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Looking Back At The 2018 Fantasy Baseball Season

October 12, 2018
I want to thank everyone for reading our fantasy baseball content during the last eight months. I hope the information provided helped you become a better player and possibly earn a championship. I like to end things on a high note, so we'll discuss where I was right this fantasy baseball season.

Los Angeles Angels Starting Pitcher And Designated Hitter Shohei Ohtani Drafted Too High - It was known Ohtani was dealing with an elbow injury prior to the start of the season, but fantasy owners didn't care. He was being drafted as the 27th pitcher overall. I cautioned that was too high and sure enough, Ohtani dealt with an elbow injury all season long. He is set to undergo Tommy John surgery. 

Ohtani was always an interesting case, as fantasy sites treated him as two different players since he was going to pitch and hit for the Angels. Ohtani was dominant as a pitcher, pitching to a 3.31 ERA. But elbow injuries are always risky, and the right-hander was able to make just 10 starts. 

I will note that I was shocked at how great of a hitter Ohtani was as he continued to hit while not pitching. Ohtani finished with a .285 batting average to go along with 22 home runs and 61 RBIs. Ohtani would like to hit next year as he continues to rehab his way back to pitching, so it will be interesting to see when he is cleared to actually do that and where he ends up being drafted in 2019. 

Pittsburgh Pirates Outfielder Gregory Polanco Bounces Back - The only blemish for Polanco is a late-season injury kept him from playing much of the final month, but we identified the outfielder as a great value back in March and a player who should help fantasy owners in 2018. It was a rough April for Polanco -- he hit just .177 -- but as the weather began to warm so did the 27-year-old. 

Polanco would have easily crushed his season high in RBIs if not for the injury, but he did set a career high in home runs, slugging percentage and OPS. Polanco was being drafted as the 45th outfielder throughout the draft season, but he finished in the top 35. I thought he would steal more bases, and it's still frustrating he hit just .254, but it was good to see Polanco become more consistent this season. If he can play 150 games in 2019, we should see even better numbers.

Waiver-Wire Advice - I always stress drafting your team is just one piece of fantasy baseball. It can be argued the waiver wire is more important than the actual draft since the season is so long. Regardless, those who don't put the effort into tweaking their roster throughout the season will likely not finish near the top of the standings. I feel strongly we were able to identify players who helped fantasy owners. 

In April, we targeted Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Mallex Smith for help in the stolen base category. The speedster finished third in all of baseball with 40. It was a week later when we recommended St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty, and he finished this season with a 3.34 ERA and 182 strikeouts. 

In late May, Milwaukee Brewers Jesus Aguilar cracked our waiver-wire recommendation, and he finished the season hitting 35 home runs with 108 RBIs. I always try to stress the players added off the waiver wire may only be a short-term solution, but there are times when the player may help for the remainder of the season. Identifying players that will help your team any part of the season will always be one of the keys to winning a championship.