Outside of Jacoby Ellsbury, there aren’t too many surprises in my top 10 outfielders. That said, I think Justin Upton deserves special recognition, particularly since he’s so young (he’ll turn 23 in August). In just 138 games last year, Upton hit 26 HRs, scored 84 runs, knocked in 86 and stole 20 bases. Continue reading
Posts Tagged ‘keeper’
One of the toughest rankings this year goes to a player who I’ve had the pleasure of hating since he hit a memorable (non)HR in 1996. Cap’n Jetes was superb last year: 107 runs, 18 HRs, 66 RBIs, 30 SBs, a .334 AVE and .406 OBP. According to some advanced metrics, Jeter also somehow became a much better fielder in his 14th season. At lot of this defensive improvement has to do with a supposed change in his off-season workout regime. If that is the case, what is to say the Cap’n ages like a normal player? Continue reading
Catchers are just so blech. Unless you are trotting Joe Mauer out there, they can be the millstone around a fantasy team’s neck. They get injured, they miss games; in deep leagues, you typically just want someone who doesn’t kill your batting average. That said, thanks for stopping by to check out my catcher evaluation. For full rankings, check here. Continue reading
This article comes on the heels of my worst fantasy year in history. Sure, I won my most competitive, long-term, keeper h2h league and my free agent fantasy league, but I finished last in my two NFL leagues, got smoked in Survivor, and I lost my College Football Bowl Series league (hey, I drafted two suspended players). Continue reading
I didn’t love Alexei Ramirez going into last year. Still, he wasn’t really that bad, or at least not as bad you would think. Ramirez had a highly touted 136-game campaign in 2008 (21 HRs, 13 SBs and a .290 AVE). However, he was caught stealing nine times in 2008, which would give any team pause before sending him. Furthermore, he managed to post a paltry .317 OBP, which would further limit his SB upside. In 2009, his HRs (15) and average (.277) dropped. However his SBs (14) and OBP (.333) went up. While you’d think Ramirez had a bad year last year, it really wasn’t that much worse than 2008. You can continue to see some improvement this year, particularly in SB and HRs. However, he will be 29 in September, so he isn’t as young as you think. Continue reading
By most accounts, Gio Gonzalez didn’t have a great 98 IPs last year (5.75 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP). Still he did rack up 109 Ks (9.9 K/9). So there was value there. He was, probably, the best source of strike-outs on every league’s waiver wire. It’s hard to fathom how someone who strikes out so many batters can be so bad when it comes to base runners allowed. Well, one reason for this would be his abnormally large BAbip (.363). When that corrects itself to the historical norm of around .300, his WHIP and ERA will come down markedly. Gonzalez has pretty much torched the minors (3.58 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 783 Ks in 684 IPs), so there is some optimism in the young lefty, who won’t turn 25 until September 19. If Gonzalez can find his way to a rotation spot and a little luck, he might be a real bargain.
Much like Gonzalez, Luke Hochevar was probably one of the best sources of Ks on your waiver wire. He did strike out 106 batters in 143 IPs and his ratios weren’t that much different either: 6.55 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. Hochevar also struggled with a high BAbip (.323). Of course, it wasn’t as high as Gonzalez’, but still Hochevar will likely be better in 2010. Hochevar will be 27 on September 15, so he has about two years on Gonzalez. This makes Gonzalez a more likely fantasy keeper than Hochevar.
Bud Norris will be 25 in March and only has 55.2 Major League IPs to his name. In those innings, Norris compiled a 4.53 ERA and 1.51 WHIP, while striking out 54 batters (8.7 K/9). In so few innings, it’s not unlikely to see an uncommon BAbip (Norris’ was .318). Norris also has a pretty good track record in the minors: 3.67 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 361 Ks in 340.2 IPs.
I think it’s pretty clear you should keep Gio Gonzalez. He is the youngest, is left-handed and has a tantalizing strike-out ability. I’d trade Bud Norris in this instance. I think you can easily make the argument that with a little seasoning, Norris could be a very cheap source of Ks for the next few years. Hochevar is simply too old to hold his ground in this competition. I do like him as a deep league draft filler or a $1 buy in auctions for his K-upside, but nothing more.
Keep: Gio Gonzalez
Trade: Bud Norris
Drop: Luke Hochevar
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.