The fantasy baseball season ends this weekend with many owners looking back on the year cursing the disappointments of a struggling player or praising the efforts on an unheralded star.
Here’s a look at a few players who made their fantasy baseball bosses either jump for joy or tear their hair out in frustration:
» BUST: Richie Sexson, Mariners: Anyone who still thinks this guy is worth picking up in the fantasy draft has lost their mind. Seattle’s $15 million man whiffed his way through a miserable year, batting .205 with only 89 hits (including 21 homers) and 63 RBIs in 121 games.
» BARGAIN: Carlos Pena, Devil Rays: Real quick — who finished second in the American League behind A-Rod in home runs this year? Most people probably wouldn’t have guessed Pena, who bounced between the minors and majors in 2006. After hitting exactly one homer last season, Pena rebounded with a career year — 42 dingers, 116 RBIs and a 1.008 OPS.
» BUST: Chris Carpenter, Cardinals: Not really his fault, Carpenter just had the misfortune of playing on 2007’s most cursed team. The 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner lasted just one start this season before being felled for the year with arm problems. How he recovers from Tommy John surgery remains to be seen.
» BARGAIN: Fausto Carmona, Indians: I’m sure everyone saw this coming, right? Carmona goes 1-10 last year and suddenly he’s a legit Cy Young candidate. Playing in the shadow of teammate C.C. Sabathia, Carmona went 18-8 with a 3.03 ERA and 133 strikeouts this season for the AL Central champion Indians.
» BUST: Felix Hernandez, Mariners: It wasn’t so much that King Felix had a miserable year — he went a respectable 13-7 with a 4.06 ERA — but once again, his season started off with such high expectations only to be soured by injuries. For a player deemed a savior, his numbers have been nothing more than mediocre thus far.
» BARGAIN: Dmitri Young, Nationals: Most baseball fans were probably only vaguely aware that Young was still floating around the league until his solid 2007 campaign. As one of the lone veterans on a young team, the 33-year-old Young hit .323 with 13 homers and 73 RBIs.
» BUST: Vernon Wells, Blue Jays: Coming off a 2006 in which he hit 30-plus homers and batted over .300, Wells flopped big-time this year. His homer numbers fell by half (32 to 16), his stolen bases dipped from 17 to 10 and his average was an atrocious .245, the worst mark of his career.
» BARGAIN: Brandon Phillips, Reds: Phillips showed glimpses of what he was capable of last year, but 2007 has been his coming-out party. The 26-year-old star broke Joe Morgan’s team record for home runs by a second baseman (the mark was 28, Phillips has 30) and he has also driven in 92 runs, scored 106 times and stolen 32 bases.