A few facts I know:
• Drew Stubbs only played in 42 games last year, but he didn’t disappoint. He smacked eight HRs, stole 10 bases and batted .267. In 423 minor league games, Stubbs hit .269 with a .364 OBP, while hitting 28 HRs and stealing 121 bases. Stubbs will turn 26 in October.
• Matt LaPorta only played in 52 games last year and largely disappointed (just seven HRs and a .254 AVE). In 224 minor league games, LaPorta hit .291 with a .384 OBP and smacked 51 HRs. LaPorta just turned 25.
• Kyle Blanks played in 54 games last year and did about what we expected (low average (.250), but decent power (10 HRs). In 451 minor league games, Blanks batted .304 with a .393 OBP. He also added 73 HRs. Blanks will not be 24 until September.
Did you get all that? We have minimal major league track records and extensive minor league success. So who do you keep? I’m going with Kyle Blanks. His power is real and he has the track record to suggest he’ll hit better and get on base better than LaPorta. If Blanks can get consistent playing time this year, I think he’ll outperform LaPorta. When a player can push an organization to trade a player of Adrian Gonzalez’s ability, it means something (remember Ryan Howard and Jim Thome (ok he was hurt, but whatever).
So I’m keeping Blanks and I’m trading Drew Stubbs. I love Drew Stubbs, he could be a 10 HR/20 SB player this year, but he doesn’t possess the upside of Blanks. I have little doubt, however, that Stubbs has more 2010 value than LaPorta. So I’d trade him.
Keep: Kyle Blanks
Trade: Drew Stubbs
Drop: Matt LaPorta
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.