2007: Chris Ianetta
2008: Rickie Weeks
2009: Travis Hafner
2010: B.J. Upton
2011: Ryan Raburn and Brandon Webb
2012: Michael Pineda*
* We meant to post the poll last year but for some reason didn't. Last year actually didn't have any god-awful keepers, but since Pineda never made it out of spring training, we're giving him the title ex post facto.
Let's take a look at this year's sextet of nominees.
- David Freese (Spreading Santorum). A middling player at a deep position. Unless we start counting October stats, this isn't a guy to be building around.
- Pablo Sandoval (Gowandiego Surfsters). He actually had worse stats than Freese last year. Are you people unaware that there are other options for the corners this year? You are not going to have to start Pedro Alvarez, Todd Zeile or Chris Sabo if you don't keep a third baseman.
- Neil Walker (esix te'o). We can acknowledge that second base is something of a wilderness while also acknowledging that a guy with middling stats in every category and no speed isn't the most enticing of keepers, even at second base.
- Dan Uggla (Spreading Santorum). His power stats fell off a cliff last year while he continued to bat his weight. At least he took a couple of walks to keep his OBP higher than Prince Fielder's weight.
- Grant Balfour (esix te'o). Guys who finish the year as closers on a team where they backed into the role are keepers I hate as a matter of principal. The fact that we know this guy can't stay healthy or good for a long period of time only makes it worse.
- Jason Grilli (Wu Tang Financial). On their podcast last year, Joe Sheehan and Rany Jazayerli spent 5 minutes discussing how flummoxed they were by Grilli's out of nowhere season and how impossible it would be to duplicate. Let's hope he doesn't let Italy's success at the World Baseball Classic ruin his season.
The polls are open now; in the spirit of the Papal Conclave and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, please vote early and often.