Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fix My Team...Keepers

Joe writes in stating he is in a 4th year money keeper league where he finished 5th last year. Standard scoring, 5x5 Roto with 10 competitive managers. The top 4 places got paid last year. He must keep 5 players this year with at least 2 position players and 2 pitchers with no more than 3 players at any one position. Let’s take a look at his options.
Pedro Alvarez 89/34742166400.256
Robinson Canó 200/6261032910930.319
Ike Davis 138/52373197130.264
Jacoby Ellsbury 15/78100570.192
Prince Fielder 151/57894328310.261
Curtis Granderson 115/466762467120.247
José Guillén 135/52455197710.258
Matt Holliday 186/596952810390.312
Derek Jeter 179/6631111067180.27
Nick Markakis 187/62979126070.297
Miguel Montero 79/2973694300.266
Kendry Morales 56/19329113900.29
Ryan Raburn 104/37154156220.28
Andrew Bailey 49125421.470.96
Matt Cain 223.11301773.141.08
Ryan Dempster 215.11502083.851.32
Juan Gutiérrez 56.2015475.081.38
Ted Lilly 193.21001663.621.08
Derek Lowe 193.216013641.37
Brandon Lyon 78620543.121.27
CC Sabathia 237.22101973.181.19
Max Scherzer 195.21201843.51.25
Joakim Soria 65.2143711.781.05
Anibal Sánchez 1951301573.551.34
Jered Weaver 224.11302333.011.07

Though a solid lineup, there are truly only a small group of hitters to consider as actual Keepers.
Alvarez is one of the best young 3B in the league. He offers power and solid RBI while projected to hit cleanup for an offensively challenged Pirates team. I would consider Alvarez at least 1 year away from being considered a Keeper in this type of format.
Cano is arguably the best 2B in all of baseball and playing on an offensive juggernaut called the Yankees, he could also bat cleanup this year if Rodriguez struggles or gets hurt. KEEPER
Davis, no consideration.
Ellsbury is coming off an injury and will start the season, in my opinion, batting 9th. Still a SB leader and possible 90+ run scorer he is not the multi stat player Joe needs as a keeper.
Fielder is coming off a down year, at least for an elite 1B, but will be playing for a contract and will be on a true contender for the NL Central. Even his down years are superior production wise. I do not expect superior numbers but to let him back into the pool to get re-drafted would be a mistake. KEEPER
Granderson has been and could be a 20/20 guy year in and year out. His problem are his spits, he can’t and won’t hit left handers for some reason. .234BA .292OBP that is scary bad.
Jose Guillén will probably be suspended soon for HGH.
Holliday is a top tier OF and gets to hit behind the best player in baseball. A career .317 hitter with a .931 OPS that can even get you double digit steals. Don’t get much better than that boys. KEEPER
Well…hmm…thats 3, but let’s keep looking.
Jeter is getting older and his skills are starting to diminish, but he still hits leadoff and will get you 12/12 with 100+ runs. If we had more keepers I would consider Jeter due to his shallow position.
Markakis has been the perpetual man of upside, still solid but not keeper material. That said he will probably turn some of those 40 doubles into HR this year.
Montero, a catcher, nuff said
Morales is coming off the flukiest (is that a word) injury I have ever seen in baseball. Don’t be surprised if he misses the start of the season due to that injury. Solid player but compared to Fielder (not in weight or maybe in weight) he just doesn’t measure up in all categories.
Rayburn has multi-position eligibility, which I like, but not a keeper.
We should have stopped at Holliday when we hit 3 keepers.
Pitching…we have decided on 3 hitters so that leaves us 2 pitchers.
Bailey is exceptional with his peripherals but he is a closer. With only 10 managers, closers will be available in the re-draft.
Cain never gets the respect he deserves. A firm 1a pitcher behind the Freak, could be an ace on other staffs. Never a great K/9 guy but he never walks anyone nor gives up the long ball. He is rarely in trouble but never gets any run support. As we know in Fantasy it’s about the number. I want a SP with superior K/9 rate. Let’s keep looking at his other options.
Dempster has the nice K/9 rate but ranks 77th on BB/9 at well over 4 per game. Sooner or later doing that in Wrigley means Dempster turns in Dumpster.
Lilly has nice control and now pitches in a pitcher’s park but he isn’t even the 3rd best pitcher on his team. Oh by the way, my niece was escorted to her seat by Clayton Kershaw at a wedding last month. She didn’t even hook me up with an autograph.
Lowe will not hurt you but he is far from a keeper.
CC is the workhorse of all pitchers in MLB. Here are his starts for the last 4 years 34-35-34-34 and now he is a 20 game winner. He has lost weight this year which I guess is good if he wants to live into his 80s but as far a pitching goes it certainly hasn't hurt him in the past. Anyway, 20 W 3.25 ERA 200+K and a 1.20 WHIP gets thrown into a blender, mix, pour into glass and serve as KEEPER.
Scherzer is part of the best 1-2 punch in the AL with his cohort Verlander. A true K machine pitching in one of weakest divisions. He still hasn’t completely wow’d (yes wow’d…my word) me yet and may be just 1 year away from keeper status. As of now he is definitely a top 30-40 pitcher.
Soria…love him…the AL Marmol in my book but still a closer and not worthy of a precious keeper.
Sanchez (isn’t Anibal a girl’s name) is usable and may not get drafted. Waiver wire fodder.
Weaver was a keeper dilemma earlier this week vs. Ubaldo. Weaver won that war. Based on that comparison I now must consider whether Cain is a better option than Ubaldo. Cain has the better peripherals other than Ks and pinches in a better park. I rate Cain over Ubaldo but must take Weaver or Cain simply for the better K potential. 60 extra Ks a year can mean the difference in a couple of points in the standings…and that’s what we target...points in standing when we are in a Roto league. Weaver KEEPER
There you go Joe. Cano, Fielder, Holliday, Sabathia, Weaver as your Keepers. Good Luck in your league.

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