5 Biggest Fantasy Baseball Busts of the First Quarter

5 Biggest Fantasy Baseball Busts of the First Quarter
Paul Goldschmidt looks on from first base at Chase Field on May 18, 2016. | Norm Hall/Getty Images

Major League Baseball teams don’t tend to panic after the first 40 games, and neither should Fantasy owners. Long, grueling seasons will test your patience as you drop winnable games, but the breaks will come your way in the future. Any rash decision to part with a top pick could allow a competitor to get his blistering production later. You just have to fill in the production gaps in the meantime.

Times like these make fantasy baseball fun. You get tested the same way a slumping star’s manager and GM would. Though it may be unpleasant, it’s part of why we play. Through the first quarter of the 2016 MLB season, we’ve had more than our share of booms and busts around the league. Here are the the five biggest fantasy baseball busts so far.

1. Paul Goldschmidt

While Paul Goldschmidt may be one of the more underrated players among casual fans, fantasy owners know exactly what the big man can do. Hence his universal top-five ranking and high price tag in any format. Yet Goldie hasn’t been the overwhelming offensive force we expect him to be.

While his home run total (eight) is fine, his singles and doubles are down, leaving the reliable .300 hitter with a .228 average and .441 slugging. This first-quarter performance has pushed him out of the top 50, which lands him in the bust department.

2. Miguel Cabrera

5 Biggest Fantasy Baseball Busts of the First Quarter
Miguel Cabrera was one of the fantasy baseball busts many saw coming. | Leon Halip/Getty Images

Miggy was one of the top draft picks we warned you about preseason, and we don’t take pride in saying the bust prediction has turned out to be accurate. Miguel Cabrera, who went in the top 10 in most leagues, is not in the top 60 of performers through the first 40 games. Though he’s been healthy, he hasn’t feasted much on the opposition. His OPS is down over 100 points compared to his career stats, and fantasy owners are missing the slugger (6 HR, 7 2B) the most.

3. Jacob deGrom

5 Biggest Fantasy Baseball Busts of the First Quarter
Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals. | Rob Carr/Getty Images

Everyone’s favorite Met has not totally disappointed, but he hasn’t pitched anywhere near enough (36.0 IP) to be the force we expected as a top-10 rotation arm. Jacob deGrom only has 23 SO so far, making that limited action sting a bit more. There was the paternity leave and minor injury issues at the start of the season, so we expect him to get on track soon, but the first quarter of the season has been a bust for this elite arm.

4. Giancarlo Stanton

5 Biggest Fantasy Baseball Busts of the First Quarter
Giancarlo Stanton reacts after striking out to end the game on May 18, 2016. | Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Looking at Giancarlo Stanton’s 11 HR and 25 RBI, you might not immediately rule him a bust, but his 5 2B and .221 average reveal how he has been an all-or-nothing player in 2016. He’s striking out at a career-high rate and his OBP and slugging are both well below his typical marks. Because of his age and fact that he missed so much of 2015 due to injury, we feel like Stanton is set to rebound, but so far he has been a bust as a top-15 pick ranked higher than 80th in most leagues.

5. Charlie Blackmon

5 Biggest Fantasy Baseball Busts of the First Quarter
Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies slides to the base against the Arizona Diamondbacks. | Phil Gosselin/Getty Images

How do you count a low-key Rockies player as one of the top fantasy baseball busts of the first quarter? Blackmon’s dismal April, which included 0 HR and nine H in an injury-shortened run, makes him one of the worst top-30 picks of the season. The good news for fantasy owners here is that Blackmon is picking up his game in May. He’s hitting .313 with an .857 OPS for the month. Sometimes, you have to wait for the offense to come — even in Colorado.

Connect with Eric on Twitter @EricSchaalNY

Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs.com.