR = 14.1)

  • Miller put together 3 good seasons from 2001 to 2003 for the Astros, with 2002 being his best with a 15-4 record and 3.28 ERA (PR of 131)
  • Shoulder problems started for Miller in 2004 and limited him for 3 years, and then coupled with back issues in 2007 he never got back to the majors after that season

Kazuhiro Sasaki – Poo Dogs, 2002
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #79, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #416, WAR in keeper season = 1.3, career WAR = 4.0)

  • Sasaki came from Japan in 2000 and immediately became Seattle’s closer, with seasons of 37, 45 and then 37 saves in 2002 (PR of 79)
  • Injuries to his back and ribs in 2003 limited him to 35 games that year, and then he was later released that offseason and returned to Japan


Eddie Guardado
– Super Sods, 2002
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #74, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #59, WAR in keeper season = 2.2, career WAR = 12.2)

  • Everyday Eddie started his career with the Twins in 1993, became their closer in 2001 and had a career year with 45 saves in 2002 (PR of 74)
  • He followed it up with 43 saves in 2003, but age and wear and tear started to get to him after that. Injuries to his shoulder and elbow persisted for a few years and limited his effectiveness. He retired after being released prior to the 2010 season


Melvin Mora
– Super Sods, 2004
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #15, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #67,  WAR in keeper season = 5.4,  career WAR = 26.5)

  • A late start to his MLB career, Mora put up a monster season in 2004 at age 32 for the Orioles and Super Sods with 111R, 27HR, 104HR, 11SB, .340BA. He finished 15th overall in the PR which prompted the Sods to keep him
  • The next year Mora put together a very good year for a shortstop with 27HR again and a 67th overall rating. His career declined for the next 2 years, with a uptick in 2008 with 104 RBI, but then a back-up role after that. He was released by the Diamondbacks in June of 2011 and is likely to retire now at age 40


Bill Hall
– NYMD (now Motorboats), 2006
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #65, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #96, WAR in keeper season = 4.3, career WAR = 6.5)

  • Hall’s career follows the standard pattern – break into the majors, increased playing time and performance for a few years, career year at age 26  (2006 – 35HR, 85RBI, 101R), then steady decline
  • After 2006, Hall couldn’t replicate that season, and now been relegated to a bench player. He signed with the Yankees on a minor league contract earlier in February and hopes to continue his career as a utility/bench player


Felipe Lopez
– Poo Dogs, 2006
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #57, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #46, WAR in keeper season = 0.3, career WAR = 7.0)

  • Drafted by the Blue Jays with the 8th overall pick in 1998 and in the BA top 100 prospect list in 1999-2011. In 2005, Lopez hit 23 HR and had 15 SBs. In 2006, Lopez had 44 SBs, but with only 11 HR. The Poo Dogs kept him after that season hoping that the 2007 season would be a combination of the high HR total from 2005 and high SB total from 2006
  • Unfortunately though Lopez never got close to equaling either of those stats again with highs of only 9 HR and 24 SBs. After playing in 100+ games until 2010, Lopez only played in 48 in 2011 and is now a free agent at age 31


Fausto Carmona
– Asshats, 2007
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #62, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #211, WAR in keeper season = 6.6, career WAR = 5.4)

  • Carmona was one of the players taken by the Asshats when joining the league in the 2007/08 offseason, after he pitched to a 19-8 record and 3.06 ERA, and 4th in AL Cy Young voting. The Ks were low but all other signs looked positive
  • Unfortunately, Carmona has been terrible ever since with a losing record, bad ratio stats and the continued low K rate. And to top it off Carmona isn’t his real name. Roberto Hernandez Heredia changed his name and age (he’s 3 years older and now 31) as a youngster in the Dominican. Now on the MLB restricted list, his career is up in the air


Eric Byrnes
– Tribe, 2007
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #8, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #70, WAR in keeper season = 4.5, career WAR = 13.3)

  • Byrnes is the quintessential “One Year Wonder” player. After several seasons and some good fantasy production early in his career, Byrnes had a monster year in 2007 for the Diamonbacks at age 31, posting 21HR, 83RBI, 50SBs, 103R and .286 average. Those stats were good for the #8 player rater overall that season
  • So what happened? Answer – his hamstring. Hamstring injuries limited Byrnes to 52 games the next season in 2008, a broken hand in 2009 stole half of his season. After a few games with Seattle in 2010, Byrnes retired at the end of that season at age 34


Takashi Saito
– Poo Dogs, 2007
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #47, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #58, WAR in keeper season = 3.7, career WAR = 11.1)

  • An import from Japan at age 36, Saito quickly came in and took over as the Dodger’s closer in 2006 and racked up 24 saves. He bettered that in 2007 with 39 saves and a 1.40 ERA, which prompted the Poo Dogs to keep him  (sound familiar? perhaps a little similar to a player kept in 2002?)
  • In 2008 Saito started having elbow issues and saved only 18 games, losing his closer’s job. Since then he’s bounced around to a different team each year, piling up good numbers as a middle reliever. He recently signed a contract with the Diamondbacks for 2012 where he will pitch at the age of 42


Chris Young
(SP) – Crackheads, 2007
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #113, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #102, WAR in keeper season = 3.5, career WAR = 11.7)

  • Young started his career with the Rangers and was traded in the infamous deal to San Diego, along with Adrian Gonzalez for Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka. In 2006 with the Padres Young had a good year, and then in 2007 he lowered his ERA (to 3.12) and increased his Ks (8.7 K/9) despite only 9 wins. The Crackheads were looking for Young to repeat that in 2008 and ideally with a few more wins too
  • Injuries, injuries and more injuries then killed Young’s career with no real success after the 2007 season. He is currently a free agent, looking for a place to play in 2012, after only pitching 44 innings in the past 2 seasons combined


Nyjer Morgan
– Super Sods, 2009
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #80, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #210, WAR in keeper season = 2.1, career WAR = 7.2)

  • After playing junior hockey for the Regina Pats in 1999-2000, Morgan switched to baseball full-time and worked his way through the minors. In 2009, Morgan stole 42 bases, with a .307 average and 74 runs, in only 120 games, for the Pirates and then Nationals who he was dealt to mid-season. The steals and high average were the catalysts for him to be kept that year
  • Over the past couple seasons, Morgan has been good, but not nearly the level he was at in 2009, and at age 31 and following only 13 SBs last year, it doubtful that he’ll be able to come close to repeating his success from that season


Jason Bartlett
– Legacy, 2009
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #37, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #236, WAR in keeper season = 4.7, career WAR = 13.3)

  • Bartlett put up one of the biggest One-Year Wonder seasons ever in 2009. Known for his defense and not much else, Bartlett seemed to have sold his soul to the devil for one massive season in 2002 where he destroyed his career highs in all offensive categories and finished with 90R, 14HR, 66RBI, 30SB and a .320 BA, and even some MVP votes. The Legacy may not have wanted to keep him as it was doubtful Bartlett could repeat those numbers. But even at a 80% repeat Bartlett was still a good keeper and they really had no choice but to keep him
  • Predictably, Bartlett regressed back to his regular crappy numbers over 2010 and 2011, and he is just waiver-wire fodder at best now


Rafael Soriano
– Asshats, 2010
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #38, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #117, WAR in keeper season = 2.5, career WAR = 10.4)

  • After battling numerous injuries early in his career, Soriano racked up 27 saves in 2009 and then had a career year in Tampa Bay in 2010 with 45 saves and a 1.73 ERA. He ended the year as one of the best closers in the game and was definitely a good keeper
  • However Soriano became a free agent that year and could not find a job closing for the money he felt he was worth, and instead settled for big money as the set-up man for the Yankees. Unfortunately, set-up men aren’t really keepers, so this can be chalked up to bad luck for the Asshats
Never Really Was (a keeper)

Paul Byrd – Super Sods, 2002
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #121, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #188, WAR in keeper season = 4.8, career WAR = 15.8)

  • Byrd debuted in the majors in 1995 and was a journeyman starter with a bad K-rate for several years. In 2002 he put up a 17-11 record (but only 5.1 K/9) and ranked #121 in the player rater (PR)
  • Elbow surgery cost him the whole 2003 season and injuries persisted each year. His highest PR after that was 188 in 2005, and he last pitched in the majors in 2009

Oliver Perez – Poo Dogs, 2004
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #8, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #70, WAR in keeper season = 5.1, career WAR = 3.6)

  • Hard to believe Perez is only 30 years old (or is he really?). Perez made it to the majors in 2002, was terrible in his first year, got traded to Pittsburgh and was still terrible still. However, at age 22 in 2004, Perez had 12 wins, a 2.98 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, and his 239 Ks in 196 IP (11.0 K/9) is the key stat that got him kept that year (53 in PR). However, few believed that he could repeat that year’s success
  • Unfortunately everything Perez has done since has only shown that 2004 was a complete fluke. Injuries haven’t helped, but mostly he’s just been an ineffective pitcher lacking any control. He signed a minor league contract with Seattle in January with hopes of continuing his MLB career


Zach Duke
– Super Sods, 2005
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #257, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #251, WAR in keeper season = 3.1, career WAR = 5.9)

  • A midseason call-up in 2005 for the Pirates, Duke dazzled 8-2 the rest of the season with a 1.81 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. He looked promising but the sample size for success in the majors was small
  • Duke pitched 215 innings the next year, but it looks like the league figured him out as he led the league in hits allowed, and had a terrible 4.9 K/9 rate. Duke is still clinging to the majors as a 28 year old, signing a minor league deal with Houston in January


John Patterson
– Poo Dogs, 2005
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #130, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #450, WAR in keeper season = 4.9, career WAR = 5.2)

  • Patterson was a low ranked prospect who made his debut in 2002 with Arizona, got traded to Montreal in 2004 and made a 32 starts over his first few seasons. In 2005 he put together a good year with a 9-7 record, 3.13 ERA and 8.4 K/9 (PR – #130)
  • The Poo Dogs were hoping for a repeat or even improvement in 2006, but a forearm limited him to just 8 starts, and an elbow injury cost him most of 2007. Patterson retired before the 2009 season


Chad Tracy
– NYMD (now Motorboats), 2006
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #150, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #79, WAR in keeper season = 2.1, career WAR = 4.9)

  • Tracy put together two straight very good but not great seasons in 2005 and 2006 (20+ HR, 70+ RBI, BA around .300) and was a weak keeper selection for NYMD amongst a lot of weak options overall
  • A myriad of injuries hit over the next few years, Tracy played in Japan in 2011, and then recently signed a minor league contract with the Nationals and at age 31 he is hoping to keep the hope alive


Rich Hill
– Gaping Gash, 2007
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #118, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #309, WAR in keeper season = 2.9, career WAR = 2.3)

  • Hill had his best season in 2007 at age 27, but even then it was just OK. 11 wins, 183Ks, 3.92 ERA. He was kept with the hopes of repeating or improving on those numbers
  • In 2008, he got demoted to Triple-A, had some injuries and his career quickly died off. He’s currently trying to get back to the majors after signing a minor league deal with Boston in the offseason


Matt Capps
– Dick Dogs, 2008
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #218, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #60, WAR in keeper season = 1.2, career WAR = 6.1)

  • Capps solidified himself as Pittsburgh’s closer in 2008 with 22 saves and was clearly set as their full-time closer heading into 2009. That was good enough for the Dick Dogs as they wanted to keep a closer for the next year, even if Capps wasn’t really that good of one
  • Capps followed up the next season in 2009 with 27 saves, but a terrible ERA, and he actually had his best season in 2010 with 42 saves. Capps now heads into the 2012 season as Minnesota’s primary closer


Garrett Jones
– Asshats, 2009
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #207, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #188, WAR in keeper season = 1.2, career WAR = 0.6)

  • A career minor leaguer, Jones got his chance to play in 2009 for the Pirates at age 28, and put up 21 HRs and 10 SBs in a partial season. Very good numbers if prorated over a full season, but as a player that had a hard time cracking the majors, there was much skepticism for whether Jones could duplicate or improve on those numbers in 2010
  • In 2010 Jones hit 21 HRs again, but over a full season, and only stole 7 bases with a .247 average. His numbers declined again in 2011, and Jones will be looking to avoid a repeat of that in 2012 or he will likely be back to the minors again


Chris Davis
– NYMD (now Motorboats), 2009
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #353, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #259, WAR in keeper season = –0.9 , career WAR = –2.4)

  • The consensus choice for the worst keeper ever in OBFBL history, with only a #353 overall player rating and –0.9 WAR (MINUS!) in the year that he was kept. Davis burst into the Majors with Texas in 2008 with 17 HR and 55 RBI in just half a season. The hype on Davis was in overdrive heading into the 2009 season and he was taken 1st overall in the OBFBL draft that year. A breakout did not happen in 2009 though as Davis’ modest power numbers were overshadowed by his massive strikeout totals, which earned him the nickname of Chris Kavis.  On a very weak NYMD team though, Davis was still the best option as their 8th keeper
  • Another poor start to the season in 2010 got Davis demoted to Triple-A, where he mashed the ball in 2011, got called up and then traded to Baltimore at the deadline. At age 25, the upside is still there if Davis can fix the holes in his swing at the major league level, and potentially he could even become a legitimate keeper down the road
Might Be (a keeper) Again

Chad Billingsley – Poo Dogs, 2008
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #78, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #142, WAR in keeper season = 4.0, career WAR = 13.8)

  • The #7 ranked prospect by BA in 2006, Billingsley made his debut that year and improved the next two seasons, with a solid 2008 season where he became a keeper: 16W, 201 Ks, 3.14 ERA
  • Since then Billingsley has stayed healthy, has continued to put up good K totals, but has been lacking in wins and ERA/WHIP, largely because of a large number of walks each season. If he can get that under control, Billingsley at age 27 could climb back to be a keeper-worthy SP again


Edinson Volquez
– NYMD (now Motorboats), 2008
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #66, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #474, WAR in keeper season = 4.8, career WAR = 3.2)

  • Volquez has had a very interesting career already, including 2 big trades (for Josh Hamilton in 2007, and this offseason in the Latos deal), Tommy John surgery in mid-2009 and a 50-game suspension for PEDs in 2010. However Volquez put up a big season in 2008 finishing 4th in AL Cy Young voting with 17 wins, 206 Ks and a 3.21 ERA
  • At age 28, Volquez appears to be healthy again, and the trade to San Diego should help his numbers. It is possible that he could regain keeper status, as early as this season


Gordon Beckham
– Super Sods, 2009
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #248, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #378, WAR in keeper season = 0.9, career WAR = 1.9)

  • The #20 ranked prospect by BA in 2009 and a great ascension through the minor leagues, Beckham got the call-up in June that year and proceeded to turn heads with 14HRs and 63 RBIs, in a little over half a season. He seemed like a good keeper and someone who might become a star
  • Who really knows what happened. The league figured out his holes? He lost confidence? A sophomore slump was possible, but Beckham was terrible in 2010 with only 9 homers and 49 RBIs. He then moved into “post hype sleeper” mode heading into 2011, but as a surprise to all, he had an even worse season with the dysfunctional White Sox team. Perhaps a new manager will get him back on the right track as Beckham is only 25 and has the opportunity to still fulfill his potential


Angel Pagan
– Tribe, 2010
(Player Rater [PR] in keeper season = #35, Highest Player Rater in any other season = #119, WAR in keeper season = 5.1, career WAR = 10.3)

  • Pagan put up a very solid season in 2010 for the Mets, ranking #35 overall in the player rater with 11 HR, 69 RBI, 37 SBs and a .290 as their lead-off hitter. This was done at the age of 28 though, and it was questionable whether he could repeat those numbers
  • If not for an oblique injury that caused him to miss 30 games, Pagan’s 2011 numbers would have been very similar to 2010. At age 30, it is possible, although doubtful, that Pagan will regain keeper status
A FEW OVERALL STATS:
  • 16 of the 27 players listed are pitchers, which isn’t surprising as we all know that pitchers are more volatile and riskier keeper selections
  • There were 5 Pirates on the list, the most of any team
  • Nearly half of the players listed were kept by the Super Sods or Poo Dogs, with the Sods winning 7-6
Comments
  1. ASS says:

    I suck!!!

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