Anyone remember the old Brett Saberhagen maxim? That every other year was a monster? That was sort of Saberhagen's modus operandi--a tend I spotted early on, and one that helped me win my very first Fantasy title in 1989.
Well, maybe one of his fantasy hitting counterparts is new Indian Nick Johnson, who has a great year, and then breaks major portions of his body the next, rendering the first sacker virtually useless. This is a guy who is 31-years old, who has a career OBP of .401, has .271-91-387 totals over 794 games in nine years. That averages to 88 games a year, with 147 being the high water mark in 2006. Also worthy of note is that between 2005-06, Johnson played in 131 games, giving him 278 over those two years, or 35% of his career games.
I wish Nick well in Cleveland, and a healthy body, for I have always been a fan. Just, not such a trustworthy one any longer.
Meanwhile, four players retired over the past week who were all interesting fantasy players--and major league ones--over their careers.
Stanford grad Jody Gerut came with so much promise, but much like Nick Johnson, Gerut could not keep his bones aligned in a way that makes puts the outfielder at the top of his game. Drafted in the second round of the 1998 draft, over six major league seasons Gerut could only muster 574 games, though sometimes, as in 2008 when he went .296-14-43 over 100 games, it seemed like Gerut had finally broken out. Sadly, in the end all that promise just turned out to be broken.
Mark Grudzielankek, the fine hitting second baseman who surfaced with the Expos in 1995, and put together a fine .289-90-640 career over 15 seasons, over which he hit 2040 hits. He also had one of those great names that was too big for a jersey back: a surname that makes Scrabble players drool.
Of all the names mentioned today, the only one I have never owned is former Sox closer Bobby Howry. Actually, 1999 was Howry's big save year with 28 conversions, though Howry only racked up a total of 66 over his 13-year career and 769 games. Howry was really never a big ticket reliever in any fantasy league, but he always teased. Still, he has been around long enough for all of us to know of him, and well, Howry finished his career with 45-52, 3.84 numbers.
Finally, Garrett Anderson was a player I drafted, following his .308-3-81 year at High-A and then Double-A as a 20-year old in 1992 as part of the Angels chain.
Anderson was a great and steady player, unlike Saberhagen and Johnson and Gerut, through his accomplished 17-year career, where he hit .293-287-1365, and accumulated 2529 hits. Just as a point, note that the 20-year old hit for very little power, but it did develop.
Congrats all around for fine careers. Good luck with the next part of your respective lives.