2014 Midseason All-Surprise Team
It’s that time again! Time for the midseason All-Surprise and All-Disappointment teams. So, to continue the 411 tradition in the post-podcast era, here’s my All-Surprise squad. Next week, I’ll unveil my All-Disappointment team. Feel free to chime in and even share your own choices in the comments section.
C Devin Mesoraco (Honorable Mention: Derek Norris)
1B Jose Abreu (Honorable Mention: Justin Morneau)
2B Brian Dozier (Honorable Mention: Anthony Rendon)
SS Dee Gordon
3B Lonnie Chisenhall
OF Nelson Cruz
OF Charlie Blackmon
OF Michael Brantley
SP Scott Kazmir
SP Mark Buehrle (Honorable SP Mentions: Collin McHugh, Jesse Chavez, Tanner Roark, Alfredo Simon, Dallas Keuchel)
CL Francisco Rodriguez
Keep in mind that “All-Surprise” is a fairly loose term. On one hand, you have Blackmon and Chisenhall, who went undrafted in just about every mixed league. But then there’s Abreu, who we thought would be a legitimate top-15 first baseman but didn’t quite expect 22 homers and 60 RBI over his first 64 major league games. I considered Nelson Cruz to be a quality third outfielder in 12-team mixed leagues and a good bet for 25 home runs, not a top-5 OF with a legitimate chance to reach 40 homers. I liked Michael Brantley a lot this year as an underrated fantasy contributor who could maybe bat .280 with 85 runs, 15 homers and 15 steals. Instead, he boasts a .323-11-49-51-9 line through 73 games. Yes, Kazmir was drafted in the majority of 12-team mixed leagues as a serviceable back end of the rotation type, not a fantasy ace, or at worst a #2. The bottom line is that the range of options to fill out this roster is a rather wide one.
***Note that even though Dee Gordon has been playing second base this year, he’s still shortstop eligible, so in order to make room for Dozier at 2B, I moved Gordon to SS.