As you prepare for your final drafts this weekend, here are five players to stay away from:
1) Dan Haren, Diamondbacks
- Haren is an excellent pitcher and I think he will make a successful transition, but he is moving to a hitters park, after pitching in a pitchers park, and his 4.11 ERA should be a low from Haren in 2008. He will have run support, but expect more losses than in previous years.
2008 Projection: 14-8 W-L, 4.42 ERA, 186 K
2) Dontrelle Willis, Tigers
- He is coming off a career worst 5.17 ERA in the NL and is moving to the powerful AL Central. Yes, he will have a lot of run support which should get him wins, but expect his ERA will be high and you might see a dip in his strikeouts.
2008 Projection: 13-11 W-L, 4.98 ERA, 158 K
3) Barry Zito, Giants
- Are you surprised here? His fastball has dropped about three mph and he is not as deceptive as he was. He had a 10.31 ERA and just four strikeouts in Spring Training, so maybe he will change when the season starts, but this seems to be the beginning of the end for Zito.
2008 Projection: 10-15 W-L, 4.74 ERA, 143 K
4) Aaron Rowand, Giants
- He is moving from a hitters park to pitchers park, and is moving from a great lineup to a horrendous lineup. He will not have any protection and will likely return to 2006 form. He was coming off a career year last year, but still saw dips in OPS, so do not look for an amazing year from Rowand.
2008 Projection: .272 AVG, 16 HR, 71 RBI
5) Kyle Kendrick, Phillies
- Wasn't all that overpowering in the minors, many scouts suggest his success came from teams not being familiar with him. Many people are looking at him as a lesser Cole Hamels, but he is looking like a number four starter, if that at all. We'll see, but I think we are in for a disappointing 2008 from Kendrick.
2008 Projection: 10-11 W-L, 4.74 ERA, 97 K
Honorable Mention: Kaz Matsui (Astros)