Once again, I'll look back at some of the "picks and pans" in Rotoman's 2008 Fantasy Baseball Guide, look back at what I said after the CBS Sportsline expert auction, and see where we experts went right or wrong.
Today's contestant: Hank Blalock
Shandler (Ron Shandler/Baseball HQ) Pick: Hank Blalock has had two years of shoulder problems but his September peripherals show vintage skills. If you pay for 20 HRs, you could end up with 2004.
Menna (John Menna/Wiseguy Baseball) Pick: Still only 27. A great year to buy low. I am thinking .280 with 30+ HRs.
What I said: $19 seems like a risky bid for Blalock, but he finally looked like he was living up to his early career potential before rib and shoulder surgery ended his year prematurely. Watch him to see if he's healthy in Spring Training, but Blalock might go back to $20s earnings if he's healthy.
Once again, I hedged my bets more than the analysts, and talked out of both sides of my mouth. "$19 seems risky for Blalock" combined with "might go back to $20s earnings if he's healthy" sounds like a good way to produce a quote for Blalock if I were going back and publicizing my genius this coming spring.
Looking at my Sportline prices, my price for Blalock was $17, which wasn't exactly a great prediction either. I don't have Shandler or Menna's projections in front of me, so I don't know what those comments translate to in terms of dollar figures. I can tell you HQ didn't pay $19 for Blalock.
Shandler and Menna seemed to be saying what I was saying: don't pay too much for Blalock, but don't let him go too cheaply either. Unlike someone like Eric Chavez, Blalock's injuries weren't necessarily chronic, and if he had some good luck, he could have earned $20-25. On the other hand, Blalock has been injury prone, and paying $20-25 would have been foolish.