Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Worthy Of Drafting After Returning From Injury?

For the next week or so we will examine players from every position who are returning after lengthy, if not season ending, injuries. We will examine players from both leagues, their current ADP, possible alternatives, and finally giving a green light to draft them at their current value.  Today we will start with two first basemen.
 AL Justin Morneau: ADP (46) the 9th 1B off the board. Morneau was off to an MVP season last year before the concussion in early July. His stats projected out to be 35HR 110RBI 105R .340BA if he stayed healthy. We are now 7 months away from the concussion and the word is that he is still recovering. It's worrisome that Morneau didn't attend the team's recent winter fan festival in Minnesota, instead staying in Arizona, and still hasn't started baseball activities. Morneau's target date for a full return is April 1, the day the Twins open the regular season at Toronto. Remember the Twins played very well in his absence last year and even if he is 100% by opening day look for the twins to be cautious with him, possibly missing the first road trip, not playing in the cold weather, or waiting longer if the Twins start strong without him. Picks to consider in his place are Dunn (50), Konerko (71), and Butler (86).  Morneau would be a must pick in round 6 or later, just be extremely cautious with a 4th rounder or earlier.

NL Lance Berkman: ADP (340) the 21st 1B and 38th CI off the board. Berkman has trimmed a few pounds off that doughy body this off season so he can patrol RF for St. Louis. Remember though, he will still be playing on last year’s gimpy knee that hindered him with the Yankees.  The pros for a Berkman pick are his switch hitting ability, 1B and OF eligibility, his current ADP, Pujols and Holliday on base in front of him, and a career .954 OPS. The cons are his age, he will be 35 this year, and his inability to hit lefties last year which might lead to a platoon with Jon Jay. To me the pros outweigh the cons and if Berkman is available in the very late rounds I suggest you take him as your back up CI or versatile bench player. If he starts out the season hot you can trade that hot streak and his name recognition for a young upgrade.

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