h2h Corner ~ Keep, Trade or Drop: Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Shane Victorino?

I must admit that I picked Curtis Granderson as a KTD to help me think through what to do with him in my keeper league. I have him as a 12th rounder next year and had been wavering whether he was worth that pick or not. I mean he posted a .249 AVE and .327 OBP in 2009 and was much worse down the stretch (.223/.284 AVE/OBP in September/October and .248/.319 AVE/OBP in August). Granderson does have a career .321 BAbip, yet it was .275 in 2009. Meanwhile, in 2008, it was .316 and, in 2007, it was .360. So there is a good chance that will improve which will bring his average to a more acceptable level. That said, even if his ratios remained at his abysmal 2009 level, he’d score 100 runs easy, top 30 HRs and knock in 70+. There is a ton to like about his move to New York, which has been favorable to left-handed hitters. He might not steal as much, but his power and runs will increase. This makes the soon-to-be 29-year-old a pretty valuable 2010 player.

Jay Bruce had a horrendous 2009 (.223 AVE, .303 OBP). Still he did manage to hit 22 HRs in only 101 games. What’s more, if you average out his two season’s HR totals over a 162-game season he clocks in at around 30. While Granderson was somewhat unlucky, Bruce was the ice coldest cat in 2009. His BAbip was just .221. In 2008, it was .296 and he posted solid ratios (.308 AVE and .366 OBP) in 1,300 minor league ABs. It seems pretty clear that Bruce’s 2009 was a low mark for him. If healthy, the (not quite) 23-year-old could be a 30+ HR masher with ratios that don’t make him utterly worthless.

I really thought Shane Victorino was younger than 29. Unfortunately, he is on the downslide of his peak (and we saw his SB numbers decrease by 11 from 2008 to 2009). We know what to expect from Victorino: .290 AVE, 100 runs, 12 HRs, 25+ SBs. Those numbers aren’t all that special unless Victorino can get his SBs up to 2007 (37) and 2008 (36) levels.

Given their ages, this became a no-brainer in favor of Jay Bruce. Bruce has four years until his prime. He could be a perennial 30 HR hitter for the next 10 years at least. This one is pretty open and shut. Right?

Keep: Jay Bruce
Trade: Curtis Granderson
Drop: Shane Victorino

____________________________

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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