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The All-Dropped Lineup

A couple of days ago we did the All-Dropped Pitching Staff from my competitive 12-team mixed league.  Now let's look at the best position players that were cut in the league.  Drop dates are included.

Catchers

Buster Posey - Apr 13
John Buck - Apr 8, Apr 26

Posey was called up on May 29th, and in mid-April when he was dropped it was thought that the Giants might keep him in the minors until June.  Plus rookies certainly don't always rake out of the gate, so I don't view that drop as appalling.  Buck didn't hit for average in April, and it was easy not to believe in him after he'd been so inconsistent for so many years in Kansas City.  Overall there haven't been many opportunities in our league to pick up top catchers off the waiver wire.  I usually try to give the position extra attention in drafts so I don't have to worry about it midseason, though many had the same idea on draft day.

First Basemen

Nick Swisher - Apr 22, Apr 26
Aubrey Huff - May 27
Gaby Sanchez - Apr 12, Apr 18, May 20

Huff was a terrible drop, and I was the culprit.  For some reason I didn't buy that he could sustain his '08 level again, but he has.  None of these three have major fantasy baseball name appeal, but the numbers are there.

Second Basemen

There really haven't been any top second basemen hitting the wire in our league.  Ryan Theriot, Alberto Callaspo, and the like could've been had, but those are not top ten types.  I think this position deserves the same respect as catcher on draft day, unless you have a Kelly Johnson or Martin Prado up your sleeve.

Shortstops

Alex Gonzalez - Apr 13, May 12, May 14, May 28, May 31
Marco Scutaro - Apr 11, May 16
Erick Aybar - May 3, May 28, June 15, June 23

Again, not much name value here.  Gonzalez was written off as a hot start by most, but he's shown 20 home run pop in past seasons.  Scutaro is more of a "slow and steady wins the race" type.  Aybar didn't heat up until June, but consistently scored runs and stole bags.

Third Basemen

Jose Bautista - May 6
Scott Rolen - Apr 15, Apr 26

Bautista has been streaky - nothing special in April or June, raked in May and July.  The owner who dropped him may have just had bad timing.  Rolen did have a decent April, but there must have been the impression that he couldn't hold a high level of health and power.  Not a crazy assumption to make.

Outfielders (in addition to Bautista and Swisher)

Corey Hart - Apr 4, Apr 10
Scott Podsednik - May 25, June 12
Andres Torres - May 8
Josh Willingham - Apr 8
Jonny Gomes - Apr 1, May 23, July 16

Hart looked like a platoon player in April, but hit ten home runs in May.  Perhaps you thought Hart could return to his 2007-08 level, but no one expected him to rake like this and earn a contract extension by August.  Podsednik's batting average bounced around, but he consistently stole bases, and that's what you roster him for.  Torres kind of came out of nowhere as a power-speed combo, and it's still a little tough to buy the 5'10" 32-year-old as a power source.

In my opinion, this little study shows that getting breakout position players off the waiver wire midseason is a rarity in a good 12-team mixed league, even with unlimited transactions.  You might hit on a Hart, Huff, Posey, or Bautista, but in a competitive league there's a good chance you won't.  Stocking your roster with top position players and decent-probability position player sleepers on draft day remains a strong strategy.


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