h2h Corner ~ Keep, Trade or Drop (IV)

Time for the latest edition of the game show that is sweeping America like Who Wants to be a Millionaire did back in 1999, which was the year of Ivan Rodriguez, the New York Yankees and Livin’ La Vida Loca. You guessed it, Keep Trade or Drop (KTD).

KTDs so far:
KTD.1 (Kelly Johnson, Alexei Ramirez, or Robinson Cano & Matt Kemp, Alex Rios or Jason Bay & Gil Meche, Derek Lowe or Justin Verlander).
KTD.II (Jay Bruce, Andre Ethier, or Hunter Pence & Jonathan Paplebon, Francisco Rodriguez, or Mariano Rivera & Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira or Lance Berkman).
KTD.III (Bobby Abreu, Raul Ibanez or Pat Burrell).

Shane Victorino, Jacoby Ellsbury or Carl Crawford?

Me:
In the preseason, I ranked Shane Victorino as the 32nd best hitter, Jacoby Ellsbury the 39th and Carl Crawford the 50th. One and half weeks of baseball hasn’t changed a thing. I don’t love people coming off injury, like Crawford was. In addition, Crawford’s stolen base rate has been trending down as he enters his late 20s. That said, I’m trading Carl Crawford. Given where he was drafted, he will get you the best return. I’m dropping Ellsbury even though he is my favorite keeper in one of my leagues. I’m not too concerned about his rough start/batting stance which has yielded a .194/.265/.458 line. I simply think Victorino will help with the power numbers a bit more. Victorino could hit 10 more homers, while knocking in 20 more batters than Ellsbury. The runs will be comparable, but I’m sticking with Victorino as a better multi-category producer to outweigh the stolen base advantage Ellsbury gives you.

Chris Olson (our first international submission):
Crawford’s going to have a monster season now that he’s healthy and that lineup is back together. Both Ellsbury and Victorino are overrated, but Ellsbury has more value so you have to get something for him.

Dan Harrow:
I’m trading Carl Crawford because his name recognition is still so high, but I’m not sure he’s any more valuable than the other two. I don’t see his supposed power potential ever materializing, and he is older than Ellsbury and saw a significant drop in his SB rate (quick glance at SBs/number of times on base). That doesn’t bode well for his future SBs, and lets be honest here, that’s why you’re considering these guys. That means I have to decide between dropping Victorino or Ellsbury, a choice I don’t want to make. Neither has much power to speak of. Both play in high powered offenses. But when it’s all said and done, Victorino has never stolen 40 bases let alone 50, and Ellsbury has the potential to become an even better player, while I think Victorino is what he is. I’m dropping Victorino (reluctantly) and keeping Ellsbury.

Andrew Bloom:
Keep-Crawford. if CC wasn’t coming back from a lost season this would be an easy choice, but the injuries make it slightly closer to call. Still, Crawford is a lock for at least 40 steals with 60 steal upside. He should hit for about as much power as Victorino, and more than Ellsbury, match or exceed either’s run production, and probably hit for the highest average.
Trade-Victorino. I actually kept Victorino in one of my keeper leagues but I’m trading him here just because Crawford is a slightly better player. Hitting 2nd in a powerful lineup makes him a lock for 100 runs. Perennially, 35 steals, solid BA and 15 HRs make him a consistent 3-4 category contributor in any format. Still young with no history of injuries, there could still be more upside here.
Drop-Ellsbury. He should at least match is 50 steals from last year and should get over 100 runs this year hitting on top of the order. But, that is all he really brings to the table. His BA is acceptable but his power potential does not match the other 2 guys, and could potentially hurt your team, making him the obvious drop. However, if you really need steals and runs, he may be a better play than Victorino, and in 2-3 years, he could be the best player on this list.

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One response to this post.

  1. […] Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira or Lance Berkman). KTD.III (Bobby Abreu, Raul Ibanez or Pat Burrell). KTD.IV (Shane Victorino, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford) KTD.V (Emilio Bonifacio, Aaron Hill, Orlando […]

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