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Legit or Quit: 2008 Underachievers - Batters
Cody Crosby,

For every Cliff Lee of 2008 there is a Kenji Johjima of 2008.

The list of 2008's underachievers contains some big names, players you probably drafted to anchor a position on your team. Now that you are done crying about your lost season, let's take a look at who might be worth re-drafting in 2009.

Below is a list of the 2008 Underachievers - players who played far below expectations without the excuse of injury.

Are these players worth drafting this season or should you avoid them like a Jose Canseco pool party?

Alex Gordon

2008 stats: 134 games, 72 runs, 16 HRs, 59 RBI, 9 SBs, .260 AVG

Gordon showed improvement in 2008, raising his AVG and OBP significantly over 2007. He didn't produce as anticipated during the season but what did you expect from a Royal?

Some say Gordon was brought up too early from the minors, skipping AAA altogether. If Gordon can improve his numbers again in 2009 he might be a good late-round pick, but don't draft him as your #1 third baseman.

Robinson Cano

2008 stats: 159 games, 70 runs, 14 HRs, 72 RBI, 2 SBs, .270 AVG

Cano is a second-half hitter. It's as simple as that. If you are willing to hold him for half a season while he bats .250 go right ahead.

At the end of the season, Cano's numbers are respectable for a 2B but hopefully his early numbers didn't keep you out of the playoffs.

Someday Cano will learn to hit before the All-Star game. When that happens, he will be a top-tier 2B.

Edgar Renteria

2008 stats: 138 games, 69 runs, 10 HRs, 55 RBI, 6 SBs, .270 AVG

The Renteria of the early 2000's has come and gone. His numbers have been tanking since 2006 and now that he is a Giant don't expect much more.

Look for an Aaron Rowand-esque decline in numbers with his move to the Bay. Don't overpay for the name. Just look at this last two season and remind yourself it is 2009, not 2003.

Jeff Francoeur

2008 stats: 155 games, 70 runs, 11 HRs, 71 RBI, .239 AVG

I feel sorry for those of you who drafted Francoeur in 2008. Talk about a HUGE disappointment.

Francoeur was just terrible in 2008. He declined in every stat from his previous season. We're talking significant declines, like .239 AVG vs. .293 the season prior.

If Francoeur is available in your very late rounds I would suggest taking a chance on him. He has a huge upside, as seen by his 29 HRs in 2007, but don't draft him as your third outfielder.

Kosuke Fukudome

150 games, 79 runs, 10 HRs, 58 RBI, 12 SBs, .257 AVG

Fukudome burst onto the scene in 2008, hitting a home run in his first game as a Cub. His aura soon wore off as he was eventually benched for some games late in the season.

Fukudome managed to lower his monthly batting average each month last year. He hit .305 in April and ended with .178 in September.

It appears he might be the poor man's Ichiro Suzuki. Don't touch him until you've filled your outfield slots.

Kenji Johjima

2008 stats: 112 games, 29 runs, 7 HRs, 39 RBI, .227 AVG

I thought Johjima's 2007 numbers weren't very good but, looking at the numbers above, I throw up a little in my mouth. Johjima's decline is scary and forces the Mariners to look elsewhere for catching.

Many owners, myself included, drafted Johjima because we didn't want to over-pay for a catcher. This season I might have to take a different approach.

Avoid Johjima at all costs. At worst, pick him up off waivers once he gets his bat back if he ever does.

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