Some lessons just need to be learned the hard way. In Greek mythology, when Icarus was told by his father not to fly too close to the sun, the boy failed to heed the warning and paid the ultimate price — the heat destroyed his man-made wings and sent him plummeting to his death.
When fantasy baseball pundits warned the masses not to invest a first-round draft pick in Nationals shortstop Trea Turner, overzealous owners scoffed at passing on such potential and took the youngster as high as fifth overall. Nearly two months into the season, Turner owners now are feeling the burn and helplessly watching their teams plummet to the bottom of the standings.
Every year, fantasy owners are warned not to get caught up in the preseason hype. Just because a player has a successful half-season in the majors during his rookie call-up, it doesn’t mean he is a guaranteed superstar. He may have a phenomenal skill set and tons of upside, but we can’t know for sure until he plays an extended period of time in the majors.
Too many people were prorating Turner’s half-year of 13 home runs and 33 stolen bases in 2016 to a full season of 20/70 production this year and using it as justification for the high draft choice. Warnings were ignored as they soared closer to the sun.
Turner’s start to the season was uninspiring, and a quick trip to the disabled list should have tempered enthusiasm. Upon his return, the Nationals had a four-game set in hitter-friendly Colorado, and Turner batted .524 (11-for-21) with four doubles, one triple, two home runs and 11 RBIs. Ignoring the obvious, owners’ expectations ascended even higher.
Since leaving Colorado, Turner has batted just .155 (13-for-84) with two home runs and five stolen bases. His strikeout rate has pushed above 25 percent. He doesn’t draw walks, and his overall numbers are far from what anyone would consider first-round material.
Though there certainly is enough time for him to turn his season around, those who were relying on his expected production now are scrambling to make up for lost stats.
Instead of juicy power/speed numbers, they are left with nothing more than melted wax and feathers brown.
Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at FantasyAlarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 4-6 p.m.