Adam Lind shed the AAAA label in overwhelming fashion (35 HRs, a .305 AVE and a .370 OBP) in 2009. What’s more, those numbers are not out of line with his minor league stats (.318 AVE, .380 OBP and a .509 SLG percentage). Still the 35 HRs might be a bit high for a line drive hitter like Lind. However, he should settle in the 30 HR area with real upside to the mid- to high-30s. Lind will be 27 in July, so he was a bit old for his “break-out” year, but, all that means, is he is just entering his prime. The only real concern with Lind is if he eventually moves out of the outfield and becomes a utility or fist basemen in your fantasy line-up. He has more value as an outfielder.
Shin-soo Choo is one year and four days older than Lind. Choo, similarly had a break-out 2009 (20 HRs, 21 SBs, a .300 AVE and a .394 OBP). These numbers were also in line with his minor league track record (.299 AVE and a .387 OBP). What Choo doesn’t have in power, he makes up for in stolen bases. He is a very valuable player, especially in OBP leagues.
A year ago, the answer to this question would have been Nick Markakis, hands down. However is that still the case? Markakis will be 27 in November, so he is no longer a young pup. He does have a better MLB career than the other two, playing consistently and at a high level since 2006. During that time, he averaged 19 HRs, nine SBs, a .298 AVE and a .367 OBP. However, he has never hit more than 23 HRs or stolen more than 18 bases (a number he hasn’t approached since 2007).
Decision time, decision time. I’m keeping Adam Lind – his power potential and age makes him the choice for me. I’m going to trade Nick Markakis, there is better name recognition with him than Choo, even though I’d rather have Choo now and for the next few years. Again, I find it startling the answer to this question.
Keep: Adam Lind
Trade: Nick Markakis
Drop: Shin-soo Choo
Reading this column guarantees that you will achieve fabulous wealth and success in your fantasy baseball league. That’s right, you guessed it: it’s time to debate Keep Trade or Drop (KTD).
While there are tons of player rankings available, they are all for 2010 and nothing more. So, if you are drafting in a start-up keeper league, how do you decide who to take? For example, if they’re both on the board, do you go for tried and true Carl Crawford, or do you roll the dice (but only barely) and select the slightly less proven Justin Upton. Read enough of these columns and you might just get your answer.
The KTD series focuses solely on giving keeper league advice. It poses the question: if you are in a keeper league, which player would you rather keep, which would you rather trade and which would you be forced to drop. Rarely is the decision easy to make, but it might just decide whether you compete and win your championship, not just this year, but for years down the road as well. It will also help you make a snap decision when three similar players are on the board and the clock is ticking.