h2h Corner ~ Keep, Trade or Drop: Julio Borbon, Noel Reimold, Carlos Quentin?

As most of my readers know, I am a biased (and ashamed) Orioles fan. For some reason, that hasn’t stopped me from keeping other players over the likes of Adam Jones and Nick Markakis. Will my Orioles-loathing continue? You’ll have to read approximately four paragraphs to figure it out.

It’s no secret I like speedy guys who can help you dominate the SB category. Well Julio Borbon played only 46 games, yet stole 19 bags. You average that out over a full season and he’ll swipe 60+ bags (sounds like Crawford numbers). In addition, Borbon was only caught four times. While this is a small sample size, it does bode well for his ability to continue to steal bags. Clearly Borbon’s SB value will go up the more he plays. Unfortunately there are a couple of limits on his playing time. For one, Texas isn’t hurting for hitters. For seconds, Borbon cannot hit lefties, nor will he be allowed to, so, he won’t start against lefty pitchers. Still, if he can get in half of Texas’ games next year, we could see 40 or so stolen bases. He is about to turn 24, so his speed will continue for several years. This makes Borbon a sneaky guy to own for next year.

Nolan Reimold is a bit old to be a big prospect (he’ll be 27 in October). However, in his first full season he didn’t disappoint (104 games, 15 HRs, a .279 AVE and a .365 OBP). Reimold tore up minor league pitching as well, so no one was surprised when he had major league success. Reimold should be starting for the Orioles at a combination of first base (Garrett Atkins sucks) or outfield (Felix Pie cant hit), meaning he’ll get the ABs he needs to push 30 HRs.

Carlos Quentin is similarly getting up there in years (he’ll be 28 in August). However, he has by far the most upside for 2010. In 2008, Quentin hit .288, swatted 36 HRs and knocked in 100. Quentin was injured last year, only managing to play 99 games. What’s worse he didn’t perform all that well (.236 AVE). However, he still managed to swat 21 HRs. If even somewhat healthy, Quentin appears to be a lock for a 30-HR campaign. Still, we can’t discount the health concerns as Quentin has had problems staying on the field throughout his career.

This really is a tough one. Do I take a gamble on Borbon and hope he develops into a full time player capable of multiple 60-SB seasons? Or do I bank on Quentin staying healthy throughout his prime and giving me prodigious power support. I think Reimold loses out in this debate. He could be the steadiest next season and probably most reliable, but that’s not exactly what you want in a keeper.

I’m rolling the dice with Borbon here. I had Ellsbury as a late keeper in one league and rode him to SB dominance. Even if Borbon doesn’t solve his lefty issues (which he likely wont), I’ll have a solid source of steals for years to come. With Quentin’s injury history, I’m more comfortable cutting bait now and getting what I can. Trusting him to stay healthy and productive isn’t something I’m willing to do. I’d rather not throw away a keeper. At least with Borbon I know I’m getting great SB potential.

Keep: Julio Borbon
Trade: Carlos Quentin
Drop: Nolan Reimold

___________________________

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.

If you want other KTDs, please let me know. Also, feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner)/Facebook pages.

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