Blessed with one of the best names this fantasier has ever seen, Wily Mo Pena seemed as though he may become a draft day favorite for drafters around the world. Participants may jump the gun two rounds early simply to have the privilege of saying his name aloud amidst eleven friends, empty Bud Selects and spilled canisters of Papa John’s garlic sauce. And while Wily Mo is temporarily entertaining the masses at Bridgeport Bluefish games (with Estaban Yan!), we can always reminisce about the summer of ’04.
Quite possibly a long lost brother of Glenallen Hill, Wily Mo was fawned over by long ball lovers the world over. Stock market speculators were predicting big things for stockholders of Souvenir City. Eric Young was sitting pretty after Pena slammed 26 HRs in just 364 ABs in 2004. Souvenir City stock plummeted shortly thereafter and Young was forced to get a job on Baseball Tonight to recoup the losses.
Draft rooms were likely buzzing on the subject of Wily Mo Pena entering the 2005 season. Wily Mo’s 162 game projections told the story of a 40-50 HR corner outfielder in a favorable home park; Great American Ballpark. Unfortunately only those fantasy managers that employed Wily Mo Pena in 2004 ever reaped any favorable statistics from the slugger. He would hit 7 HRs and 15 RBIs less the following year in almost the same number of ABs and would continue to only be drafted on hype (and name) alone.
I guess we all should have seen this type of speedy regression from a guy with a career 119/535 minor league BB/K split.