Fantasy Baseball: Which 2019 stars will avoid being one-season wonders?


You don’t know you’re a one-hit wonder when you’re in the middle of it. Okay, Right Said Fred or Rednex probably knew the schtick wouldn’t work a second time, but typically, you can’t identify them until the enough time has passed to know they won’t follow it up.

And so it is with Fantasy baseball one-season wonders. We saw plenty of out-of-nowhere performances in 2019, and surely some of them will follow those seasons up with similar production in 2020 and beyond. But, just as surely, many of them won’t.

We see it every year — in 2019 Brandon Nimmo, Jesus Aguilar, David Peralta, Trevor Bauer, Blake Snell, and Kyle Freeland all struggled to get even close to the numbers they put up in 2018, and all surely cost countless Fantasy owners dearly. Some of them have the injury excuse, but even for those players, the numbers weren’t anywhere close to what they did the previous year.

Figuring out who took a real step forward and who was just a mirage is a key way to separate yourself for Fantasy; it allows you to avoid overpaying coming off a career year, while also finding those players who were just setting a new floor.

We talked about the biggest one-season wonders if the last 20 years on Tuesday’s episode of the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast, and it was a helpful exercise for looking for candidates to avoid for 2020. It’s always useful to look back at previous examples to see how things can go wrong. In some instances, there’s no predicting it: You simply couldn’t know Nimmo wouldn’t stay healthy, or that Snell would deal with an elevated BABIP — he’s actually a great candidate to bounce back.

However, some of the past candidates revealed plenty of warning signs: Flashes in the pan who couldn’t sustain their breakout even for the whole season; players who didn’t have the underlying numbers to support the breakout; and sometimes you will benefit from just betting against the outlier performance.

Let’s take a look at some one-year wonder candidates from 2019 and whether they’ll fall victim to it:





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