Moonlight’s Final Report Card
Never let it be said that anyone mistook Moonlight for Mel Kiper Jr. While the ESPN NFL Draft pundit subjects each franchise to his highly subjective scrutiny each April, he rarely, if ever, looks back at his own projections to review how successful or disastrous they might have been. Not so here at the Fantasy Forecast.
It is the nature of Roto players to not only crow about their selections that worked out but also bemoan those picks that derailed their chances at winning. So, as a dyed in the wool Roto man myself, here is the Moonlight report card for 2008. A review of the fantasy sleepers that panned out and the studs that blew up.
Best Picks- SP A.J. Burnett fell just short of 20 W in Toronto while leading the AL in K. SP Rich Harden remained mostly healthy and posted an incredible ERA and K ratio. C Geovany Soto worked his way up to the middle of the Cubs’ order by September while posting 23 HR and 86 RBI in his first full year. OF Corey Hart gave the Brewers a 20-20 season while Rays’ C Dioner Navarro made his first All Star team. In Texas, 2B Ian Kinsler was leading the league in BA and TB when he went down in August and Rockies’ OF Brad Hawpe was a second half RBI machine. Even Manny Ramirez, devalued in many drafts, brought smiles to those who followed Moonlight’s advice.
Worst Picks- Tigers’ 1B, 3B, SS Carlos Guillen made a mockery of his 100 RBI projection with a sub-par fantasy season filled with injury. Troy Tulowitzki did the same. What many fail to realize, however, is that he was really bad before he got hurt, raising questions about the Rockies’ SS heading into ’09. Rickie Weeks was a Moonlight favorite who turned into a bust as he spent most of the year battling to raise his BA over .220. In Houston, C J.R. Towles was so bad, the Astros turned to Brad Ausmus.
Incomplete-Angels’ C Mike Napoli started and finished the season on fire. It was the injury plagued middle that turned out to be the problem. Still, a C who pokes 20 HR in under 300 AB has value in any season. The Twins spent most of the summer with their best pitcher in Rochester. In a financial gambit that likely cost them the AL Central crown, they left SP Francisco Liriano in AAA where he posted a 10-1 record with a sub 2.00 ERA rather than recall him and start his arbitration clock.
Best Call-SP Chad Billingsley would be the Dodgers’ ace by year end.
Worst Call- Braves’ OF Jeff Francoeur would win the NL MVP award. (The HK Fantasy League has had a lot of fun with this one.)