Late last month, I kicked off my second go-round of Booms and Busts, in which I highlighted a small handful of players at a given position whom I expect to take significant steps forward or backward. I have no hard-and-fast criteria for those players, no promises of fantasy league dominance or skyrocketing statistics for the Booms or slides below the Mendoza Line for the Busts.
But between poring over projections, identifying players in changed circumstances such as trades, new roles, recoveries from injury, or entries into the prime age range of 26-29 years old, there are players I’d like to earmark before the season begins, for better or worse.
Note that I won’t be including rookies among these picks — those will be saved for another cycle — and I’ve mostly avoided choosing anyone from among last year’s picks. In the spirit of accountability, I’ve revisited last year’s picks at each position, to see what I’ve learned (or haven’t); they’ve been judged on a PASS/FAIL basis as to whether I was right or wrong. After being humbled by my results in starting pitching, I ran the table with my reliever choices.